Thursday, June 15, 2006

Good Feelings

Down Memory Lane

Feelings. No, not emotional feelings like angry or sad. I ‘m talking about those warm fuzzy feelings when something unexpected triggers a pleasant memory from childhood.

There is a line or two in Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Secret Life of Bees” when the heroine walks through dew dampened grass, then past a crepe myrtle tree. She has to brush away the fallen crepe myrtle flowers sticking to her feet before entering the house. The scene stuck with me and I thought, who has grown up in the South and not walked barefoot through crepe myrtle blossoms?

Then I began to think of other things that were parts of our childhood. For my Southern friends – did you ever pull honey suckle blooms and taste the nectar or pop a just-plucked wild blackberry in your mouth while trying to avoid the thorny bush entangled around your sandal-clad feet?

What about sticking your face in a pile of sun-dried linens to enjoy the clean out-door smell? No matter how they try, detergent manufacturers can never replicate that fragrance. Did you ever catch lightening bugs in a mayonnaise jar or have your mom tell you to wash off the “toe jam” before going to bed?

During childhood, a summer day outside seldom ended without the tell-tale rings of sweat-enhanced dirt around our necks or anything from twigs to Bazooka bubble gum stuck in our hair. A really good day ended with at least one of us sporting a new bruise or cut from having left part of an elbow on the street from roller skating or being the target of a green pinecone.

We cooled off with ice-cold Cokes from greenish glass bottles, then carefully placed the empties back in the wooden crates so they could be returned for the deposit or replaced with full bottles. As teens, we baked and ate brownies (ahh, that fresh-from-the-oven smell!) by the thousands and never gained a pound.

The weekly meeting of every kid under the age of 13 took place on Saturday mornings at the local movie house to watch Roy Rogers or Hopalong Cassidy triumph over the bad guys (they wore the black hats), then catch up on the latest serial of Buck Rogers.

Ah, memories. Too bad the kids of today have to miss out on the fun we had. But, who knows, perhaps in sixty years one of them will be transmitting their memories in holographic images.

Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords


  1. Oh My Yes. All those memories I share with you and many more. We had an ice box, not a refrigerator, and one of the highlights of the week was when "the IceMan Cometh" in his big truck filled with huge blocks of ice which he lifted out with sturdy tongs and carried into our kitchen.Many times he would treat the neighborhood children with a fine sliver of ice; a real treat on a sizzling Georgia summer day.

  2. p. mona8:02 AM

    I remember the front porches where the adults would sit in the metal glider or metal rocking chairs and visit in the cool of the evening. We kids would frantically play in the twilight,hurrying before we were called in for the night. We played "May I", "Slinging statures", or "Snake in the gutter." I remember feeling the cool, moist grass on my body as I hide from "Last tag," and I never itched until it was time to go inside. How fortunate we were to have expierenced such a happy youth.

  3. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Yes, the days were great but the evenings were often just as good. Besides catching lightnin' bugs, we would spread an old army blanket on the ground and lay there talking and looking at stars. What a life.


  4. bilikan2:47 PM

    Your words conjured up so many happy summer memories; many of the same memories you experienced in your youth. Thank you for reminding me of those wonderful times. Must dash! I believe I hear the distant bell of a Good Humor truck! "Up, up and awaaaaaaaaaay!"

  5. Clicked on your name over at Chancy's place and thought I would drop by. As I glanced thru your blog entries the "southern friends" and "honeysuckle blooms" immediately caught my attention. I guess that is what is really wonderful about these blogs - and that is running into folks who experienced the same memories that mean so much to one's life.

    For me, my favorite treat was Lik-M-Aid and to this day I still enjoy similar treats. Usually in the form of Pixie Sticks. If I recall, they were a penny a packet.

    Our neighborhood Saturday movie event was at the Nabor Theatre at 12:45pm at a cost of 10 cents. And Hopalong was one of my favorites along with Roy and let's not forget the Cisco Kid. Oh Pancho!.....Ooooh Cisco!

    And 'Happy Trails' back at you!