Ever notice how sounds and smells can take you away from the present and drop you right back in the middle of a time long ago past. I can remember visiting my sweet Mawmaw and Pawpaw growing up and being awoken (earlier than any person should ever be or so I thought) every morning to the sounds of bacon crackling and roosters crowing…the smell of syrup and pancakes or homemade biscuits and delicious tomato gravy gently coaxing me awake. I would jump out of bed run in the kitchen and find them sipping coffee and chatting away as Mawmaw concocted the most delicious things you could imagine at the stove. Nothing much has changed even now as we visit my Grandparents…life just seems to move at a much slower pace there. It lends time to refresh and enjoy one another. Standing here as a Mom barefoot in my own kitchen just brings me back to that place. I love that place and I am so thankful I have those memories with me forever! This morning was no different and as I woke to the sweet sounds of my littles resting peacefully tucked away in their beds I stretched and headed to the kitchen. That first sizzle took me away and I revisited many fun times shared at that old Southern Mississippi kitchen table. I think about where my Grandparents must have grown up. What life must have been like for them. What smells they must have embedded into their own memories. Life was much simpler back then wasn’t it? Please don’t get me wrong! Work was well known in those days. I have witnessed my Mawmaw spend the day at the stove. She would cook breakfast for a house full (only nibbling as she went) and move right on to supper preparation…a (so good you could lose yourself and slap your Momma) pot of chicken and dumplings. The real kind. Not some store bought artificial dumpling kind of junk that mysteriously melts into the pot and leaves you wondering…”Did I forget to put the dumplings in” kind. No she makes hers from scratch. Mixing and kneading by hand. That chicken she put into the pot just after breakfast came out of her barn. We won’t go into the work it took to get her in there and those veggies floating all around her…Pawpaw spent the day before picking from the garden he tends to day in and day out. Work was well known but so was camaraderie, so was a sense of accomplishment. I have seen it in my children’s eyes as they gather their own eggs for breakfast down at the chicken coop or bite into fresh homegrown tomatoes right off the vine at GG Maw’s and GG Paw’s. It’s the kind of work that brings fulfillment. I’m so incredibly thankful my children still have the chance to witness and participate in a way of life that is slowly but surely disappearing. That slower paced, less stressful, but busy as a bee kind of life that I have grown to love. I can only hope I pass an appreciation on to my children and pray I am able to share it with my own grandchildren some day. As the French Toast filled my serving dish my heart swelled with pride. I love America! I love what we as a country were founded on and stood for. I love that every man and woman has a chance at a free life no matter where they came from. Free to build something wonderful in a family and a legacy! Holding tight to the legacy laid before us is the only way we will pass it on to future generations. As I breathe in the sweet smells my youngest little shuffles in rubbing his eyes and yawning. He smiles and says “Good morning Momma” and I think to myself someday I hope he will smile down at one of his own as he thinks of this moment in his childhood and I pray that he will sigh deeply and be comforted as I am by being awoken to the sounds and smells of bacon, french toast, and maple syrup.