Summer Has Arrived

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SUMMER HAS ARRIVED AT THE PORTER HOME

The benchmark for when summer has arrived at the Porter home is not controlled by a particular calendar day such as June 21st which is the start of the summer solstice and the longest day of the year.  Technically, this is the start of summer in our Northern Hemisphere but for my bride and myself, we like to ignore that day for varied reasons.  I will get to that later, but must travel back in time first.

GOING BACK IN TIME TO MY YOUTH

Going back in time to my youth, summer began when you got out of school around the first of June and continued until we had to go back to school in late August or early September which corresponds to one definition of the duration of summer.  That was a care free time without any real responsibilities, not having to earn a living or have any financial obligations you had to meet on a monthly basis.  All the basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter were provided by my parents and in my case, mostly by Grandma Della Coley although my Mom and Pop did provide necessary things too. 

For a few years, I would help my Uncle Doug Coley during the summer months to earn some pocket money but he worked my brother Allen and myself pretty hard for meager wages.  It didn't take too long for me to realize that a Brickmason was not going to be my profession; too much manual labor involved in that trade and a back breaker at that.  If you have ever laid any brick, block or stone, rolled brick and mortar in a wheel barrow, built wooden scaffolds, mixed mortar with a hoe, you know what I am talking about.  That was before gas powered mortar mixers, metal scaffolds and motorized scissor jacks and lifts were commonly used by small contractors.  We are talking serious manual labor!

During those youthful years, I had much rather be on the creek bank looking for mink sign for the upcoming trapping season, fishing in nearby ponds and lakes with a cheap Shakespeare fiberglass fly rod and taking all day long hikes with my dog Brownie.  Many times, I would leave around day break after a large breakfast provided by my Grandma Coley which consisted of a combination of homemade buttermilk lard cathead biscuits, bacon, sausage both patty and link, pork chops and/or ham, grits, fried or scramble eggs and coffee with cream and sugar.  Note:  She didn't cook but one or two types of meat for breakfast but listed some of what she did provide!  Around 1960 which is a guesstimate, Grandma donated her wood cook stove to a black family that got burned out and by then she was beginning to use can biscuits pretty regular.  There is nothing to compare to a buttermilk lard biscuit baked in a wood fired oven.  I used an ole army back pack that I kept a thin aluminum coffee pot, metal coffee cup, thin metal frying pan, plate, spoon, fork, canteen with water, matches, cord, extra bullets for my .22 caliber Winchester model 67 rimfire rifle, etc.  Back then, most boys kept some type of pocket knife on their person at all times.

I would pack some coffee grounds, eggs, bacon, bread and/or sour dough mix and would head for my favorite camping spot which was Carl's Mountain; a few miles from the Coley home place.  I would stay gone until about dusk dark having rambled along the railroad tracks behind the Anson County School Bus Garage to the West and to the East, the ole V. C. Fertilizer Plant and to the North, the Anson County Airport.  I could hear my Grandma Coley in the far distance calling, Mickey, Mickey and would pick up the pace to get home before dark to keep her from worrying about me.  I truly didn't understand what all the fuss was about coming in late until having kids of our own to look after.  Kids would walk on the rails of the railroad tracks and I could literally run on the rail without loosing balance.

I had wild birds and animals as pets such as; Grey Foxes, Goshawk, Cooper's Hawk, Crows, Cow Bird, Grey Squirrels and spent many hours looking for their nest and dens in order to capture the young.  

I believe we were more creative back then since many kids built their own toys such as sling shots using strips cut from rubber inner tubes tied to a good dogwood fork prong and an old shoe leather tongue, David type sling, wooden bows and arrows, wood wagon, roller skate board using 1/2 skate for the front and 1/2 skate for the rear wheels with an upright post and handle for a scooter, hand held spears, rabbit boxes, tin lard can lid nailed to a stick to roll on the ground, etc.  An old vehicle tire would be rolled around and if large enough, one would get inside the tire and let someone roll you down a hill.  It was hilarious to see the tire rider try and walk around after immediately getting out of the rotating tire and sometimes, would get thrown from the moving tire.  The Hula Hoop was very popular especially with the girls but boys played with them too.  A few store bought toys would show up at Christmas like jumping jacks, paddle board and ball, cap pistols and holsters, cowboy hat and spurs, etc., and later Red Rider Daisy BB gun aka air rifle, but for the most part, we made our own toys and had no trouble inventing games.  Lets not leave out the young ladies with their baby dolls, toy ovens, play dough and Dr. Nurse Kit.

