SUMMER HAS ARRIVED AT THE PORTER HOME
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
CLUB SANDWICH WE DEVOURED ON 07-14-16
Web page updated by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 07-15-16.