Posts Tagged ‘summer’

The grandkids love popsicles and ice cream sandwiches. They eat several each day and right now, during this heat wave, even more. Maya keeps bringing those orange ones with the vanilla inside for me to open up. Her mom says yes, so I open them. Spencer’s favorite is ice cream sandwich. But he can open his own so I don’t have to be an accomplice.

This reminded me of when my kids were growing up. My mom and my sisters lived about 45 minutes away and in the summer we went there often. The kids and I would drive over early, spend the day, then drive back home, often not until bed time.

On the way to my mom’s house, less than 5 minutes away, there was a drive-thru dairy where we would stop to buy boxes of popsicles. It was my 3 kids and my sister’s 5. We always bought at least 2 boxes, 2 different kinds. But on really hot days, and where she lived (Pomona, CA) almost the entire summer was way hot, we’d get 3 boxes. These were not the grocery store size. Each box had at least 18 and some had 20 or more, depending on which kind it helps inside. Lots of popsicles!

The kids would play and play with their cousins. Sometimes I’d leave the kids there while I went to do our shopping. I would also take my mom to run errands and we just had a great time visiting.

We always waited for traffic to subside before heading home. If there were popsicles left at the end of the day, the cousins kept them and when we went back a few days later, we stopped for more popsicle boxes and we would do it all over again. At the end of the day, their dad would ask if the kids had a good time at their nana’s house. I would answer that they did and tell him it was a two popsicle box day or a three popsicle box day. The more boxes they went through, the more fun they had had.

I suppose Maya and Spencer come by their popsicle love honestly. Their momma loved those orange ones and the push up pops the most.

Once in a while I get a bite of a popsicle. My favorite? I think it would be a fudgsicle. I rarely have them but my true favorites are the Mexican paletas made with milk and fruit. Yum.

Photo by Popsicle Vectors by Vecteezy

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I’ve written about parts of this previously. Yesterday, I was asked to think of the most magical, romantic summer and this is what popped into my mind. So, with a failing memory, this is how I remember that magical summer.


High school. Sophomore year. That was the best year I remember.  It was mostly because of Him. He was a year older but we shared a couple of classes and because all the teachers seated us in alphabetical order, I was always right behind him. He was cute. He had that boyish look and his sense of humor oozed. His smile was sweet, innocent, yet mischievous, and I loved it. We didn’t see each other outside of classes but there was an attraction; a chemistry that couldn’t be denied. He always joked with me or paid me compliments as we got to our seats. Mine was the last seat in the first row in Geometry. One day, as we were passing our homework forward, he grabbed my hand instead of my paper and he didn’t let go right away. He just hung on. The person in front of him had to turn around and grab our work from him. That broke the hold but then every chance he got, he would grab my hand and not let go. It was silly and it was kind of nice to have the attention. Well, it was more than kind of nice. Then one day, while the teacher was at the front of the class and students were being called on to demonstrate different geometry solutions, he put his hand back, reaching for my hand but he ended up grabbing my pencil. It was the only pencil I had and I really wanted to follow along with the demonstration at the front of the class. Besides, I wasn’t super good in geometry so I needed to pay attention and I really didn’t like getting into trouble and I was afraid I would. I quietly asked him to give me my pencil and he handed it back over his shoulder. I reached for it but he wouldn’t let it go. He just held on to it. Then as I nudged it away from him, he grabbed a hold of it again and the pencil broke in half.

By then, the teacher was aware of some kind of disturbance in the field but he was a really cool teacher so he just sort of looked back and went on. Then there was an effort to get me another pencil as He asked the other students around us if they had an extra pencil. No one did. So he said he’d have to fix it. How do you fix a broken pencil? Well, you ask everyone around you for tape and you try to tape it back together and while you’re doing that, you’re going on and on, just above a whisper, describing what you are doing to fix the pencil, srep by step. It took several attempts at cutting the right size piece of tape and getting the two pieces into just the right position to wrap the tape around them. By then, the teacher had stopped talking and was looking back waiting for him to stop talking. The whole class was looking at us and I was turning a deep shade of red and trying not to laugh at the narrative which was really very funny. Finally, the teacher asked him if he would turn around and pay attention and he had the nerve to say, “Just a couple more minutes. I’m performing surgery on this pencil.”  The whole class cracked up, as did the teacher who just said, “Alright then hurry it up so you can follow along.”

