Monday, June 29, 2009



I know that I promised to post about my WINNINGS today but my plan was foiled when my supermodels abandoned me for the mall, manicures, dinner dates. Hmpfff. Hopefully, I will get my act together some time tomorrow to be ready for Tuesday’s post.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time this weekend trying to catch up on reading your blogs but alas I’m still not caught up. If you haven’t seen me for awhile……………..I’m on my way. I’ve read quite a few posts about gardens and summer trips and so many things that are triggering my childhood memories of summers gone by.

I made fresh green beans for supper today. I bought them from the grocery store but standing at my kitchen sink, snapping the ends off the beans brought back so many memories. My family had a very large garden when I was growing up. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins would all help in the garden and share in the harvest.

I learned as a very young girl that the best way to get all the dirt on the neighbors and the rest of the family was to help snap beans. My mother, aunts and cousins would gather in the shade of a large tree in our yard with baskets of beans and large bowls on our laps. If I sat very quietly and didn’t ask questions, my mother and aunts would eventually forget that I was there and begin to chat. Oh the gossip I heard. (All in the name of prayer requests, of course.)

Rhubarb was a staple in my summer diet. When I see rhubarb in the store these days, I have to laugh because I didn’t know you could buy rhubarb. It seemed to grow like weeds in Indiana and I was quite good at stealing it from my neighbor’s yards.

Baseball. The little league field was the place to be every evening when I was a kid. You could find all your friends there. I didn’t watch many games but I had fun with my friends.

I don’t think I wore shoes from Memorial Day until Labor Day. It’s no wonder that my feet are so rough and callused now. Oh yeah, while I was lamenting my puffy eyes and wrinkled mouth, I should have also asked you about rough heels. Now there’s a remedy I really need.

Memories of church camp at Lake Webster fill my mind. Boys and crafts and boys and swimming and boys and games. Did I mention boys? I was at church camp when Richard Nixon resigned. I remember praying for him, his family and our nation.

A lot of my memories center around food. The garden was such a big part of our lives back then. If we didn’t grow it, we didn’t eat it. My mother always used to say if she could just get some cow seeds to grow beef in the garden, we’d be all set.

I believe I’ve mentioned here before that I’m quite a tomato snob. I won’t eat a tomato from the grocery store. And I’m very choosy about selecting them from a veggie market. I won’t eat it if it’s been refrigerated. It has to still smell like a tomato at the stem. But give me a really good, fresh tomato and I’m a happy woman. A tomato sandwich on white bread with mayo would bring tears to my eyes. I’ll have to see if I can work that into the DAMN ZONE. *wink*

What takes you back? How did you spend your childhood summers? In the city or the country? What was it like in your neck of the woods?

Once again, stay tuned tomorrow to see the display of my WINNINGS!

Be sure to read the comments today to see what great memories everyone has. :-)


One Nurse said...

OMG! We could have sooo been neighbors. I spent my summers shoeless and riding my bike all over my small town. I spent my evenings and saturdays at the ball diamonds. We had a large garden full of green beans, banana peppers, okra, squash, tomoatoes, etc. I learned how to snap beans while sitting with my sister, mom and neighbor friends with a large stainless steel bowl in my lap. I too didn't know until I was grown that Rubarb could be purchased. I stole it from my neighbors yard and ate it raw, usually started sucking that sour juice even before I got in the house. I KNOW!!! It wasn't THAT dirty! I wiped it off on my T-shirt first!! Besides dirt was cleaner back then.
And those pictures of your tomoatoes made my mouth begin to water to the point I almost choked!!!
Really, I think you could have lived right around the corner from me. Maybe we snapped beans together or something!

Pastor Sharon said...

That gossip all in the name of prayer requests, still goes on. I have had to teach a class to my congregation on the difference between a prayer request and gossip.

Regarding tough heels, use the pomice stone, then get thick shea butter cream just for feet at bath and body works, lather it on your feet and sleep in cotton footies for a week. Bingo! They are soft as a baby's butt. I cannot stand rough edges or the hint of them on my feet. That is the only way to keep mine soft!
Once you have done that for 1 week, make sure to limit bare feet and sandals. Drink plenty of water! I cannot tell you the difference this will make in your feet and your skin all over, even your face!

Tony Letts said...

Of course we call them tomartoes! I don't like them much however you say their name though. WE lived close to the country so my summers were spent playing cowboys and indians or acting out Lassie in the fields!

Reader Wil said...

You must have a really wonderful time as a child. The tomatoes look very good!

blueviolet said...

