Summer days were spent outside all day and into the twilight. We only came in to have lunch or to put on our bathing suit to play in the sprinkler. Friends Terri, Teresa and I were inseparable! We played Kickball, 4 Square, Colors and Hop scotch all day long. Then one summer, the best thing happened...Terri's dad built a tree house in their backyard and we spent many hours up there playing games and talking about boys. We even spent the occasional night up there, when we were at at each others house for a sleepover!
We always took two trips in the summer. One week was spent in Calhoun City, MS to my mom's childhood farm. What a great place for a city girl to visit! We would venture under the house in search of fresh eggs, roam the dewy garden for vegetables first thing in the morning, and sit outside under the huge oak tree and churn fresh peach ice cream in the evening. Talk about eating at its finest! There were horses to ride, cows to pet and blackberries to pick. Visiting the farm and my grandparents, was and still remains one of my fondest childhood memories.
Our other vacation spot was Florida, either Daytona beach or Panama City. I still remember getting up at about 2:00 in the morning, sleeping on a pallet in the back of the station wagon and waking up just in time to top the hill to see the Atlantic ocean. It was such a magical sight. We always had a tradition -, whoever saw the ocean first whistled. I loved the sound of 5 whistlers whistling in harmony! We spent the morning at the pool, came in for lunch and stayed 2 hours, because you did not dare get in the water right after you had eaten! Afternoons were spent at the beach where we would play in the sand and jump the waves. In Daytona there was a Boardwalk carnival that we would go to and ride rides and spent lots more money than it cost for a small stuffed animal. My favorite was always the spin art and I would proudly take home a picture every year as a souvenir.
Another summer highlight was setting up a Kool Ade stand. We didn't have the run of the mill stand, we had a stand with not only Kool Ade, but homemade treats made by Mom. We had popcorn balls, cookies and peanut butter candy! One day we ran out of peanut butter candy and my sister Charlene (who was no more than 4-5 at the time) went in for more and came back with something she made. Apparently, we were out of candy, so she made her own. Peanut butter, sugar, salt and pepper mixed together and painstakingly rolled in balls. I can't recall if we sold any, but my guess is that if we did we may have had an unsatisfied customer!
Summer was the best and mine was a continuous Norman Rockwell painting! We may have had just one TV in the house (without a remote!) , no computer, no Gameboy, no i-pod or pad, but I wouldn't change a thing. No sireee, nada, nothing. No hand-held devise in the world can replace the memories I have of farms, beaches, Kool Ade stands, a slice of ice cold watermelon with juice running down my arms, or the sight of my best friend at the door first thing in the morning waiting for you to come outside and play. It was a good childhood, spent with good friends and filled with good memories!
Mom's Peanut Butter Candy
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 stick butter
cook in pot to a soft boil (approx 3 minutes)
add a jar of marshmellow cream
3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 tsp vanila
stir till all incorporated
pour onto sheet pan, cool and cut
Ya'll come back!
May the Lord bless his people with peace and happiness and let them celebrate! psalm 64:10
*Originally posted July 20, 2012