Monday, May 24, 2010

“MISTY WATER-COLORED MEMORIES”

Sweet Corn

We had corn on the cob for supper on Saturday night.  Newsworthy?  I guess not but it was the preparation of the sweet corn that brought me back to the keyboard. 

I was born and raised in Indiana.  And while the theme song for Indiana’s Department of Tourism is “There’s more than corn in Indiana”, I still can’t see an ear of corn and not think of home. 

Sitting in a lawn chair with a grocery bag at my feet, I began to shuck the husks from the corn and place them in the bag.  Birds were singing their early-evening song and the neighbor’s dog was barking.  I pulled the silk away from the rows of kernels and tried to shake them off as they clung desperately to my fingers.  Doing this simple task that I’ve done again and again since I was about six or seven, evoked memories of a simpler time. 

We had a huge garden behind our house when I was a girl.  While it sat on our property, the garden was shared by my aunts, uncles and grandparents.  I spent many of my childhood summer days sitting in the yard with my mom, aunts and cousins while we shucked corn, snapped beans or shelled peas. 

I was always a chatterbox but I learned early on that if I was very quiet, my mom and aunts would forget that I was there and the discussion would change from the weather and social functions to “the good stuff.” 

So once again, I sat quietly shucking the corn we were to have for supper and the memories flooded back to keep me company and make me smile.

What takes you back? 

28 comments:

Brian Miller said...

smiles. we sat on the front stoop to shuck our corn...and that brings back some great memories...the smell of ivory soap does it to me too...

Arkansas Patti said...

Watermelon makes me a child again, fresh from a swim in the lake or a ball game and spitting seeds as far as we could.

Snappy Di said...

We didn't have corn in our garden. My dad's customers were farmers who always had large gardens and sent him home with armsful of the wonderful, sweet delicious stuff.. YUMMERS!


Di

Deb said...

Hi SMB! Nice to read ya. Thanks for taking me back. We had a garden when I was a child too. I remember having to shell a bowl of peas before I could go outside to play. It seemed as if it took an eternity to get my bowl filled up. I still don't shell peas to this day because of it. Digging the potatoes up was the greatest fun and all the watermelon you could eat. Oh, to be a kid again.

Misty Dawn said...

Yummmmmm Corn on the cob is my FAVE!!! Pass the butter, please... LOTS of it.

Cookouts take me back. My grandparents raised me, and we'd have many cookouts during the summer with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Those were great times.

Jules said...

Corn is definitely a memory we share in common. Mom, had a special, very, very large pot for our corn. Thanks for the memory.

Was wondering if I might be worthy of being included in your "Cool Kids" list yet?

Kathy said...

Palmolive green. Whatever it was that I said - it was forever stricken from my memory banks. Having your nose held and that poured into your mouth will do that. I can't smell it without remembering that taste. I like corn much better :) lol

JeanMac said...

Thanks for the reminder of corn - I had corn last night, too. Loved your line about the aunts and "the good stuff" - I used to eavesdrop when my parents had company - didn't understand all the laughs but knew it was "juicy". Love J

only a movie said...

Crickets and cicadas and all the summer sounds... :-)

Love this post, SMB.

Miss you tons!!
E

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

We never grew corn but it was always a big deal when we could get corn on the cob fresh. I have some in the fridge right now! We used to have contests with the cousins to see how many ears we could eat. Now I can only manage one but I think I used to eat 3!

Tony Letts said...

I feel sad that I mostly eat tinned corn. Music usually takes me back :)

Michaela said...

Awwww. That's a beautiful memory and very evocative...Thank you for making me smile today :) One of the first crops I was allowed to grow in our garden was corn. I was 7. I was amazed as it grew up and up, taller than me! I still love to buy our corn in its husks and shuck it myself. I taught the kids how to do it, too. Have a great day, SMB! xxoo

rxBambi said...

we had corn on the cob this weekend too. I have very few memories of shucking corn, some, but not many.

