This time of year always makes me sentimental. For family and old, familiar surroundings. There's always a strong need to return to my roots, to family. To drive through old neighborhoods, to visit my grandparents old farm house. To remember good times. Here's some of my good memories:
My dad's homemade sauerkraut. I'd love to eat it while it was still crunchy and salty, right out of the crock.
My mom's piano playing. My mom never took a piano lesson in her life but could play any song from ear. She would jazz up a song so it became a boogie woogie. I loved listening to her play and always wished I could follow in her footsteps. Sadly, I do not have that same talent.
Family time. I've written before that I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. It was. But before the drinking started in the early afternoon, we would have somewhat of a normal life. My mom never worked and my dad was a furniture salesman. We didn't have a lot of money, yet we had everything we needed. We'd go camping and fishing. We'd go to creeks and catch crawfish that my mom would cook up. Oh, so good. We had a cabin at the beach and wouldn't miss a good tide to go clamming or pry mussels off the rocks. Not only would we be up to our knees in muck, trying to dig that elusive clam, but would have to carry these heavy clam buckets back up the mountain to our cabin, and then help clean them. Would kids do that today?
Smells of Christmas morning: sausage patties and eggs fried in the sausage grease. This was in the good ol days, before everything was bad for you!
My first pair of fluffy pink slippers. My first bike. And my first Barbie (of which I still have).
Going berry picking with my grandma. They had an old station wagon and at lunch time, she would lay the tailgate open and make us chip beef sandwiches. Then we would return to a full afternoon of berry picking. I wish I could recall what type of berries they were; I want to say blackcaps.... In my younger days I would go strawberry picking. My mom would wake me up at 4:00 a.m., I'd walk the half mile to the bus stop (in the dark), catch a bus to the strawberry field an hour away, pick all day, leave tired and sore.... all for $3.25! That was the most I ever made in a day of berry picking, but back then, it was a lot of money.
It's memories like these that make me smile. Tis the Season for good memories!