Monday, June 23, 2008

Summertime Flashbacks

It happens to me somehow every summer. There will be an event or I’ll see a person that triggers some kind of de ja vu mind trip. Jerry and I were having green onions and tomatoes today and it happened again. I thought I would share our little journey with the hope that it will take somebody else on a pleasant flashback.

Jerry was out buying tires this morning (Yes, I know it’s surprising but the tread was just about gone on the Jeep tires.). Anyway, he stopped at one of our favorite vegetable stands and wondered home with gorgeous, plump tomatoes, crunchy green onions and a nice Indiana cantaloupe. He was so proud of his finds that we dug into them immediately.

His first action was to grab a shot glass and fill it with salt to dip his onions in. That’s what triggered the first memory. He started relating to me how he didn’t really know what a shot glass was for as a child because the only way he saw it used was when his mother filled it with salt for the green onions. The story goes on: “As I got a little older, I watched Westerns on TV and saw the cowboys in the saloons use the same size and shape of glass to have a shot of whiskey. That’s when I began getting in our kitchen cabinet to fill the “salt glass” with my coke. Then I would lift it and swig it down the way they did in the movies.”

Of course, this conversation led to us trading memories of growing up in Indiana. These are a few that came to mind.

- My mother ate “hunky peppers” on butter bread. They are still too hot for me, but my brother loved them, too.
- My dad grew tomatoes in our yard every year. He was so excited when the “Big Boy” plants came out and he could try them.
- I remember the mint plants by the back door, smelling so good all the time. My mom would put it in the iced tea.
- Going to Crown Hill Cemetery after it rained to catch night crawlers with my dad. We would take an empty coffee can and fill it to the brim. If we caught two at a time, that was a real victory. Then we could fish for hours in Fall Creek.
- Catching lightning bugs in a jar with holes poked in the lid.

- My dad bringing home a watermelon and putting it into the big aluminum tub of ice water to chill. It was so sweet.
- Taking an evening ride in the car, going over the hill at Garfield Park. We called it “tickle-belly hill” because of how you felt when Dad drove quickly over it.
- Walking to the Dairy Queen to buy a Dilly Bar or a chocolate-dipped cone for 10 cents!
- All the neighborhood children playing hide-and-seek after dark.
- The huge honeysuckle bush on the telephone pole at the corner of our house. We would pick the blooms and suck the sugary nectar.
- Eating homegrown tomatoes until I had sores inside my mouth.

These memories always bring smiles. We'd love to hear your flashbacks. Just click on the comments link at the bottom of this post and tell us your favorite memories -- Just for fun.


  1. Mary
    I remember hanging wash on the line on a hot morning and enjoying the cool sheets blowing in my face.
    Growing tomatoes and then eating them - yum.
    Visiting relatives in a small (very) southeast Kansas town and sleeping on the summer porch - sort of like John Denver's "Grandma's Feather Bed".
    Playing baseball until it was so dark you couldn't see the ball until it was in front of your face.
    Playing canasta on hot summer afternoons when it was too hot to be outside.

    Riding my bike around town in Karlstad, MN where we could go anyplace we wanted.
    Having Mister, the bottle lamb.

  2. Hello Nancy & Jerry!

    Some of my childhood memories: Grape popsicles, coke in those green glass bottles sold by the case and climbing the neighbor's cherry tree...

    Hope you two are having a great summer so far! Maureen

  3. My mom didn't use shot glasses for the salt, she had little cut glass holders. I had forgotten all about that until you mentioned it. Must have been a midwest thing with the onions, as she was originally from Nebraska. Also, eating fruit right off the tree when it was so juicy and ripe it was falling on the ground. Remembering my best friend's twin brother throwing that ripe fruit right at us, he was such a brat. Being outside from sun up to sundown, running around the neighborhood with my friends doing different things and not worrying about anything happening to us. Collecting caterpillars and putting them in shoeboxes to watch them make their cocoons and coming out as butterflys. Catching horny toads, tadpoles, stink bugs and not thinking anything of it. Maybe Ron will write some things later as to what he remembers.

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron

  4. Hello Nancy and Jerry,
    Playing flash light tag.
    Sleeping outside with a blanket draped over poles, and waking up with all the farm dogs and cats laying on top of the tent, that was on top of me.
    Having barefoot races on the stone lane and winning.
    Taking a nap on a lazy afternoon on the sidewalk.
    No air conditioner but a fan that was just right.
    Going to the big city and buying ice cream from the ice cream man that was driving in the neighborhood.
    Catching lightning bugs and wearing their lights like rings. (so I was a little twisted).
    Tracking down the newest litter of kittens.
    Riding my horse.
    We had the Best Christmas's ever.
    Always the last to find my Easter basket.
    Exploring the neighbors dump with my sister. Oh the almost treasures we found!
    Feeding a newborn calf with a bucket that had a nipple on the bottom.
    Smelling the laundry after it was hung out, especially overnight.
    Conquering my fear and climbing the old apple tree.
    Swimming in the neighbors pond along with the dragonflies flying and the fish nibbling my toes.

  5. Pop used a shot glass for holding screws and nuts when he was working on a fix-it project.

    I never ate a green onion until I was in my 30s.

    This NY City kid spent 10 youthful summers in the Virgina Beach area. That's where I developed a taste for grits, biscuits and gravy, turnip greens......


Hi: Thanks for your thoughts.