That did it. After that we were just about inseparable, spending our Nutrition Break and our Lunch Break together every day, sitting on the Library ledge, talking, laughing, and then walking to classes together. There were after school functions but we didn’t go together because my parents were very strict. We had to meet at the gym and part ways at the gym after the games so my parents wouldn’t see us walking together when they dropped off and picked up.

Then came summer. That was really difficult because neither of us drove yet (he would get his license later that summer and I was still a year away from getting mine) and we lived pretty far from each other. Neither of us had a bike either. So the end of school meant we would, most likely, not see each other until September. When he signed my yearbook, he ended his page long dedication by quoting the lyrics to that old song, See You In September. It didn’t end there. That summer, my aunt and uncle came to visit us in northern California and they talked my parents into letting me go home with them. They lived in southern California, near Huntington Beach. The plan was for me to go home with them and then drive to Mexico with them for their annual summer trip to visit my aunt’s family. I would be gone for over a month. I wrote a letter to my sweet young man and he wrote back, asking me to send him some sand. Well, I did. One afternoon, as my cousin Rosie and I lay on the sand at Huntington Beach, I wrote him a letter. My cousin had heard all about him during our late night confessions as we spent hours talking when we were supposed to be sleeping. Rosie dared me to send him some sand like he had asked me to. So I wrote the letter and finished it off with the lyrics to Sealed With A Kiss and just before sealing the envelope, I put in some sand, sealed it, and kissed the back flap.

When I got back home, he called and asked if I could go to play miniature golf with him. He had gotten his license! Well, my parents said yes but only if my little sister could go with us. So, embarrassing as it was, I called him back and told him of my parents conditions and he accepted. So off we went to play mini golf but only after my dad invited him in to see his gun collection. I found it not so funny that every time a boy came anywhere near the house my dad took out his guns to clean them and the boys always were invited to see the collection. So after the not so subtle gun display, we went off to mini golf where he managed to steal a few kisses while my sister wasn’t looking. Our magical mini golf night ended with a trip to Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour where we shared a huge banana split before he drove us home. When he walked me to the door and we said goodnight, he dared to kiss me again and I was in heaven. 

A couple of days later, while we talked on the phone, he informed me that his mom had not been happy about having sand spill all over the floor and he had to spend hours cleaning up every grain of sand to his mom’s satisfaction. That ended up not being so great because his mom soon put a stop to our budding romance by telling him that he was getting too serious about me and forbidding him from seeing me anymore. So, while summer held out promise, fun, song lyrics, mini golf, stolen kisses and sand, in hindsight that sand and the lipstick kiss on the back of the envelope might not have been a good idea because it garnered the attention of his mom.

Oh well! It was fun and it was probably the best summer I had for many decades. So, to the Pencil Surgeon who might be reading this, thank you for the best summer of my youth!

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Silent Sunday


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To join in the fun of these informal blog chats, write your post then visit Part Time Monster to enter the URL in the linky at the bottom of today’s post.

If we were having coffee, I would be having my second cup. I had a first cup then a fruit smoothie and now I’m ready for a second cup of coffee. I’ve got plenty of fruit if you’d like a smoothie. Today’s had mango, dragon fruit, strawberries, and orange juice and was so good I am fighting the urge to have a second one.

If we were having coffee, you would find me yawning and looking very sleepy. I had Anderson spend the night here last night. After he went to bed, I stayed up reading until my eyes would not stay open anymore (around 4 am). Then, in the next instant I was wakened by someone touching my arm. I jumped up, gasping, sure that someone was in the house. Well, of course, it was Anderson. He woke up super early (was up before 7 when he normally doesn’t get up until 10). So with less than 3 hours of sleep, I made sure he was entertained until shortly before 11 when I figured his mom and dad would be up. He got dressed and we walked to his house, stopping at a few yard sales (this weekend is the annual community yard sale for our mobile home park). Then I walked back home. It’s pretty hot out there. We are supposed to have our highest temperatures of the year to date this week. It’s ice cream weather so I might have to venture out and get myself a soft serve cone at McDonald’s…just $1 so maybe!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the doctor has given me a “no restrictions” release! I do have to go back at the end of August for another exam then again in November and every 3 months after that. As for that “spot” on my liver that the tech reading the CT scan mentioned, my doctor says it isn’t anything to worry about. He thinks it is because I didn’t have a full prep and proper contrast for the imaging. He says he took tissue samples of all the surrounding organs and everything was fine with the exception of the one ovary on which the cyst was growing. He will repeat the CT scan again in 6 months anyway, as it is standard for this kind of surgery.

