Tuesday, June 21, 2011

triggers

My fingers have been inadvertently dyed orange and pink due to a guest post I put together for a kiddo craft blog. We're talking orange the color of cheetos. Puffs. I hate the crunchy kind. They also smell faintly of Tang and Countrytime Lemonade. I can't believe how I once lived for Countrytime. Though we never really got it when I was a kid unless a coupon was involved. In the summertime I ended up with a frozen concentrate of Lady Lee Pink  Lemonade. I would carefully mix, mix, mix it up in our brown plastic pitcher with a wooden spoon that was our go-to kitchen utensil. Then, I would fill a crazy-large pink or yellow plastic tumbler purchased during the dollar days sale at Sav-on about 3/4 of the way full and nestled it inside the freezer. Frozen lemonade yo. It was my thing. 

I loved it so much I sometimes would eat it for breakfast. I was quite methodical about it. I would reach into the frosty freezer to retrieve that bit of happy and quickly run the sides of the cup under lukewarm tap water to loosen it up a little. Then I would squeeze the sides thus popping out the cylindrical ice pop, quickly popping right back into the cup only this time, upside down. I did this for two reasons. One, the bottom never froze as solid as the top so it was slightly slooshy which is always a plus and two, the pulpy-sweet flavor of the whole thing was heavier than the water I mixed it in so all the sugar went to the bottom. Flipping it over, I not only got to enjoy slushiedom but sweet-sweet slushiedom. Even as a kiddo I knew how to enjoy the simple things, which in this case included frozen lemonade for breakfast whilst viewing Popeye cartoons on a Sunday morning as there was never really anything else on that early in the morning.  

It's funny how thinking of it all now I can feel the icy cold of the spoon as it dipped and scraped against my unorthodox frozen breakfast. Them metal spoons got COLD. I can also recall the slurp-ed-ness of it all as I've always had cold-sensitive teeth so had to quickly slurp it all in in a noisy slshhhhh. I can feel the threadbare brown carpet under me as I sat cross-legged and too close to the television in the dim morning light with the black and white images of Popeye and Olive stretching across the screen hoping to catch an episode with the elusive Jeep, Sea Witch and/or Goons. Soon enough, I would get chilled by the lemonade and grab a blanket, usually the defunct pink electric blanket with the knob of dried red nail polish stuck in a blog on one corner, to wrap around me. 

My childhood was all kinds of nutty. ALL. KINDS. The outsiders of the world felt sorry for me or passed judgment on my mother but I wouldn't change it for anything. Nuh-uh, no how, no way. Who else can look back to a dim morning in the San Fernando Valley, partaking of homemade frozen lemonade for breakfast, watching a cartoon that no one really watches anymore with a grin on their face? Just me I think; a daydreamer tip-typing away in a sun-filled room while the wind plays the chimes all around me and my orange fingers.

2 comments:

  1. lovely, lovely post.

    and oddly, i was going to write a post about smells and memory today too -- but going in a different direction (CHOOSING to smell certain things to put you in a certain frame of mind)...

    xoxoxo,
    s

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  2. Oooh, I love that post, Jek! I have my own "growing up in the Valley" memories: my Dad would get I & Joy bagels on Sundays, or if I was the first one up, I'd make "jelly toast" and watch "Wonderama" (remember that show?), "Davey & Goliath", "Popeye", too! (I miss "The Little Rascals" and the Our Gang comedies; they are so great!)

    Happy Summer Solstice! It's the Longest Day of the Year!

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