Throwing knives, hatchets, axes, home made darts, shooting and trading marbles and building our own bull whips, three cord Bolas and boomerang was part of that youth regiment also.  We built tree houses and/or platforms and fashioned many items for our barn club house such as a stove/heater made from an old 55 gallon steel drum where we could cook on it and also provide some heat during the winter months.  Fashioned all types of things with the pocket knife; whistle, walking sticks and just whittled away on a fresh cut sampling cutting out geometric designs from the bark, etc.  Many can remember cutting a large vine from the edge of a creek bank and swinging out like Tarzan to later come crashing down, especially when the vine died.  We also climbed small trees and would get them to bend over at the top by swinging out on them and ride it down to the ground.  Sweet gum trees were notorious for breaking, leaving you on the ground gasping for air.  Somehow, we managed to survive only with cuts, bruises and scratches and sometimes maybe a broken bone but no broken bones in my youth. 

WORKING THE HOME GARDEN

Mom and Pop planted a garden each year and we were required to help keep the weeds out of it and also water the plants as needed and that was one chore that I certainly did not enjoy.  To this day, I do not plant a garden but will only plant a few tomato plants on our deck and they are in a container of which I call them deck tomatoes.  String beans was another thing that was a pain to process along with shelling butter beans, etc. and string beans is not one of my favorite vegetables today.  I guess working the garden, picking them and snapping them had something to do with that bias for sure.  It doesn't take too long shelling peas, shucking corn, etc., that your thumbs and fingers got sore quickly and began to hurt.  I will eat string beans but it is something I can sure live without!

SHORT SEASON FOR YOUTH

Youth doesn't last but for a seemingly short season and the past doesn't change but today and tomorrow does since we live in a very dynamic world.  The idea or theory that the past doesn't change might be my play on the usage of semantics but I have a short story on my blog titled, Does The Past Change which gives some validation to my theory that the past doesn't change.  If you don't agree, I certainly will not get upset........grin if you must!

Many people and groups sponsored by our Government are trying so hard to change the past by rewriting text books, excluding historical facts and events that have happened in order to make it more Politically Correct, give credence to various ethnic groups and in most cases, the changes end up being Morally Incorrect or just outright lies.  I have a short story titled, America's Moral Decay which gives a good summation of what is happening to our Country and some of the reasons why.

I believe one's youth changes about as fast as the seasons do and before you know it, our youth is a memory we have documented in various ways such as our brain's long term storage, photographic images, audio and video tapes and using the more modern digital age storage technology.  Now, I will get to why summer has finally arrived at the Porter home.

SUMMER HAS ARRIVED

As I have stated already, summer is not determined at the Porter home by a date on the calendar or by the weather temperature, even though summer is associated with warm and hot weather.  Summer has arrived to my bride and myself by the simple fact that we have consumed our first BLT sandwich from a home grown vine ripe tomato; also pronounced "mater", not a store bought one or a green house tomato.  I planted six (6) plants adjacent to our carport and they are finally producing some good tomatoes although those pesky tomato worms, slugs aka snails are boring holes into them and hope the insecticide will keep them away allowing us to enjoy the fruits of our harvest. 

Click on thumbnails for a larger screen view:

This BLT sandwich below was awesome with the fresh sliced home made bread and home grown vine ripe tomato.

The above Cheese Onion Bread was fresh baked this afternoon by yours truly and "off the chain good." In my humble opinion, there is nothing to compare to a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich using a home grown vine ripe tomato, fresh bread, Duke's mayonnaise, salt, bacon fried crisp, black pepper and fresh lettuce.  This definitely tells my bride and myself,  "Summer has arrived."  A good quality home grown vine ripe tomato has the right amount of acidic taste, good firm texture and appealing to the eye as well.

It is such simple things in Life that can bring joy to one and many are so wrapped up in the daily stress, turmoil and struggle of Life to really appreciate these simple things such as a home grown BLT sandwich. 

It is said and written many times, "One has to take time to smell the roses" and in this case, enjoy a good BLT sandwich from a home grown vine ripe tomato whether you grew it yourself or purchased it at a farmer's market being locally grown and not shipped in from someplace like Columbia, SC of which many customers are "water headed" aka duped to believe they are home grown.  

Can you say "beautimous" out loud?  The above sandwich is so simple to make but I think I will still add it to my sandwiches recipe page since this is one of the top 10 sandwiches consumed in the US.

The above sandwich tasted as good as it looks and the fresh baked Cheese Onion Bread took this old classic standby sandwich to another level in my humble opinion.  Normally, we toast the bread but in this case, the wonderful aroma of the still warm fresh baked bread was just too overpowering!

2 Timothy 2:16 KJV Bible

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 07-11-16.

ANOTHER BLT AND CLUB SANDWICH WE DEVOURED ON 07-14-16

Web page updated by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 07-15-16.

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