Thursday, July 10, 2008

Simple Pleasure Memories

I can almost taste it now, some forty years later. Ice cubes sprinkled with salt was a favorite treat when visiting my grandparents in West Texas. Ah, that was the life. Lying out on an old quilt in the cool of the evening and eating ice sprinkled with salt. The salt helped the ice melt so you could crunch the ice without breaking a tooth! And the taste was unique. Maybe it was the well water or maybe a combination of salt and the well water. It was tangy, almost metallic in flavor.

After a long hard day playing like the butane tank was a horse or making mud pies there was the quilt on the grass and a cool evening breeze to look forward to. No air conditioning, of course. So sitting outside on the porch or in the yard to catch a breeze was almost a necessity. And there were usually friends or family visiting, too.

Since it was a farm community, there were usually black eyed peas or beans from a neighbor’s field that my mother would have to snap for a meal the next day. I loved eating raw black eyed peas and beans. My mother would say, “I’m not going to have enough to cook,” or “You’re going to make yourself sick if you don’t quit eatin’ ‘em raw!” I guess she stopped me just in the nick of time because I don’t ever remember getting sick from eating too many raw peas!

One of my granddad’s favorite things to say was, “If you don’t behave I’m going to give you fifty cents and send you to town!” And then he’s just laugh. Sometimes we would get to walk down to the store and get some kind of treat. A coke or candy bar or ice cream.

Sometimes I feel sorry for kids today. They don’t have those “simple pleasure memories”. But my kids have special memories of going to their grandparents’ houses when they were little. At Granny’s it was a special cup they drank out of or the old cookie jar that was never empty. And at Grandmother’s there were books and cinnamon toast made from homemade bread.

So I suppose I’d have to admit there are simple pleasures for every generation. They’re just different. Maybe I’ll go eat some ice sprinkled with salt…or maybe I’ll just keep my “simple pleasure memories”.