My dad’s memorial service has been scheduled. I will be going out of town the week after next. I am both anxious and reluctant for the trip and service, if that makes sense.

The trip I am looking forward to will be at the end of July. Anderson and I are driving from Portland to California. We’ll be stopping in the SF bay area to see my daughter and to attend a multi-class high school reunion barbecue then we’ll go on to see my mom in way far southern California for a few days before returning to Portland. We made that trip when he was 3 and he was a perfect traveler. I’m hoping for the same perfection this time.

This past week I babysat the boys 2 days and they went to the babysitter 1 day. When I dropped them off at the babysitter yesterday, neither of them wanted to stay. They both wanted to come back with me. And here I was worried that they would not want to stay with me after having so much fun with the babysitter! We had fun, too. I took them for a drive one day and the next day we went to the park for a picnic and to play at the playground. That was a treat for them because we really have not had playground weather until this week! And I took them for ice cream twice this week!

That’s about all here. I’m thinking I may go to a movie later so I can get out of the heat as I have no air conditioning here and it will be very hot. I also want to finish the book I am reading. It’s called Blue Hotel. I’m slowly getting caught up with my reading challenge after the long break from reading.

Your turn! What is summer like where you live? Does the end of the academic school year effect you in any way? Are you reading anything you’d recommend? Will you be traveling this summer? And movies…have you seen any at the theater recently? If you’re like me, you don’t go to the theater often. I haven’t been to the theater for anything but kids’ movies in about 4 or more years!

I hope you enjoyed our little chat as much as I did. May you have a wonderful coming week! See you next time! And now I think I will go get myself some ice cream or maybe a milkshake! That’s one good thing about the summer…ice cream weather!

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I like posting “throw back Thursday” pictures on Facebook and I’ve posted a couple here but I get tired of posting pictures of myself and I don’t like to post pictures with other people in them unless I have their permission so when I saw Trent post a throw back Thursday memory on his blog today, I decided I could do that, too!

As most of my regular readers know, I’m originally from California but have been living in Oregon since 2008. Today, in Portland, it is one of those days we’ve been waiting to have for a long time…our summer-like weather. The sky is a beautiful blue with a few wispy clouds and the temperature is 80 degrees. Not horribly hot like it can get but a very nice change from the 50 degree weather we’ve been having!

To me, nothing says summer better than music by the Beach Boys! I love their music. I taught it to my kids and I also taught it to my inner city students the year I taught fifth grade! Now that was a scene but I’ll save that for another day. Today, I will tell you about the first time I saw the Beach Boys in concert. It was on May 24, 1975 in Oakland, California at the Oakland Coliseum for A Day On the Green (a series of all day concerts organized and promoted by Bill Graham in the 1970s).

I had looked forward to the concert for weeks. There was a group of us from the dorm going but too many for the two cars in the group so I was riding the Greyhound with three friends (Laura, Jose, and Ramiro). The night before the concert, there was an impromptu dorm party and, while I enjoyed the party, I did enjoy it a little too much via drinking a lot of booze. I was a freshman that year and at 19 years of age, I had not ever had alcohol other than a sip from my dad’s beer or wine, so during the late part of freshman year, I was drinking too much (not often but still too much). The next day, I was so hungover that I didn’t even hear the alarm. One of my friends got the RA to open my room door and she got me out of bed and got me dressed, including some very hard to keep my feet in “flip flops”. My friends knew that there was no way I would want to miss the concert which was being headlined by Chicago, the Beach Boys, and Riders of the Purple Sage, with a lot of other local groups performing as well. So off we went for our LONG walk to the bus depot which was about a mile northeast of the campus, not too far but we were starting from our dorm which was in the far southwest part of the campus so we had to walk about four miles, maybe more. Well, they walked, I sort of dragged along as they pulled me along. The bus ride from Palo Alto to San Francisco was about an hour then we had to walk to the local city bus stop to take a bus across the Bay Bridge to the Oakland Coliseum for the concert. We finally made it and found our friends in the block of tickets we had purchased. The warm up bands were great but my head was pounding. Someone bought me a beer, saying it would settle my stomach and make me feel better. So by the time Chicago came on, I really was feeling much better, but I had a horrible headache. I enjoyed Chicago and then a couple of small bands then the Beach Boys came on to a wild reaction of standing, clapping, singing, and dancing California fans! Including me, headache and all.

