I know I’ve written about it in this space before, but this was always one of my favourite days at school. We’d slip off one shoe and place it in the hallway and then scramble back to our desks. Our classroom door would close and try as hard as we might to concentrate, we were all straining our ears for the sound of jingle bells.
Eventually you could hear the far off tinkle, twinkle of them and they got closer and closer and closer and then silence. We could hear rustling and a jolly laugh and then the bells would start tinkling, twinkling again and the merry sound would slowly disappear.
Once we got the all clear, we jumped out from behind our desks and into the hallway where all our shoes were lined up. Tucked inside was a fat little orange, a piece of chocolate or a candy cane and a little domed plastic snow globe with either the nativity or a winter scene inside.
It was a day that held magic. I hope today holds magic for you!
Happy St. Nicholas Day! I have said it before and I will say it again, this was one of my favorite days growing up. We would be in our classrooms, trying so hard to concentrate on what Sister Marion was saying, one of our elfin size shoes would be waiting in the hallway and we would be intently listening out for the sound of bells.
When you heard that tinkle, tinkle, getting louder and louder as it came closer to your classroom door, it was all you could do to contain yourself. A shadow would cross the doorway, the tinkle of the bells would fade into the distance and you knew he had been. He, being St. Nicholas! We were allowed outside and tucked in our shoes was usually a miniature candy cane, a fat little orange and a plastic snow globe of the nativity scene.
It was always such a magical day. I hope that St. Nicholas brings you a bit of magic today as well.
Aah, The Lawrence Welk Show, it conjures up many a childhood memory for me. Now, I am not that old of a woman, I am definitely, I would like to think, way too young to know what this show is, but yet I do. Saturday Night Live has a running skit in which they make fun of it and I laugh harder than I am sure others my age, because I truly get the joke. This was a show I grew up watching.
There is something so wholesome and sweet about the show and when you think back to TV way back then, when this was first aired, what a major thing this was to watch with your family, an entire song and dance show, with a full orchestra, colourful costumes, and huge sets. For many people, I am sure this was truly Hollywood magic, the first time they had ever seen anything like this.
This show was a part of my childhood. Growing up, if we were over at my Grandparent’s on a Saturday night for dinner, they would have PBS on, broadcasting a previously aired show and we would all watch it. Going to the beach house in the Summer, my mom and her sister would serenade us good night every evening to the closing theme. As we would lie in bed laughing hysterically.
It somehow gets into your bones this show. You know it is bad when on a Saturday night in College, you are the only person left in your dorm as you work away on a term paper and you turn on Lawrence Welk for company, because it makes you feel closer to home.
It is something, I have even indoctrinated my British husband in to as well. You watch the show and you just have to smile. My family has so many little inside jokes regarding this show, when certain cast members came on stage, I can hear what they would say about them and I can’t help myself, I just bust out laughing. My Nana, loved Joe Feeney and every time he would come on, she would mention what a beautiful voice he had, to which my Grandpa would roll his eyes. She would continue to say how many children he had, to which with a glimmer in his eye, my Grandpa would reply that is the only way his wife could get him to be quiet, he would wink at us and my sister and I would just bust out laughing.
You can’t fault Lawrence Welk though, you would be hard pressed today to find a show that is not only family based on screen, but one that was the same off the air as well. The holidays specials are always the best, the beehives seem to be taller and the dresses more sparkly, you just gotta love it. As we approach Christmas, I thought I would share with you a little childhood memory. Because if I was home on a Saturday night and this was on the TV, we would all have to watch a few minutes of it, just to share a laugh and a memory. Each episode is such a time capsule of that era and you just have to love Bobby & Cissy dancing around. Enjoy!
What is it about the magic of a swing? I don’t care what age you are, those two ropes and a board, hold something very special to them. They conjure up memories of being a child, your hair streaming behind you like ribbons, the breeze hitting your face, your palms becoming sweaty from holding on so tight.
Races with each other to see who could go the highest, or who could jump off their swing at the perfect moment and land the farthest. Pumping your legs harder and harder so you were swinging so high, you knew that if you let go, you would sail into the tree tops.
There is a park near my house with a nice little playground and some evenings when we go on walks through the woods, we stop there on our way home and just swing for 5 minutes or so. I find that there is something very therapeutic in that! Just letting go.
