Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

Summer is wasted on the young. I love this time of year, especially the evening. It always makes me think of the summers I would spend out at my grandparents house. No air conditioning, but I didn't seem to mind. When it got too hot, you just kept the lights off and hung out more in front of the fans in the windows. I remember a particularly hot night when I laid on the bare wood floor of my grandparents room with an old window fan, a green metal one, blowing at full speed at me. I didn't even want a sheets or anything to lay on, just a pillow. And I slept like a log.

I remember laying on the bed in the front bedroom, with my grandmother, the windows open with a breeze coming in, and we would just talk and laugh. That was were I learned what the word "buttocks" was. I must have laughed for 10 minutes at that, I couldn't believe such a dumb sounding word existed. My grandmother laughed along with me.

They had a couch which was truly one of the hardest, flattest, itchiest couches in the world, next to the one my parents had when I was little which was all that, and yellow. What was wrong with the late 60s/early 70s to produce that kind of furniture? Did furniture makers hate us?

Going to Weis for grocery shopping was a big day, so were the days we took the walk through town to go to the park where there were swingsets and stuff like that. Sometimes we would walk down to the river. Or we would walk through the cemetery down the road from their house. I loved walking through the cemetery, I don't think it ever occurred to me then that it was actually full of dead people. I liked it because there were lots of trees and it was never crowded and there was lots to look at.

Also it was exciting when we'd take a trip to see my cousins, or when they came to visit us. I miss the big group of family, we've all grown up and gone our separate ways now.

My grandfather had a white van that had a ladder on the top, he did construction and carpentry. I remember every day, packing his big styrofoam cooler with sandwiches and pieces of pie. Their basement is full of manly tools and it has a cool basement smell, along with the wood smell that comes with saws and such.

Speaking of the basement, there were rows and rows of food in clear glass jars - from the old days when we did our own canning. We would go to a strawberry farm and pick strawberries and then make jam. Or rather I would watch while jam was made... One time we went to a factory that I guess canned it's own peas, we were getting peas to can on our own. Truly, I never smelled anything as bad as that pea smell in that factory, to this day pea soup does NOT smell good to me....

I loved the idea of canning food and putting it away for winter, having your own little grocery store in your basement.

I remember the best blackberries I ever ate, on a dirt road by my aunt's house. And I remember eating fresh green peas right out of a pod in her garden - that's what peas are supposed to taste like...

All right, all right, enough reminiscing for tonight!! Suffice to say, everyone should have a chance to spend summers with their grandparents I think.

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