Yesterday I met up with a friend who owns some beautiful horses. We went to meet them. These horses get to roam around and munch on fresh grass and hay and run. They have a great shelter and barn when the weather gets rough. They are very happy horses. The stallion was so calm and sweet. He amazed me.
I am sorry for the photo quality – camera batteries died so iPhone was it.
This little guy was my buddy. The bucket kept moving while he ate. So…..
…..he put his leg up to hold it still. He was the only one who figured that out.
We had moved to The Jersey Shore in the mid-1950’s. Our neighborhood was simple ranch houses and barely any trees. The land use to be an apple orchard – from what I remember. We had two tiny crab apple trees in the backyard- maybe they were leftovers??
The neighbor across the street and about 3 houses down had a very large apple tree in their front yard. They would hand out baskets of apples each year to the neighbors. They were the kindest people. In the winter the father would attach the snow plow to his truck and do our driveway.
I remember my older brother laying in the living room window with a flashlight and sending morse code to their son. It just excited me to no end.
One of the fun things that would happen on our street in the summer were the vendors. We had the year round milk man and the bread man deliveries. I remember my mom staying up to watch Johnny Carson and grabbing the milk at about one in the morning from the milk box at the back door to prevent it from freezing.
I have early memories of two unique vending trucks. One was a produce man who drove around the neighborhood with awnings on the back of his truck and a variety of fruit and vegetables to choose from. This image isn’t the exact truck – but you get the idea. I think this one is older.
The next guy was quite unique. We would hear a loud bell ringing and run and tell mom that the knife sharpener was coming! That was a fascination to me. I could use one of them now.
The best and the one that lasted the longest was the Ice Cream Man. We had two brands that came around. Carnival and Good Humor. We loved the Good Humor truck the best and was disappointed when only the Carnival truck was seen that day.
I loved the gentle sound of the bells ringing (not like todays annoying “songs” playing over and over). I loved the change thingy on his belt. And I loved the sky blue popsicles and the lime ones!
Seems we never had to go anywhere to get treats. Right to your door.
There were two things we did not like coming to our door or down our street. One was the local farmer’s bull that seemed to get out now and then and pick our street to take a stroll. I remember – not sure it really happened this way – but in my active mind I remember standing at the screen door with my brother and watching the bull coming down the street. My brother was holding a box of Sugar Pops Cereal and began to shake it. The bull turned and started to come toward our door only to be thwarted by our mom who promptly slammed the door shut. Shortly after that the farmer was seen escorting his bull back up the street and home to greener pastures.
The second and most dreaded truck to be heard coming was the Mosquito Killing Truck! No warning. Just a sound of a motor and our mom yelling, “SHUT THE WINDOWS! SHUT THE WINDOWS AND GET IN THE HOUSE!”
I can remember a cousin of mine – when we visited his family’s summer home – riding his bike behind the truck and getting covered with that stuff. He is still alive today, thank goodness. They no long do this type of spraying, I believe. Where we last lived at the shore they would spray the storm drains and that did the trick.
Memories of simpler times and neighbors coming out their houses, saying hello, and catching up with the latest family news or gossip. I have good neighbors now but no one talks to each other. Just a wave and a hello and we all go our separate ways. I do know that if I needed them or they needed me we would help each other. At least that much still exists.
I decided to take you all on a journey of my summer adventures and memories from an older gal who was born in the early 1950’s. Are you ready?
I was born in the northern part of New Jersey, USA to two parents and an older brother by three years. I do not remember that town or house because we moved when I was toddling to what Jersey-ites refer to as – The Shore.
We moved into a starter neighborhood – small and simple ranch style homes for those just starting out in the world of home ownership. I wonder if my mom thought she would spend the rest of her life in that home and neighborhood.
It was a great place to grow up. Neighbors were friendly and life was simple. Unfortunately for us, we experienced a tragedy when I was four-ish. My dad had been ill and passed away that summer. The photos I have prior to his death were all smiles and good times. After, such sad faces. It was hard on my brothers and I (we had a little brother after moving to this home, four years younger than me) and of course, my mom. She found herself widowed very young and with three children and no close family near by.
