Category Archives: Nostalgia

Sunday Dinner—in the Past

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Sunday dinner was usually the same menu at our house because it “worked” for Mama.  She put the beef roast, beef raised by my father, in the oven around 9:00.  We went to Sunday School at 10:00 and got home from church around 12 noon; therefore, the roast was perfectly done about the time we got home.  The funny stories about the roast involve the Sundays on which Mother would suddenly get a funny look on her face during the sermon.  Then, she would jump up and leave or whisper in Daddy’s ear, and he would jump up and leave.  Usually it was because she forgot to turn the roast down or she left the potatoes boiling.  We always had the burned roast (we all loved it that way and do to this day), mashed potatoes which were sometimes very gluey because they had set in the boiling water the two hours that we were at church, green beans ( fresh in the spring time and straight from a jar that my mother had canned the rest of the year), homemade rolls, either a chocolate cream pie or a cocoanut cream pie or both, and strong, sweet, sweet tea, which the grandkids later labeled “MeMaw’s Sweet Tea”.  Talk about good memories.  We all sat down at the same table at the same time and enjoyed our meal and had family discussions, often about something the preacher had said.  Then, the kids washed the dishes (we had no dishwasher),  and Mother and Daddy read the newspapers from cover to cover.

It was long after I was an adult that I realized that not all people prefer burned beef.  We had it that way so often that we thought that was normal, and well-done or even burned became our preference.   I was also grown before I realized that not everyone got up and went to Sunday School and Church every Sunday.

Psalm 118:24   “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

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Remember these?

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  Anybody know what this is?  You guessed it if you guessed the center of a merry-go-round.  I have no idea how old this merry-go-round is exactly, but I do know that it is the same one that was on the playground when I started school in 1957.  Of course, it was just a plain rusty metal color with plain wooden/board seats.  There was no red, blue, yellow, green or red to it.  This nice paint job makes the old merry-go-round look almost new.                                                             

This particular merry-go-round was for the “big” kids.  You had to pump those metal handle bars to make it go faster.  You did not have to run around and around to get it going and jump on.  The more you pumped, the faster it went, but if you fell off, it was farther to the ground than the “little kids’ ” merry-go-round.  The merry-go-round shown below is on the same playground, and it, too, has been there since 1957, at least.  It was for the “little kids”.  As the gravel and dirt show today, kids had to run around to get it going and then hop up on the benches, but it wasn’t far to the ground if you fell!

Both of these playground attractions bring back fond memories.  The merry-go-rounds were probably purchased by the PTA of which my mother was president at one time.  The PTA raised funds for their projects through the Halloween Carnival and Coronation of the King and Queen.  Both events were looked forward to by the whole community.

Hooray to those who didn’t throw out the old merry-go-rounds!

Mama’s Pound Cake Story

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Mama told the story all my life.  It went something like this. 

When her first grandchild was born in Lubbock, TX., she went to “help out”.  She stayed a few days to help my sister, and as she got ready to leave for the 4.5 to 5 hour trip home, she asked my sister and her husband if there was anything else she could do for them.  One of them said,  “You could bake us one of your pound cakes.”  So….she did.

When my brother had his first child, mother went out to Whitharral, even farther away than Lubbock.  She helped with some chores, and when she went to leave, she asked if there was anything else that she could do.  My brother said he surely would like one of her delicious pound cakes.  She baked one.

When I gave birth to my first child, Stephanie, Mama came out to Sonora to help me out and teach me the ropes.  As she went to leave, she asked if there was anything else she could do to help out.  I knew the story.  I was obligated to ask, wasn’t I?  Sooooo, I said it surely would be nice if she would bake us one of her pound cakes.  She did.

Years later, I asked her to write down the recipe.  She had always made the cake from memory.  Mama wrote the recipe down.  I continue to make this cake, and my family continues to love  and enjoy the cake.  Now, I make the cake and take it when there has been a death in a family.  I often attach a note that says this cake will freeze well and can be used at a later date.  This cake is good with chocolate, strawberries, berry sauce, ice cream, or plain.  It is a “feel better” cake.

When my daughter, Stephanie, had her first baby, I went to help.  I didn’t wait to be asked.  I made the cake and took it with me and left it in their freezer.

Will Rogers said he’d never met a man he didn’t like.  I’ve never met a man who didn’t like Mama’s Pound Cake.  Here it is:

MAMA’S POUND CAKE

5 eggs at room temperature

2 sticks butter or margarine

1 cup Crisco

3 cups sugar

Blend the butter and sugar.  Then, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups flour

1 cup milk

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Add alternately with the milk.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Grease and flour an angel food (tube) cake pan.  Bake the cake for 60 to 90 minutes at 325 degrees or until it pulls away from the sides.

Freezes well.

And You Thought Sputnik Was A Satellite

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My sophomores and juniors finally finished decorating their weave poems for the county fair.  After writing some prose text about a person they remembered from their childhood and writing down the words of a song they remember being sung, they wove the two pieces together with some great results.

One of my students is the son of a local man who recently lost his battle with cancer.  Everyone called him “Sputnik”.   The name fit him.  In Russian, the term, “sputnik” is used to refer to a companion.  The word “sputnik” represented something new, a new beginning, the space age.  The Sputnik that we all knew was certainly a companion to many and was always trying something new or different.  In a way, he represented new beginnings.

His son wrote a great story in English class about the time that Sputnik and his brothers decided to go Christmas Caroling as adults while visiting Sputnik’s mother.  The story would be enhanced if I had a photo of Sputnik and his brothers to share.  There is no telling whether these guys had their hair combed, if they were clean shaven, or if they had on any nicer clothes than their work jeans and work boots.  These brothers were known as being a bunch of “characters.”  They told the family whose door they knocked upon that they would sing “Joy to the World”.  Then, they broke into Credence Clearwater Revival’s version of “Joy to the World”.  You may remember this song  if you’re a baby boomer.

Jeremiah was a bullfrog

Was a good friend of mine

I never understood a single word he said

But I helped him drink his wine

And he always had some mighty fine wine

Joy to the world, all the boys and girls

Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

Joy to you and me.

Well, the story ends with the family who received the gift of Sputnik and his brothers singing a Christmas carol not only laughing but also inviting the guys in for some wine.

The story doesn’t really end there because Sputnik left his son and many others hundreds of wonderful memories that bring a smile to our faces.  To bring a smile to someone’s face, now THAT is a gift!

With his permission, here’s Junior, Chance Bush’s poem:

BULLFROG                                                                                                                              

by Chance Bush

Remember When

Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog

Decided to Go

Was a Good Friend of Mine

Went Over To

I Never Understood a Single Word He Said

Were Close Friends

But I helped Him Drink His Wine

And they sang “Joy to the World”

Joy to You and Me!