Professor J's Place

27 April, 2010


My  mother was a single mom with three girls. She worked hard, but without any support from my father or any other family members, money was hard to come by. So when the weekend rolled around we would load up the cooler with Shasta pop (at .5 a can), hard boiled eggs, boiled hot dogs, and potato salad. And we'd drive out to a park. Usually, we'd head out to Garner State Park in the Texas Hill Country.

I know you readers from outside of Texas hear us talk about the Hill Country like it's God's back yard. And it is. But it might be hard for you to see. It is not lush and thick with trees like the wonderful woods in Georgia and the Carolinas. The hills are not majestic like the mountains of Colorado or magical like the hills of Kentucky. 

Our trees are slightly gray in color; even the old trees seem more like shrubs than the wonder that is the woods of Northern California.

But we are pulled here. 

I think it is the psychology of sparseness. I think it is the short-lived green season, the flowers that blanket the earth and burn away with the heat and drought in no time at all.

So, I don't boil the eggs and hotdogs anymore. But I do pile in the car with people I love and drive. It is my favorite weekend activity. A drive, some music, some photos. And maybe a bit of barbecue to celebrate my comparative wealth.
Hop in, girls. 

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Blogger Liberrian said...

I loved Shasta's cream soda growing up. They were a real treat because my mom worked as a dietitian and believed 2% milk the best option for her offspring.

I like a drive in the country, Karen, but I hate doing the driving! That's my dad's job even though he's been gone six years now.
~~ Leslie

April 27, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Shasta was like liquid manna when we could get it.

I'd love to take a drive with you. I wouldn't even mind boiled hot dogs. And, of course, we know what CD we'll listen to on the way.

April 27, 2010 at 12:02 PM  
Anonymous K. said...

It's so funny that you would write this now, since the traditional Sunday drive with my parents has been very much on my mind lately. New Mexico, we usually went to a picnic area that I named Sliding Rock after the boulder that was just the perfect size and slant for sliding down, or to the reservation where my parents could buy cheap cigarettes and I would study all of the turquoise jewelry with awe. On the way home we would always see hang gliders or hot air balloons. Later it was Oklahoma, and like your Hill Country, there was nothing towering or majestic about nature there, but I still miss it, somehow.

Anyway, I've been trying to initiate the weekend drive more often with my family now. This last Sunday we went in search of covered bridges, which are all over this area and I'd never actually seen, so far off the beaten path are they now. It was really awesome, and I actually thought of you, too, as I took my camera along and could imagine us both clicking away.

April 27, 2010 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a lovely picture you paint.

April 27, 2010 at 7:51 PM  
Anonymous Jodi Anderson said...

As a child, my version of Shasta was Jolly Good soda. Fond memories. But, I'll skip the Kool-Aid! :)

April 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Pearl C. Pritchard said...

Hi Professor J! So good to see you again.

I have very few nice memories of going on drives as my father was a maniac who yelled at everyone and drove like an insane person.

But I do remember "pop" --

Take care,

May 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Rima said...

Shasta and hot dogs? Sign me up!

May 6, 2010 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous bipolarlawyercook said...

Sounds absolutely delightful. And that car's big enough for everyone and well, everyone.

May 9, 2010 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Sojourner said...

Lovely! I'll be there in a minute. But, I have the same memory of drives with my dad as Pearl. Screaming and driving like a maniac.

May 11, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger phd in yogurtry said...

Love me some Hill Country adventures. Love that car, too.

Is that a Chevy Belaire? My husband used to have a '57 Ford Fairlane. Giant car. A friend came down from Ohio and we cruised the Hill Country. Stopped in at the Hye Post Office to meet the 2nd longest running Post Master in the U.S.A. The oldest was in Ohio, not far from my girlfriend's home, as it turned out. Ended up at Luckenbach. It was a wonderful day.

May 12, 2010 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Suburban Kamikaze said...

You had me at potato salad.


May 14, 2010 at 5:38 PM  

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