But prior to the sadness, summers were awesome. As I said before, I was quite young and memories of the beginnings of this new neighborhood were by photos and some in my own head. I remember everyone talking about a mustard colored house. French’s color of mustard. It was closer to the shore and I know we had a small boat that we would take out crabbing while staying in that little house. I do remember being clothed in a life jacket and sitting in the boat with a basket or two and being told to, “Wave to the mustard colored house” as we sped by. I remember bringing crabs back and mom having a pot of water hot and ready to toss them in. Yum
Life went on. Summer time meant that my older brother and I got to go across the street and slip into the woods behind our friend’s house. The Woods! Oh how I loved to play there. There was a creek that meandered through and was shallow enough to wade in the cool clear waters. I remember trails and trees that became my home away from home. I remember going through to the other side and coming out in tall grass that was named – “The Parkway Grass”. It got it’s name because it ran along a small hill aside the Garden State Parkway (a toll road that ran the length of New Jersey). There we could sit in the grass and not be seen. There we could run and trip on a rock that was actually a box turtle that we always took home to feed and cared for. Poor turtles.
I can still clearly picture The Woods in my mind. One of the best things about it was that we rarely ran into another person. I remember only once seeing a man walking on our trails in our Woods! My mom had no reason to worry about us being in there all day. Year after year. We came running when we heard her clapping her hands for us to come home.
So, this weekend is known as Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day falls on Monday – always the last full weekend in May. It is a day to honor and remember those who served and are serving in our Armed Forces. But it also marks the official opening of SUMMER! Pools open, beaches open, sales happen! Barbecues are fired up. Ahh. Summer.
Once I started school my life revolved around summer vacations. We were out of school from sometime in June until early September. Beach time, woods time, baseball in the backyard and cookouts and s’mores!
As I grew and became a parent, again my year schedule revolved around summer vacation. Four kids later and then some in college – summer vacation. Living in a tourist, beach town – summer vacation. And now, watching grand daughters while parents go to University – summer vacation! I love it.
I will end this segment here. Next time I want to talk about the traditions of dress codes drilled into my northeastern upbringing that took me a very long time to break.
Until then, enjoy your first weekend of summer. And PLEASE do remember our servicemen and women, those before and those now. I am grateful to them for protecting our nation and serving us and sacrificing so well.
Here is my mom and my brother and me – the cute little one – on the beach prior to our move there.
Today is one day over the half way mark for the NaBloPoMo blog for thirty days challenge. I haven’t missed a day. I am amazed – at myself. I stopped posting these blogs to their website because sometimes the blog wouldn’t load up completely on their page. Therefore, they probably don’t even know I’m still in. Perhaps I’ll post this one one their page.
SPAM! I’m having a rough day so I decided to lighten my self up. I grew up with a product called SPAM. Weird and only tolerable and not half bad when sizzled in a frying pan with butter. When we visited friends in Kauai we were offered “SPAM Sushi” – I thought , why not? I bit into that seaweed wrapped rice and SPAM and I admit the first bite wasn’t too bad. Brought me back to childhood. But the second bite – bit me! No more.
I think SPAM was a leftover of World War II or something. You can see it mentioned in the Adam Sandler Movie, Fifty First Dates.
It has been eight days of blogging so far for the http://www.blogher.com/nablopomo November Challenge. I have to admit that it’s not as bad as I thought. Getting the blogs written and posted has been the easy part.
The hard part, for me, has been the fear and self doubt that comes at me with a vengeance.It is hard for me to hit “Publish” and then not check the number of views obsessively. I need to relax. If they find me then they find me. I have followed and liked and commented on other blogs in order to meet new people and check out different styles of creativity AND to build my followers. That has not been very successful for me – yet, and that is discouraging. I know I pressure myself and that is not good. I need to breathe and relax and just blog my heart out because I like it. So why wouldn’t others like it? Huh? I laugh at myself when I say this because I think I’m funny to think that others should love me as much as I love me. Hahahaha. Such an ego.
So I am learning that to get you must give. I must read more and comment more and encourage others more even if I hate them for being so popular. Hate is a strong word – I really am happy for their success, just a little envious. There. I said it. I am envious of all these talented younger people that understand the techie talk and the social media words and acronyms. I have my generation’s traditions stuck in my head and I’m trying hard to change. My sons help me with this but they make me sound like a social media bigot. I’m so sorry for that. I do not want to be that way.
