Jennifer, at Trading Ashes for Beauty, is hosting a fun series called Friday with Friends. This week's theme is your favorite Fourth of July.
I don't have a particular Fourth to write about because all my Fourth memories are wrapped up in a big wonderful jumble of family, heat, good food, and real honest-to-goodness lemonade.
When I was growing up all of our Fourth of Julys were spent at my grandparent's house in the country. We didn't call it Clanton, we called it "the country". If you said, "I need to run down to the country to pick up some jars" everyone knew you were going to my grandparent's. They had (my grandaddy still has), a little white house on 40 acres that was Paradise to us kids. They had an old barn to explore, usually had kittens and puppies of some sort, and woods to get lost in. Also, there would aunts and uncles to tease us, aggravate us, that would be you Uncle Marty :), and love on us.
I remember the heat. They did not get central air until I was in high school and they had one window unit to heat the whole house. It was used very sparingly. As in we would beg grandmother to turn it on, and she would just shoo us out of the house or tell us to go get more lemonade. But the heat helped make it different and special than what we knew at home. I remember the adults talking about how hot it was this year and thinking to myself, "Of course it's hot, its July in Alabama." But you know what I do now? Talk about how hot it is this year.
I remember the food. My grandaddy would grill ribs and hot dogs (extra black) for Jill, out on a big pit he made. You thought it was hot inside the house. Whew. And my grandaddy would stand out there patiently and quietly and turn and turn the meat. He also had to be there to protect our meat from the hound dogs running around. I wonder if he got tired of us pestering him about when the hot dogs would be done? My grandmother would be inside cooking up a storm. Deviled eggs, potato salad, baked beans... All the usual Fourth food, but man was it good. She would have all kinds of desserts to tempt us kids. And she made lemonade. Not from a mix, but real lemonade. She would make it in a big metal washtub and then fill it with ice. We would dip it out with a big dipper and pour it into big red plastic cups. Isn't it funny how you remember things like the cups being red? They were always red. It was delicious.
After a day of family and food, which always went by way too fast for me, my parents would load up three hot sweaty kids, and a bunch of leftovers, and start home. We would eat the leftovers for a couple of days, but they did not taste the same. There was something about being there, at my grandmother's house, with all my family there that made it taste better. And I think Pearline Martin being there just made everything sweeter.