My husband stole rhubarb from his neighbors too and consequently he's only ever eaten it raw. I like it cooked. I LOVE it actually but I'm the only one in the family who likes it so I have it rarely.

I love snapping beans too. It's so relaxing for some reason.

You brought back some memories for me too!

Anonymous said...

Hubby is a tomato snob also and I make a point of stopping at a freshly grown veggie market during the summer months to snag a few for him each week. Thanks for the reminder as I need to go today.

I spent my childhoods outdoors riding my bike, playing Annie I Over with neighbor kids, swimming, walking corn and bean fields wih hoe in hand, picking the neighbors apples and making her angry, going to evening softball games. Small town stuff that built great childhood memories.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Deb said...

That does bring back memories. My mom would make us shell a bowl of peas before we could go out and play. I buy mine pre-shelled now:)

only a movie said...

Love this, SMB. Something about the pace of summer (for me, ha) brings back so many memories.

I went to church camp too as a kid. It was the best.

Hit 40 said...

Your tomato picture was fabulous!! I hope they are yours to enjoy.

I go grab my spring/summer veggies at the Saturday Morning farmers markets.

My best summer memories are of bike riding to far away places for an ice cream or candy bar.

smiles4u said...

I love reading about your childhood memories...many that I share with running barefoot or like the large gardens but unlike you we "grew" the cows too, along with many other animals and crops so my summers were spent working on the farm and in the large gardens and fields.

I too, seen rhubarb at the grocery store and didn't know they sold it. It grows everywhere around here so I can't imagine buying it. Have you ever had rhubarb slush? It is so good and refreshing and I usually make a bucket with some vodka added too.

And I am with you about the tomato them!

Linda said...

Mom had a small garden too. Peas, peppers, tomatoes. She & I would sit out there & weed and eat right off the vine!
Bare foot from Memorial Day until Labor Day that was me too. Ha! still is! And yes it wrecks havoc on the feet. Shoes & socks help keep them soft & supple but my toes like to breath! Pastor Sharon's advice is spot on but I have to cut the toes out of my socks if I'm going to wear them to bed. My toes like to breath!

darsden said...

Your matos are very pretty! I get taken back by watching children play...and go hell we did have all that neat stuff when I was going up...

I enjoy reading everybodies stories in blogland of their growing up and a lot of the stories could be put in my life too. Pretty cool when you read and see how same the world really is.

Maureen at IslandRoar said...

The nostalgia of childhood summers, I hope our kids feel the same.
Loved your memories. It's funny how we learn to be quiet, near-invisible as kids to hear what the grownups have to say. Then we use that skill around our kids and their friends to learn what's happening with them.

Oz Girl said...

Ah yes, I spent my summers in bare feet also. I remember running through many a sprinkler, playing in empty appliance boxes, making huge tents with multiple rooms out of old blankets and sheets, playing cards with a girlfriend in her family's pop-up tent camper (which was up all summer in their back yard), playing kick the can on humid, dusky summer evenings, swimming in a neighbor's built-in pool when she had open hours every weekday, being forced to weed against my will in the family garden at a friend's house, getting into big trouble everytime I was caught in the "woods" at the end of our dead-end street, bashing a wagon handle into my forehead when us kids made a wagon train and a mom running down the street carrying me to my house with blood running into my eyes, fooling our babysitters and doing things we were NEVER allowed to do, playing board games with family on the screened-in deck my father built. I think I was honored to have a wonderful childhood, and I have such great memories of it.

I wanna play kick the can again. :)

Jan said...

I've become a tomato snob too, since I started growing my own; I didn't like them as a kid.

The smell of chlorine and a heat shimmer in the distance fling me back into my childhood; Texas summers were HOT and we spent a lot of time at the pool.

Beth Niquette said...

Hmmmm...we spent our summers roaming "the canyon," with it's cool glens, dels, and the crik. We would follow that creek for miles, exploring every nook and cranny.

We would play games in the lawn--the neighborhood kids and our cousins would join us.

There was always a fort to build, a hole to dig, a stream to follow, a tree to climb--and all with bare feet.

My feet are just like yours, Tami! (grin) Yep--I still don't like shoes.

Gaston Studio said...

Barefoot here too, and 'topless' until I was about 8 and suddenly became conscious of not wanting to bear it all. Also spent summers with a particular cousin who had a great vegetable garden in their backyard; she taught me how to dig potatoes with my toes and eat fresh tomatoes from the vine in the hot sun. Oh yeah, memories!

Michel said...

