From Trips Down Memory Lane; Build their future by sharing your past.
By Awesome Grandmothers contributing author: Samuel Lee Bowman
When I was a kid my dad made the best, old fashioned sweet tea ever was.
He’d put two small tea bags in a gallon pitcher with 3/4 cup of sugar and then pour in about a quart or of boiling water and let it stand fifteen minutes or so, until it looked nice and dark. Then he’d fill up the pitcher with ice cold water and ice cubes. I remember our ice chunks were big ‘cause mom used to freeze water in butter tubs, so it was a butter tub or two of ice, then into the fridge. It wasn’t unusual to have one pitcher we were drinking from, another pitcher being cooled in the fridge and one boiling on the stove top, all at the same time.
There was nothing better than to enjoy a tall glass of old fashioned iced sweet tea while swaying on the old porch swing in the quiet, cool evening.
We weren’t rich back then. We didn’t run to the store a lot and buy stuff to use once and throw away. A lot of time we’d drink out of old Mason or Ball jars left over from canning fruit. We’d fill the jar with tea, add lots of ice cubes, screw a top on tight and wrap the jar in old newspapers as insulation. We’d often place the wrapped jar in a brown paper bag along with a sandwich in a baggie and some apple sauce we’d put in an empty tub after we used all the butter up.
When I drink sweet tea now my mind wonders back to all the places we took sweet tea in Ball jars when I was a kid; to the barn on a hot day, out to our fort where we were playing, to school in a lunch pail, to the porch swing or out to Grandpa working in the fields. They are sweet memories from days gone by that I do hold so dear and hate to see fade away. I have to wonder if kids today will have such fond memories of their favorite video game fifty years from now. Kids don’t build forts anymore. They don’t carry sweet tea wrapped in paper out to the field where their Grandpa’s bringing in the harvest. Most kids now days don’t know where tea or wheat comes from.
Now, fifty years later I still like to take tall glasses of iced water or sweet tea out and sit down with my wife in the back yard on the swing where it’s nice and quiet, but I like to carry mine in a plain ole Ball jar. When I unscrew the lid and take a long pull it’s like taking the lid off the past and pulling sweet memories from days gone by when we lived on a farm, raised a lot of our food from our own garden and made up all our own games.
Sometimes I like to do it just so my grandkids will ask why I’m drinking out of that funny jar instead of a real glass and then I can tell them all about my sweet memories from the good ole days and how we used to drink old fashioned sweet tea from a Ball jar.
You can embed good old fashioned values in the hearts of your grandchildren by sharing memories of days gone by. Todays events with you will be a day in their memory. Make it a great day by sharing a great story from your past. A great way to share is to live the memory with them. Buy a ball jar, show your grandchildren how to make sweet tea, and drink it from a ball jar with them while sitting on the porch swing.
From a lover of sweet memories and sweet tea, Sam