My question tho is this:
whats your fave way to prepare it?

usually hubby just ends up boiling it, but that's boring. We grilled it this past weekend which I like, but I bet there are other good ways that a good indiana girl would know :)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

The scent of Coppertone. I remember my mom applying it at the lake.

I find it interesting how you were quiet to hear the talk of the elders. As a mom, I remained quiet to hear the talk of my kids and their friends as they would forget I was there.

Corn from the Midwest - nothing better.

Heather said...

It's soo great to have something so simple, bring back such great memories.

Mine would be corn on the cob too. Soo many memories of my grandparents tied up in corn.

Stepping said...

We took a couple of our grands fishing Sunday evening and the sights, sounds and smells reminded me of going fishing with my grandparents. Such sweet memories of some precious people.

Debbie said...

That is happening to me a lot lately. For me, it is the "smells" of the season's change....the other day I had a long ride home and it was a hot day. In those few miles I drove, with my window down, in came the smell of freshly cut hay, lilacs, lighter fluid, cow and horse manure and more. I was amazed at the flood of memories I felt, with each scent. It was wonderful. Thanks for sharing yours...

Life in the mom lane said...

This may sound strange, but the damp smell some old stone basements have- this takes me back to being a kid and visiting my grandparents... they had an old stone farm house and the basement always stayed really cool and sometimes kind of clammy... it was deliciously creepy... but when I do smell this distinctive smell it takes me back to visits with my grandparents and I can envision myself in my Nan Nan's kitchen. :) I think smells more than anything else for some reason can evoke memories ...

Midlife Mama said...

Awww the smell of honeysuckle does it for me. When I was growing up, our house was on a corner lot, and on the rounded corner my dad planted a whole bunch of honeysuckle bushes. Those bushes were so fragrant in the spring and summer. It reminds me of being a kid in summer, when every evening after supper the kids of the neighborhood would gather together and ride our bikes, or skate, or play kick the can or crack the whip, until our moms called us in at dark. Good times. :)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

:) I used to do the same thing..sit very quietly in some corner with a coloring book and listen... I learned a lot that way and some things I wish I had not heard. Like the time my Mom told her and some friends sneaking up and watching the digging up of a coffin...for some legal reason..and what she saw when they opened the coffin...yep...I stopped listening after that one! :)
I still think about that! lol


What takes me back?...Oh SMB, I think almost everything any more. I think they call it "total recall" for us oldstirs! :)
I seem to cry more easily lately too...wonder what that is all about.
It sounds like you had a childhood much like my own. We were lucky..very lucky!
Hugs,
Mona

injaynesworld said...

The photo of the corn reminded me that it's almost that time of year again where that sweet corn is ready to be harvested in my neck of the words. I never had a garden as a child and only discovered the joys of homegrown veggies late into my adult years.

tulpen said...

I don't actually enjoy eating corn on the cob. But I thoroughly enjoy shucking it (also enjoy the word shucking) and love how it smells.

Joanna Jenkins said...

My mouth is watering!

I'm from Ohip and we say "shucking" instead of "husking" too :-)

Happy weekend,
jj

Nishant said...

It's soo great to have something so simple, bring back such great memories.

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Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Corn always has those same 'take me back' moments, too - my parents put a garden in our backyard and assigned each of us kids specific rows of the garden as our responsibility to weed - mine always seemed to be the corn and the beans! And whenever I drive past a big cornfield I'm whisked back to the drive back to school in the fall, since we always drove past big cornfields on the way. :)

Lori said...

Oh yes I have many memories of "husking" or "shucking" corn and reading this does bring back memories of working along side my family in our huge gardens. My favorite way to prepare corn is on the grill while it is still in the husk. Yummy!

It has been way too long since I was here to visit. I've always enjoyed your writings and have missed them. God willing I will be back soon to visit. XX Lori

GiGi said...

LMB you are one funny gal! Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom, stories and just plain silliness with us out here in blogville! You brightened up my very boring Friday after noon at a dull desk job in NYC! I plan to visit again often. Keep writing!

gigi said...

Damn! I need another cup of coffee...sorry about that typo...SMB :-)