That first bite of a peach can either be heavenly or so, so disappointing. Knowing when to take that first bite is the trick! So, you buy them at the farm stand and wait. Wait some more. You pick it up. Nope. Still slightly firm. Maybe now…skin seems to depress ever so slightly when you press down. Ehhh…wait one more day. Finally. Time to take the first bite. Napkin in hand….and….it’s….just perfect. Soft, juicy, sweet, the perfect peach. A definite summer must, enjoying a perfect peach.
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 was no avoiding it. At some point during the summer, you would be tied into an orange life preserver. If you were lucky, it had dried from the previous wearing. You would put your arms out wide while your parent would strap you in and make it as tight as they could. Then, with your chin to the sky, they would tie it around your neck. It may have saved you from drowning, but I always felt suffocated! And the smell! They always had an aroma of sweat, Coppertone and mildew. But I’d give anything to smell that again!
PS. I was on a quest to find a life jacket for this painting. I did find one on eBay in it’s original wrapper, from Sunny’s Surplus from 1960 for $2.99. Hanging with honor in my camp!
Any dessert I had as a kid was something I whipped up. Rarely was there any cake, cookies or pie. Not that we didn’t ever have dessert-type food, but with four kids, any “fun” food went fast. Real fast. But, there was always Jell-O. Jell-O was fool-proof, almost; instant Jell-O wasn’t. First, you had to boil water, then measure cold water, then find something to put it in, then wait for it to set up. And hours later, you could eat your dessert. If your family didn’t get to it first! And always lime Jell-O!
If you weren’t feeling too lazy, why not jazz up regular toast with some cinnamon sugar? A few slices of Wonder Bread, some butter if we were lucky, but it was usually margarine, cinnamon and sugar made the summer vacation a bit more exciting! This was a step above cereal as a breakfast alternative. French toast and waffles were next and pancakes- real pancakes made from the box! But cinnamon toast was great anytime. I remember experimenting at a friends with cinnamon sugar! We used confectionary sugar, butter and cinnamon and made a paste. To this day, I remember how that taste. We would eat it by the spoonful. I’ve grown up (some) but still love the taste of perfectly made cinnamon toast.
Long before there was central air conditioning, there was a summer breeze. If it was really hot, well, then you’d get out a fan to blow the hot air on you. Living in the northeast, we are lucky to have that perfect summer day. The day when all you need are open windows open, sheer curtains, and a chenille bedspread to take a nap on. Seals and Crofts said it best…Summer Breeze…makes you feel fine.
Eating a bowl full of Fruit Loops was as good as eating a pound of fudge when I was a kid. Except when you were down to the last level floating on the surface of the milk. That was when you ate cereal at the table, with the box strategically placed in front of you. It was YOUR box to read and study. You read every word on that box, analyzed every cartoon, tried to solve the puzzles. The toy prize at the bottom was already lost in the house to someone else getting it before you. But that’s okay, you still had the cereal. And these last 30 or so Fruit Loops gave you minutes of sheer joy! I mean, what could make a kid happier than eating a bow of cereal on a summer’s morning? The second bowl of Fruit Loops……
Lake George is so much more than America’s Queen of Lakes. It provides more memories and evokes such nostalgic feelings for it’s millions of adorers. A boat ride on the Minne-Ha-Ha is an absolute must once in your lifetime. Of course, seeing the majestic lake is an awe inspiring sight. However, your other senses will become alive on this trip! The boat toot-toots melodies from another era. The hot (boiling!) steam sprinkles on your shoulders should you sit near it’s steam pipes, the paddles churn water, and the bellow of it’s deep whistle upon launching will awake your inner child. Yes, yes, this is the ultimate tourist trap, but once in a while, you just have to give in and enjoy the ride.
Prior to the salad spinner, there was the neighborhood merry-go-round. Being spun at a nice speed could be a very relaxing experience. You could lay down and look at the trees and blue sky above. Unless your brother was the spinner. Or anyone else, for that matter! They would start holding the bars and running with the merry-go-round. You would just beg “stop” “slow down”! Like a tag team, they would take turns gripping on and giving it a good push. You were at their mercy. There was no stopping it. You might be left on for five or ten minutes while everyone else got on their bikes and peeled out! Eventually, you would be able to stick your feet out to drag them into the dirt to stop it-if you had sneakers on. If not, it would simply spin, slow, spin, slow and finally, you would stop and then the whole earth would start spinning!