May 29, 2009

Flashback Friday #17

Well, I'm not doing Kelly's tour again this week. She's featuring children's rooms and right now, Sara Madalin's room is pretty blah. I want to paint it (Have I ever mentioned how much I love to paint?) but I want to wait just a bit longer. I'm thinking I may paint it lime green and hot pink. Yeah, I've never been one to be afraid of a little color. I saw some really cute stuff at the Canton flea market with those colors, and a little black and white zebra print thrown in. Once we convert her bed to a toddler bed, I'm going to work on her room. But for now, I really don't have anything that great to show in the way of a nursery. 

To be quite honest, I don't have much of a flashback today either. Things have pretty slow around here, I guess. Well, maybe not too slow. We still have swimming lessons going on. Sara Madalin is doing so good in there. I'm taking two pretty intense Summer classes as I inch closer to receiving my Master's degree. We are closing on the sale of our old house this week. And Reagan has been so sick this week that he was convinced he had the swine flu. High fever, achy joints, coughing - I mean, what else could it have been? He went to the doctor Thursday. It's not the swine flu. Not yet anyway. So, other than those things, and the battle I'm having with Sara Madalin over taking milk from a cup, it's been pretty quiet around here. So, all I have this week is just a picture or two that reminds me of my childhood. 

Let me start by telling you I have started walking a bit in the afternoons and evenings. For a long time I did a fairly decent job of keeping in shape. I've never been extremely thin or buff by any means, but I've tried to maintain an exercise program for most of my adult life, I guess until about two years ago. Not sure why I stopped. I just got lazy. Am I rambling? Anyway, I started walking again this week. And it's been quite enjoyable. The weather hasn't been too bad. The neighbors all have lovely lawns, so it's nice to walk down our country road. I've met a couple new dog friends. They didn't care for me at first, but I think they are warming up to me. No snakes yet. Trust me, when I see one, I'll be sure and let everyone know. And I don't just mean through blogging. I'm sure everyone within a 5 mile radius will hear my screams.

But, this week as I've been walking, I've passed this every day. 

Those are blackberries at the end of our driveway. They grow wild in the country here in MS. And probably in most rural areas in the Deep South. This bush of berries has brought back so many childhood Summer memories. We had lots of bushes like this where I grew up. I remember just going outside to play ALL day it seemed. When we wanted a snack, we'd go grab a handful of these. (We didn't worry about pesticides, or harmful chemicals. Today, I would never let Sara Madalin eat anything until I've cleaned it thoroughly.) You know, if I remember correctly, I never really ATE the berries. I'd usually just suck all the juice out of them then spit the rest out. (It's the same thing with strawberries. I love strawberry flavored things, but I can't eat strawberries. I have issues. I'm working on it.) Anyway, I came back and took a few pictures of the berries. Once they are ripe, we'll pick some. 

The memories of the berries made me think a lot about Summers as a child and teenager. I would always spend a great deal of time at my grandparents' houses during the Summer. My Mamaw Sistrunk (Daddy's mother) was a widow. I'd get to go stay with her some. She'd let us eat ice cream every night while we watched TV in her den. During the day, she worked at the Tasty Freeze. We'd walk there every morning and, guess what, eat ice cream pretty much all day. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that me and my sisters were always a little on the "healthy" side. 

We'd also stay at Mamaw and Papa's a good bit during the Summer. Papa would take us fishing. He'd take me to the golf course and let me drive the golf cart for what seemed like hours. And I'd watch "the stories" with Mamaw. "The Young and the Restless" and "Days of Our Lives". 

Summer was also time for us to work in the garden. When I was in elementary we always had a garden. And my sister and I, along with several cousins, shelled countless buckets of peas and butter beans. Then, there was camp in July, once I was junior high and older. Loved camp! I met a girl named Melissa there once, from Meridian. She and I became pen pals and we wrote each other letters for 2-3 years, until we both graduated high school and lost touch. 

Gosh, Summer was fun growing up. How about you? Anybody out there have any great Summer memories? I'd love to hear about them. 

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Amber said...

Hi! I'm from South Carolina and happened on your blog through FEEDJIT and I have been following it for a couple of weeks. Love your post. my childhood summers in South Carolina sound just like yours. We always had tons of blackberries. Now we don't see them as much. Also, a trip to Granny's always involved sitting in front a bucket of beans or peas until it was time for "her story," Days of Our Lives.

Penny said...

My dad's family had land in Roxie, MS near the Homochitto National Forest and we used to go there and pick berries. There was a cold water spring in part of the woods with an elephant ear tree next to it. My Poppa Dad would make cups out of the leaves and we'd drink with them. That spring water could have been bottled! My cousins and I played outside, barefooted, most of the day. I had asthma so when it got too hot for me, I'd head to Mimi's and Poppa Dad's next door-- they were the only ones with A/C. We spent a lot of days in Roxie at Clear Springs (a lake) swimming and catching tree frogs. I do NOT want to touch one now, though! lol When I visited my Dad and stepmom in the summer, my brother, Keith and I spent hours in the woods building "forts."

Paige said...

At Mamaw's house, blackberries grew wild and when we were little girls we use to love and go pick them! We always had to wear gloves and rubber boots so that if a snake was in the bush we would not get bit. Of course, we were never worried about the snakes - just the delicious blackberries. My aunt use to make homemade blackberry jam (and still does), and we use to make homemade biscuits and eat them in the afternoons with the jam. So yummy!

Thanks for sharing your story! I love my summer memories from my childhood.

~the mccrarys~ said...

wow you guys do have a lot going on right now!

summer memories-well i grew up in OH actually & there were blueberries that grew there & grapes on vines & i remember the smell of the grapes. there was also rhubarb & my mom used to make rhubarb pie all the time. cant find it down here now in TX but i can relate to your childhood memories!