Dude! I totally STILL LOVE snapping beans! I used to do that with my grandma in the summers out on the farm. It was awesome - AND, she made sure there were no bugs (or nature) on them so I would be safe!!

I also used to pick raspberries every morning. (Until the bugs freaked me out so bad I couldn't do it anymore - there are spiders on those things!!)

Great post!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

ON-Howdy, neighbor! I NEVER washed the rhubarb before eating it. LOL Just wiped it off. Bike riding! If forgot to mention that.

PS-I'm going to try your heel remedy. I hate to sleep in socks but I think I hate rough feet more.

Tony-You put an "r" in tomato? Hmmmm? You crazy Brits! LOL

RW-It was great! The pics not mine.

BV-I like rhubarb pie but otherwise like it raw. Yum.

Di-Say hello to my fellow Tomato Snob! LOL

Deb-Shelling peas was another favorite. :-)

Movie-I've got to get my a teaching gig. LOL

Hit40-sorry, the pic's not mine. The Dairy Queen! I forgot about the DQ. Rode my bike or walked there almost everyday in the summer. The DQ closed for winter in our small town.

croneandbearit said...

Summers as a child were rough - I went to a camp and they had a drought - no water in the pool and we had to make all these macrame lanyards - it was 2 weeks of sheer hell. Learned to pick corn and snap beans at my great aunt's house - she was a big (and I mean big) southern lady - Dad & the stepmonster would leave me there for a few weeks and I'd come home with the fear of Jesus in me and understanding which side of the War Between the States we were on! But the corn, grits, and beans were good - tomatoes, too! Also spent many days just riding my bike around the local lake and wandering through the forest - those innocent times are long gone!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Smiles-Care to share that rhubarb slush recipe with vodka?

Linda-I hate to sleep in socks too but I'm gonna do it because my feet are BAD.

Dar-Sorry but I "borrowed" this picture. I can't seem to grow them here. :-( Mostly I just do without until I can get a good garden tomato.
I love how our similarities and our differences bring us all together here in this wacky interwebby world.

Maureen-I think this is a first for you? Glad to make your acquaintance. I hope you'll come back to visit again. And you're right, I use that same tactic with my kids too. :-)

OG-I've never played kick the can but other than that, our childhoods are very similar. Small town life. Love it!

Jan-A good tomato makes all the difference in the world. I understand why many say they don't like them. I don't like the ones in the grocery either. Yuck!

BethN-Your expeditions sound much more exciting that mine as a kid. Indiana is pretty flat but we managed to go on "big explores" too. LOL
I am in sandals (or barefoot) year round so it's hard to keep the feet in shape.

Jane-TOPLESS! Oh yeah, you really have led the exciting life. :-)

Michel-I don't like the bugs either. For whatever reason (maybe spray) I don't remember having that problem with our garden. Berries..........YUM!

C&B-Oh dear. We didn't have a pool at our camp, it was a lake and we had to swim across it. It was a big lake. I loved the challenge. Those were the days. I loved it so much I went twice one summer. LOL at picking side in the War between the States.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Can you pick out all of my tomatoes?

I love your summer memories. My grandma snapped beans.

And I wanted to plant a veggie garden this summer, but so far - nothin'

Funny Girl said...

I spent many summers camping, fishing, and water-sking at Lake Mead..And Sunday night fish-frys, poarch sittin and eating cantelope for with sweet tea. All of this means summer to me.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Oh My God, you and me both about the tomatoes. I have blogged about it several times. And it got me some homemade tomatoes and a new blogger IRL friend and a writing buddy, all in one day!

JOE TODD said...

My wife Linda is from Indiana. I think there must be something special in the water there. Rhubarb in stores is kina funny

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Pseudo-I can't do a garden here. It's too hot, the son is too harsh and I'm too lazy. *sigh*

FG-Porch sittin'! Man, there's nothing better.

NGIP-You got tomatoes! Where're my tomatoes!

Joe-We Hoosier gals are very special, ya know. *wink*

Joanna Jenkins said...

Summer suppers were my favorite-- All fresh vegetables out of the garden, sitting barefoot on the backyard picnic table. We could have been neighbors!
Thanks for the happy memories.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"Rhubarb was a staple in my summer diet."

It did grow like a weed, and doesn't grow in the south. My husband's favorite pie and I make it every June 25th. Only now, I have to buy it and it is usually limp as hell. I suppose frozen, but that is even more foreign to a Midwest girl.

I've missed so many of your posts. Not sure why. I just picked my first crop of green beans from my garden. Sat on the porch to snap off the ends. Always feel so, domestic? perhaps? You are right. Food conjures up such great memories.