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?”
For a penny, you could turn it once, but for a nickel, you could turn the knob on the gumball machine five times! And when you are a kid, five turns was a LOT of gum! The best gumball machines were the FORD ones- where you put in a penny and slid the lever to get a rectangular piece of gum. Dad would always reach deep into his pocket, and give us each a “few cents”. I am glad to still see gumball machines around, but now you can get almost anything- even rings! Yes, they are a quarter now, but some day, kids today will say…remember when we used to get rings from the gumball machines?
Pickles is a fun word to say. And, they are fun to eat! My grandmother used to make bread and butter pickles. She always had on an apron (which she made) that was trimmed with rick-rack. There were special pickling tools and jars…a entire days worth of a process just for some pickles! The pickles were more precious than her tomatoes. We would only get one jar, with a special label. “Grandma’s Bread & Butter” with the year. I always thought she was stingy with her pickles, until I tried making them! It was so much work for such a small little condiment. Until I discovered that Vlassic makes a pretty mean sweet and sour pickle. Now, I eat pickles all year long! I bet you have a few jars in your refrigerator???
Fudge, in the summer, says “we went somewhere special”. Cape Cod, Maine, Vermont, the Adirondacks, the Connecticut shore…where ever you vacation, I guarantee there is a shop selling homemade fudge-like what we make at home in December! I remember on Canada Street in Lake George, there used to be a shop on the corner that made their own fudge. The “maker” would spread it out on a giant slap of marble and work it back and forth. Taffy would be being pulled on some contraption, and the smell of sugary corn would be wafting in the air. But eating fudge in the summer is like the reward for making it to your destination. You savor each bite, knowing soon, it will be the last piece. But before we know it, December will be here and guaranteed fudge will show up in someone’s Christmas Cookie gift plate.
There are few things I remember from my childhood as fondly as my round green radio. A gift for my 10th birthday, I literally carried this around for what seemed like the entire summer. Music became personal to me with that gift. I soaked up the sun with the radio next to my ear. I set it on the front steps while I played Barbie’s. I plugged in the headphones when I wanted to sit in my room and have some “alone time”! I can still hear some of my favorites…It’s Too Late, by the Cornelius Brothers, or Brandy by Looking Glass, maybe even a little Carpenters…Rainy Days and Mondays…. It was Happy Birthday to me all over again when I found one on eBay! Now if it would only play my all-time faves….
Where have all the seeds gone?
What’s the 4th of July without a watermelon seed spitting contest? No fun. I remember getting HUGE watermelons filled with seeds…and to think, that one day there would be seedless watermelon! Well, Happy Independence Day, America! Enjoy your seedlessJ!