Sweet Memories, Sweet Reward
Isn’t it funny how we all have that one thing we are known for...the gift that you’ve been given or the attribute or even physical appearance that becomes your pet name? When in a conversation, sharing a memory about someone, how common is it to say, “you know, the one who always wore the red hat. Or, the one who always brought the amazing lemon bars. Remember, he always had a walking stick. In a small town, these descriptions can become pet names used when speaking of someone and can eventually become their name everyone uses to call them by.
In our sweet little neck of the woods we have lots of icons that are not called by their given names. Some names are self-explanatory, like a precious man we call Shorty, but he’s at least 6’ 5”. And in other cases, his brother was always called Doc, yet he was not a doctor. Lol! I love when pet names spill out of a family circle and into the community. I love when I hear, “are you Ya Ya?” or “is Ya Ya here?” Darren and I were at church and a young man shared with me that their two-year-old son always asks to go to Ya Ya’s...so precious!!! I have a nephew who calls me Auntie- always makes me smile - and Darren’s parents often called me LeisaLou - another precious memory.
Well, she doesn’t have a pet name, unless it’s Aunt Terri...but if she did...and I think she should...it would probably be “Sand Plum Ferry Queen.” Really, she could also be called “Pie Princess.” Too long, right? Probably wouldn’t stick. Perhaps that’s why we don’t. But she will always be known for her yummy sand plum jelly and her amazingly beautiful pies. Our boys always asked for her jelly for their birthday, even when they were little! Now if that isn’t proof of yummyness, I don’t know what is!
We were having a family dinner a few nights ago and I overheard her telling someone that she had found a sand plum thicket and had several bags of them just waiting to be made into her yummy jelly...at this, a hush filled the room...all ears perked up...lol...maybe not quite, but almost. The boys were rubbing their bellies and the girls were jumping in with, “I’ll help...I’ve always wanted to learn how to...” Well, that’s all it took for an official Sand Plum Jelly Party!
Any excuse for a shindig, right?
We had such a sweet time...no pun intended. There was laughter...lots of giggles and inside family jokes shared with the next generation, and lots of sweet memories were made. I love when shindigs multiply into more shindigs, more opportunities to have fun. I’m certain there will be more Sand Plum Jelly Parties...
I have a canning story that I shared once again. Anytime I think or talk about canning food, it always leads me down memory lane of growing up and spending summers canning with my mom. I grew to hate canning! Lol!!! Don’t get me wrong, I love the end result, but until the other night I had not canned since I was a kiddo...I’m not kidding!
I think here’s why, lol!
One summer afternoon, when I was about fifteen, my mom & I were in the throes of canning pickled beets. If memory serves me correctly, that summer’s theme was “pickling.” I think we pickled everything we could get our hands on, and let me tell you, my mom’s pickled beets are still talked about around the dinner table. Have you ever canned or pickled beets? It’s...a...process...isn’t it? But if done right, oh...my...goodness! I’ve yet to find any to compare to my mom’s.
Back to this one afternoon, when we were up to our elbows in beets. Our hands were stained with beet juice. You’d think they’d be a beautiful red violet, but no, it stains them an almost charcoal color. Canning paraphernalia was all over the kitchen. The phone rang and I answered with beet juice running down my arm. On the other end was a boy...a close friend...that I had a severe crush on...since I first met him through FCA’s. I don’t remember exactly, but I’m sure my dull hello - don’t forget about the beets - rose an octave and became a much more bright and cheery tone. I can just hear myself, “Oh! Hi, Darren.” All the while making excited faces to my mom, and her making excited faces back...lol!
Darren: “I’m having a group from FCA over to play volleyball, you want to come?” His family was always putting together a shindig at their home.
Me: “volleyball...tonight...” I remember my heart dropping because I knew, but still I silently pleaded with my mom. “P-l-e-a-s-e???” The word was silent and passionately passed from my lips...but to no avail. Mom reluctantly shook her head no with a sweeping gesture to the mounds of beets, stacked jars, pans of boiling water...you get the picture. “I’m sorry Darren, I’m helping my mom can beets.” GULP to swallow the aftertaste of the words turning down the best date proposal I had ever had in my young life! A moment of silence followed, along with some facial expressions to my mom, and a , “oh...ok. Maybe next time,” from him. A “next time,” that did not happen for four long months. I never let him live this down. I was so mad! Mad at the situation! Mad at my mom! Mad that Darren didn’t call and ask me to play volleyball...or for a date... for such a long time...we laugh about this now! We love telling this story! We love giving each other a hard time, not to mention aggravating mom about this. He says he thought I was just making an excuse, like the “I have to wash my hair” excuse, but in this case, “oh, I’m sorry. I have to pickle beets.” I just roll my eyes when he says this...LOL! Mom often shares how she prayed many prayers that I would have someone special in my life like Darren...and even prayed for Darren...good mommas pray these prayers for their children. I proclaim that it was such a traumatic event/non-event that I haven’t canned since! LOL!😂
Well, I helped the “Sand Plum Ferry Queen” also affectionately called Terri Jo can sand plum jelly last night...and I can’t wait to reap the sweet rewards when she hands it out this Christmas! Sweet memories...sweet reward!
I hope you enjoyed my little story.
I know you have a story too!
Come by the shop and I’ll put on a pot of coffee an we’ll swap a story or two.
Y’all have a beautiful day!
I am a simple and ordinary girl who loves to share meaningful stories about the extraordinary people and blessings, the sweet everyday happenings that make me smile. I hope you all have a beautiful day!