Monday, September 17, 2012

Autumn weather

We are having some cloudy days with lots of rain which is wonderful.  The temperature is very nice
after the hotest summer I can remember.  Now we are ready for Autumn and harvest time and hot chocolate and popcorn balls.  Do you remember those popcorn balls?  We used to always have those
during halloween and harvest times.
(picture from internet free images)

And candy corn?  We always had that because one of my Grandfathers would bring us candy
corn when he came to visit us.  I associate him with candy corn.  Funny.
One Grandmother always had lantana growing in her flower garden and I cannot smell the scent of
it without thinking of her.  Even though she had many other flowers in her garden this is the one I associate with her.

Memories are funny things, don't you think?  Do I only get this way in the autumn? Like that old
song, Autumn Leaves, bringing back memories.  I think so.
That song has always made me sad or reflective. 
I go through this each and every year.

 I loved the childhood I had.  So much that is lost to kids now.
Making do was what I guess we had in my childhood that kids don't know about today.  Making do
with wearing a different dress every other Sunday to Church until Easter came and we could add a new one to our wardrobes, unless of course you had grown too much that year and had to go back to only 2 good Church dresses.  Our school clothes were not worn to Church and to have more Church clothes would have been wasteful.  We were not poor but we were not rich either. Mother made many of our dresses, especially those for school.  But the ones for Church were special, also worn for parties or special occasions.

Or opening your birthday present and there was only one, but it might not have been exactly what
you wanted.  Maybe it was homemade.  Maybe someone gave you something of theirs. Or I remeber the year I got a Diary.  I loved that until my sister Joyce broke it open and read it and humilated me in front of my parents with my dreams spilled out in the raw.  She was just a normal younger sister I guess.   But birthdays were still special because we always had a birthday cake which my Mother made.  Not one from a bakery. Always the special chocolate I liked.

When I was older and my Mother kept up this habit of making each of us a birthday cake if we lived
nearby.  After I was an adult I asked her to change mine to coconut pie instead of a cake, and another sister asked for her favorite pie so somehow we got away from the homemade birthday cakes, but
we still had our favorite pie instead.

And Christmas:  we did not get a Christmas tree until Christmas Eve.  Dad would go into the woods and come back with a perfect tree after several hours of searching.  After we were old enough we would get to go with him.  One cold Christmas Eve he allowed my sister Joyce and I to go with him to get the tree.  He wanted a holly tree that year and knew where there was one just right.  We drove
for about 5 miles to reach it.  We turned off the road and went across a low spot and down a
unpaved track until where he remembered this particular tree.  We were in the car with a lantern in
the floor of the car to keep us warmer.

After he got the tree and had it tied on the back of the car, we started out.  We got stuck in mud in
that low spot and I remember him very calmly telling us to stay in the car and he would get us out of the situation.

We watched out the back window as he walked back and forth carrying pine branches and placing them under the car in front of the wheels.  After about 30 minutes he had what he thought enough
to get the car to move us out of there.  The first time it did not work but then miraculously we
were free and headed on home.

When we got there Mom and my baby sister Deb were waiting with hot chocolate and popcorn to
string.  It was a nice Christmas.  I guess now in thinking back there was more excitement waiting until
Christmas Eve to have a tree.  The house smelled nice with the pine and cedar he had also brought home with the holly tree.  My Dad liked tradition and our Christmas was much like the ones he had as a child.

I can remember the morning when we opened the gifts that Santa had brought us.  Joyce and I had matching baby dolls and a rocking chair each.  Also we had hard candy, nuts and apples and oranges and sometimes a coconut but always a big peppermint candy log that you had to use a meat tenderizer to crack into pieces.  We also had cheddar cheese which we called rat cheese.  I guess it is the kind that one used to set rat traps at the time.

We ate the pepperrmint candy with cheese and crackers.  That was such fun not to have a
traditional breakfast.  I remember us playing all morning while my Mother cooked.  She had prepared the pies and some items in the week before Christmas Day.  This year we ate at our house instead of
going to one of the grandparents' homes.

The whole day was unusual from those before and after. After we had all eaten the wonderful Christmas dinner we got in the car and drove to our grandmother's house who lived closest.
There we tried another type of dessert than what we had at home.  My grandmother would make
mince pies which we never had at home.  I still don't care for them.

The day was wonderful and everyone of the family were there including cousins and aunts and uncles
and fiancees and people who felt like part of the family too.
Those are all memories which no one can take from me.  All those people are gone except my
sisters and a couple of aunts.  Now there are our children and grandchildren.  We are making
memories for them now when we meet for Christmas.

They say people can take anything you have but memories.  But of course, alzheimers or demetia
can take those too.

So as today I think back  to those earlier days, let me ask you this:  are you making good memories for your children and grandchildren.  That is all they will have of us when we are gone.
Have a good Autumn. I seem to have gotten ahead of myself with moving right on into Christmas, but don't you find the Autumn holidays are like that?
Special memories to you,

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