I still have it in me that I must wear shoes after labor day and they must be brown or black or navy. Then on Memorial Day I can wear lighter coloured shoes and sandals. I don’t follow that rule but the words of my mother pop into my head each year on those days. So forgive me for that. I am trying to stay current and learn new things and am trying to understand why everyone wants an email or a text yet won’t answer them.?.?.?.
Now that I got that off my chest, I want to say that the blogging challenge has been very good for me. I am getting disciplined and accepting the challenges as opportunities to grow in this wonderful world of internet writing. It is fun. I love meeting people from all over the world and all the creativity out there is awesome!
So, read mine and follow me and comment. I like interaction. I enjoy learning from all my readers.
“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
On this quest to write a daily blog for this month they have suggested prompts. Today’s prompt is “Who is your favourite character of all time?”
I chose Me! I am quite the character and do believe that my closest friends will agree. I could choose one of many Disney Princesses or a wonderfully accomplished woman of the past or present but I choose me.
I chose myself because it has taken sixty-two years attending the School of Hard Knocks to really know who I am and feel good about me. I have in no way received my full degree yet from said school and don’t expect to until I graduate to heaven. I have many more classes I want to take. I don’t always feel that I turned in the best assignments and do not pass all the tests the first time around. But Life allows me to take them over and over until I get them right. I’m good with that. I’ve skipped many classes and field trips but no worries, they come around again.
I believe all women are Princesses and all men Princes.
I’m fun and enjoy fun. I love silly things and can giggle easily. I’m smart and I do believe I am important. I am kind and loving yet firm and confident. I can dance like the most graceful dancer (in my head) and i can run like the fastest runner (in my head). I can swim like a Mermaid (again, in my head).
I have raised four children and loved every minute. I buried one way too early but I go on. I have five wonderfully extraordinary grand children and look forward to more. I attended a Police Academy for ten days dressed in men’s clothes when I was fifty-one years old (future blog) and that was one of the hardest things I’ve done on purpose – but it built character in me, taught me things I could never have learned if I didn’t try.
Dear reader, know that I do not always feel the way I wrote above about myself. But I do believe it is true. I fail daily but I do believe that I can try over and over and over again to be Me. And that is what I consider success. One of my strongest passions in life is to see potential in others and cheer them on to get there. Because you CAN do it. You can achieve the desires in your heart, those things you keep down deep and are afraid to bring to the surface. And more importantly you can be Kind, Smart, Important and Beautiful. With those things engraved into your heart you can accomplish anything!
Well, here I am at Day Two of the blogher.com blog-a-day challenge. Is it hot in here? Someone open a window! I had my coffee and my yummy homemade Kolaches (for a future blog) and now I am typing. Several ideas ran through my brain all night and I decided to blog about a dream I had………..
I would classify this as a very short nightmare. I thought I heard my phone give off the short, melodious alert that someone had either liked or followed or commented on my WordPress site. I started to awaken when I heard a male voice, very close to my ear say, “I’m really tired of you posting all this stuff. It’s too much. We’re sick of it.” Needless to say I woke up all the way in a mild sweat. Who was that? I knew he was talking about Facebook because I, once again, posted yesterday about my blog asking my “friends” to like my site and even follow – because you like me. They don’t even have to read it. I just wanted support and encouragement. My closest friends responded positively to me, as they always do. That was it.
I’m old enough to know that Facebook is not and cannot be my only social life. I also know that the way it is set up most people probably don’t even notice my posts. I miss many life changing events from FB friends because they slip by me in that crazy news feed (which I swear only posts what they want me to see not what my settings say). But really? If this is the new socializing? I love this technology and social networking thing. But we, as human beings, really need contact with others – even if it’s just hitting a like button or a one word encouragement. That’s all. I really prefer being “behind the screen” rather than out in the crowd. That is easy for me, but I am human.
So back to the dream. After I awoke I checked my phone. Nothing from WordPress or Facebook attacking my attempt as a writer. Relief! I knew then that old voice of the devil on my shoulder was attacking me and my insecurities. Blah! to you devil! I shall prevail! The ninja in me awakened and here is my Day 2!
Please know that I love all my Facebook friends and I’m sure I’ve offended some by not responding – it’s most likely because I missed your posts! But if you read this I really would like a little support – I have done it for many and hope to continue. (except I hate political posts – LOL)