This is a very interesting and wonderful project, so I thought I would share it with you:
I love these waxed paper cups from Paper Treat’s Etsy Store. Although, no longer available they look too cute not to share!
What is it about ice-cream in a waxed paper cup that screams: Summertime, happiness and childhood? It makes me dream for a waxed paper Dennis the Menace cup from Diary Queen, a dipped one of course!
I adore their cones, but if you get your frosty treat in a cup, there is always more of your dipped flavour of choice pooled around and frozen in the bottom of the cup, little mountains of chocolate chunks, waiting for you!
I loved going there when we were little. On hot Summer nights, my parents would load us up in the car and we would head out for an evening ride, usually ending up at Dairy Queen for a dip cone. It was such a hard choice to decide between the chocolate dip or the cherry one.
Did you dip vanilla ice-cream or chocolate? Oh, the tough choices you had to make when you were little! The choice of dessert was usually the most important decision you possibly made all day, except of course a peanut butter & jelly or a ham & cheese sandwich for lunch!
But, Dairy Queen does not exist in England, so in this hot day today, it will have to exist simply in my dreams….
**UPDATE: Thanks to SuzieButton for letting me know, these are back in-stock in Paper Treat’s Etsy store!
It’s hot here! This is the hottest weekend of the year so far. As a girl raised in the South, I am used to heat. Heat, mixed with humidity that seems to dew on your skin the moment you step outside. Heat, mixed with humidity that takes your breath away when you open the door. Heat, mixed with humidity that feels as if you are breathing through a wet cloth.
Summer, in the South, symbolizes the beginning of so many things. It means fresh fried chicken with sliced tomatoes straight off the vine, cucumber salad and cantaloupe dripping its melon nectar to mingle with the vinegar of the salad on your plate. All purchased that afternoon from the Farmer’s Market. A large shed that held inside its walls the best of Summer: fresh vegetables, watermelons, boiled peanuts. Bushel baskets by the door to place your selected items in as you shopped. The smell of the sun and warmth, on the vegetables, that had not long come in from the fields.
Not all Sundays, but on some occasions after church we would head to the local family restaurant in town. A place that served Southern food at its finest! No calorie counting here! Turkey & Dressing is always served on Sundays with a choice of vegetables and fresh yeast rolls. That was usually my choice over ham or fried chicken. That lunch mixed with the Summertime heat would often make you sleepy and an afternoon nap on the hammock would ensue.
When my grandmother was a child in the South the big meal of the day was eaten at lunch, or as people called it then, “Dinner” and “Supper” was a lighter evening meal of cold lunchtime leftovers, sandwiches or biscuits, grits and frizzled ham. They lived at the top of a big hill and when my great-grandfather Red would come home for lunch, each child would have a turn during the week riding up the hill with him.
He would place his arm out of the window and help the “rider” onto the foot board, holding onto them with his big worn hands as they gripped the open window frame, they would ride up the hill with their daddy, squealing and laughing all the way as the wind blew through their hair.
For that is the South. Sweat rolling down your back; ice clinking in glasses as it slowly diffuses into sweet tea. The laughter of gossip carrying over the yard as children swing higher on their swing hung on the boughs of an oak to feel the breeze cool their faces.
Harper Lee described Summertime in the South best, in one of my favorite books, “To Kill A Mockingbird”:
Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum…A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer.
I love that line: A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. The days did always seem so much longer when you were little, with one day slipping into the next an endless parade of Summer days. Now, time seems to fly, there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. But, that I suppose is how it should be, there is a time to everything and so there should be a time to rest as the sun comes to its end and our pace slows to match the softness of the moon.
(Peach Truck Image: Re-vamped Allman Bros. Album Cover, Pink Tag & Tape on “To Kill A Mockingbird” Image, The Pugly Pixel, Background on same image: The Graphics Fairy, Farmer’s Market & Palm Tree Images, copyright J. Michie)
I was asked a few days ago to make two bears, for a new little person named Harry and his big sister, Dora. The bear design was picked over the bunnies, one pink and one blue, with their names embroidered on the back for them.
They are wrapped up with candy striped tissue paper to go into the post this morning (I should have dressed them in rain coats and wellies with the awful weather we are having!) and I hope they make their new little people very happy! Even though Harry is too teeny for a visit from the Tooth Fairy, I know it will come in handy one day!