You know...I was sitting here today thinking about how the Summertime means different things to different people. Besides family reunions, camping trips, fishing trips, swimming holes, picnics, bar-b-ques and cookouts, day camps, matinee movies, out of town visitors, sleep overs, sleep ins, sleep outs in the back yard, chasing fireflies in the yard, playing with flashlights in the dark, laying on your back watching for shooting stars, listening for the sound of the whippoorwills, cooling watermelons in the creek, eating fresh peaches off the tree, pulling honeysuckle of the vine, salting fresh tomatoes right off the vines and eating them with the juice running down your chin, filling your lungs with the wonderful smell of new mowed grass or freshly cut hay, playing in the rain, drinking from the garden hose, running back and forth under the sprinkler, water balloons and water guns, blowing soap bubbles and all the hundreds of other memories that make up the image of Summertime to me...there stands out one other that I remember well!
I can so remember the old hand crank ice cream freezer and the pounds and pounds of fresh cranked ice cream that my Dad and Grand dad and Uncles and cousins all turned out over the years. I remember the men all sitting in a group outside either under a shade tree, in the drive way, on the back porch or anywhere they could be comfortable and out of reach of the women folk, bags and bags of ice in the cooler (along with whatever frosty beverages were available) and boxes of Morton's ice cream salt handy! Also ever present was the old quilt or blanket just right for putting on the top of the freezer and having some poor child who was too slow to escape sit on, while the men folk cranked the handle and talked about politics, crops, women folks and other mysteries that remained unsolved, but all felt better after talking about. Tongues were hanging out and mouths were watering when the grown-ups finally pronounced the ice cream ready for consumption!
Not many taste in my childhood stand out in my mind like the taste of homemade ice cream and a cold bottle of root beer! Even though there are plenty of really good brands of ice cream and root beer in the stores today, they just don't have the same mystic about them as the ice cream from the old hand crank freezer, and the root beer chilled in the cooler or tub covered with ice.
Man...makes your tongue reach up and slap your brains out just thinking about ! That's it! I gotta go have some fresh coffee after all that. Want to join me?