By the time the Beach Boys had played, I was exhausted and still had that horrible headache. One of the car drivers was leaving early and asked if I wanted to go back with her because she had an extra seat. I agreed, having seen the two bands I most wanted to see, and off we went back to Palo Alto, to the dorms, to the dining hall, and to my bed for sleep.

That was the first of about ten times I was lucky enough to see the Beach Boys perform in concert. I’ve only ever seen them in California so I wonder what song they open with in other places because in California they always open with California Girls. (I hope that link works…my plugin for sound is not working on my laptop so I can’t check.)

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A couple of weeks ago, on a particularly warm day (for Portland, OR) I finally took out a popsicle from my freezer and gave it to my grandson.  I had been waiting for months to be able to introduce him to popsicles.  On this particular day, we were going outside to sit on the patio and then to ride his Little Tikes Pick Up Truck that he got for Christmas but doesn’t get to use much in the Oregon rain.  I figured we would take the popsicle outside and he could be as messy as he wanted to be.

He had no idea what it was.  He just knew it was supposed to be something good because his Nana was giving it to him and I had a big smile on my face.  We took it outside and I unwrapped the blue popsicle and handed it to him.  He took it and said “welcome” (until this week, he said welcome instead of thank you) and then he just looked at it and held it by the stick.  I told him it was yummy and he should put it in his mouth, warning him that it was cold.  It’s a good thing he trusts me or it may have melted before he tried it.  He hesitantly put it to his mouth and licked.  He smiled and said “cold”.   But it didn’t take him two seconds after that to stick it in his mouth and keep it there. 

He really enjoyed that popsicle as he sat in his truck.  He smiled and kept saying “yum yum” as he licked away.  And he was smart enough to hold it away from himself when it began to melt rapidly.  A few days later he had a second one, this time a red one.  He enjoyed that one and even shared it with his mommy.

The popsicle experiment went well.  Hopefully our weather will hold up and he’ll get to have the rest of the popsicles from the freezer soon, at least before our winter begins here, which won’t be long from now.

I love introducing him to new things that he’ll like! 

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Remember Leave It To Beaver? Remember Eddie Haskell, Wally’s friend? You know, the one that was ready to stab you in the back while kissing up to you? Remember how the look on his face would change whenever a grownup came within hearing shot? Remember him saying something like, “Hello Mrs. Cleaver. You look very lovely today, Mrs. Cleaver.” Then he’d turn around and his regular face would return. Remember? Remember?

Well, I had all but forgotten until I moved here. It was August. Because of the heat, I pretty much stayed indoors most of the day and ran out to do my errands in the early evening. On my way down the street, I would run into a group of teenagers playing basketball in the middle of the street. I would slow way down to give them a chance to get out of the way. They would all scoot off, giving me dirty looks for interrupting my game. All except “Eddie Haskell” who would look right into my car window with that big sugary smile and then he’d wave hi to me. The moment I went by, I could see his look change in my rear view mirror. That’s when Leave It To Beaver came back to me, especially Eddie Haskell. I even told my daughter about it. At first, she didn’t believe me. She thought I was exaggerating but then one day she was in the car with me when it happened and she cracked up saying I was right. It was definitely an Eddie Haskell look!

Now that summer is over and they’re not out there playing every night, I kind of miss Eddie Haskell. Once in a while, I’ll see him on my way down the street and I’ll get that Eddie look from him. Every time. It cracks me up.

I can hardly wait til they start playing basketball out in the street again!

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