I can still remember the smell of that old suitcase. Imagine all the trips it had been on! This time, it was Frontier Town! “Don’t put that hat in the suit case, you’ll smush it!” Sitting on top of the made bed, this packed suitcase is ready for another adventure!
My father kept our camping log all the years we camped. This page has the story of the day I won the “floating mattress!”
It was July 16, 1971. The perfect summer day as I recall. My father was hosting the annual work picnic. I won a green raft that day for my athletic ability in the egg race! It was my biggest claim to fame as a 9 year old. I remember reaching into a tub of iced cold soda with what seemed like every variety ever invented. It was sheer heaven- all the FREE SODA I could drink! Pull the ring tab- wear it on your finger for a bit before carelessly dropping it somewhere in the grass. Take that long first sip…..ahhhhhhhhhh. Life was good.
We didn’t have water bottles- there was no sippy box, pouch or fancy energy drink. If you were outside playing, and you were thirsty, you would simply turn on the spigot, bend down a bit, wait for about 10 seconds until the cold water reached the end of the hose, then take a long, long gulp swallowing, swallowing and swallowing. Of course, you would then offer the hose to the next sweaty, out of breath neighborhood friend. If you were on your game that day, you might remember to turn off the hose. Or, your father might step in huge puddle and yell out ” Who left the dam hose on?”
Making Kool-Aid was hit-or-miss. First, you had to have packet. Chances are, we didn’t have enough sugar to fill the measuring cup. Next, to find the pitcher- (dump out whatever old drink was brewing in that!) After accidentally snorting the unsweetened powder when you opened it, get your spoon, add sugar, stir, then pray that you would have ice in the ice-cube maker! If all was right with the world, you would have the perfect sugary cup of cherry Kool-Aid. All in a summer’s days work!
You could always count on a glass dish filled with these little candy treasures at my grandmothers. The bowl was always strategically placed waiting for our little fingers to sneak 3 or 4 at a time! I would load a few in my pockets and eat on the ride home. It was like eating a kaleidoscope! Every color and shape seemed different and more special than the next. The Christmas memories I from being a kids of the 60’s and 70’s stay with me now as I put out the dish for my nieces and nephews to marvel, and hopefully take a few home for their car ride. Merry Christmas, everyone!
Mom’s always had “their” chair. They didn’t even have to think about bringing it anywhere. It would just arrive, set up in the prime location-able to see all the action, whether it be at the game, park, concert or picnic. Mom’s chair was always a bit smaller than Dad’s chair. These aluminum chairs served their due, until little by little, the webbing would start pulling, fraying and eventually break. Then, it became the kids chair. Rarely were there enough chairs, if any, for kids. We would be relegated to a blanket. Or a towel. I guess being a Mom had it’s perks…like your own chair.
When we were told we were having Corn on the cob, I knew that would be a chore I would enjoy doing! I remember having picnics or family cookouts where the kids would have the job of shucking all the corn. It would be in a basket. We would put all the corn silks into a big paper bag. The corn would be placed in a giant vat of boiling water. We would put gobs of Land O’Lakes butter all over it-and pile on the salt. True confession: I just enjoyed the ear I painted…with tons of butter and salt-and it was GOOD!