The sweet, sweet days of summer

Published 7:02 pm Friday, April 12, 2024

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Growing up in the Deep South was a wonderful experience. But times have changed,

The words “thank you” and “please” and “yes, mam” and “no sir” are considered archaic.

Kids don’t go barefooted in the summer and dig for fishing worms and chew billy-goat grass and sip the nectar from the honeysuckle.

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Back then, we drank milk fresh from the cow and, every now and then, we would mix in some Hershey’s chocolate power and a spoonful of sugar for sweet, dark cow’s milk

We ate fruit from the plum trees and blackberry bushes along the fence row and made dried cow patties into Frisbees.

We made popsicles from packages of Kool-Ade added sugar. We poured the Kool-Ade into metal ice trays and covered the trays with tinfoil and stuck a toothpick into each cubicle and waited for it to freeze into a popsicle.

Maybe I was thinking back to the good ol’ days as I waited for my son to go into the 7-11 to get drinks and treats for his son who was already at the baseball field and hungry and thirsty.

I read all the luring signs in the 7-11’s picture window .

“Sweet Water!” and huge picture to go with the bottled summer treat.

My son came back and wasted no time getting us back on the road. 

“If I had known they had Sweet Water, I would have asked you to get me a bottle!

Now, he didn’t exactly stand the car on its nose but he did slam on brakes.

“What, Mama?!!!”

“A bottle of Sweetwater. It sure would have cooled me off.”

My son didn’t turn the car back. He just sat there looking at me as if I had turned into a frog.

“Mama! Sweetwater is a hard seltzer.”

Why, I didn’t know that.

When I was a little girl, Dora who lived down the pig trail from me, would save her sugar cane syrup bottles from the winter. Then, in the summertime, when the bottles were empty, she would fill them  with water, stick her thumb in the neck of the bottle and shake it hard to mix the syrup with the Sugarwater.

“If I had time, I would go back and get you a Sweetwater!” my son said

I didn’t say anything. I’d just make me a sweetwater when my syrup bottle was empty.