Category Archives: Memory Monday

Memory Monday – The Bird Bath

Not sure why but lately I’ve really been noticing birds.  There’s the robin with a nest I can see from my deck, hawks perched on roadside signs on my commute… and just tonight there were 100’s of birds sitting on the corn plants in the field across from our house.

With birds on my brain (go ahead and insert bird brain joke here) I got to thinking about my Grandma’s backyard and the bird bath in it.

This wasn’t some flimsy or temporary bird bath.  It was one made of concrete and set into the ground.  There was no moving this thing.  A tornado could’ve come and taken the house and I bet that bird bath would still be standing.

Funny thing is… I don’t recall a bird ever bathing in it.  That’s probably because my cousins and I were busy using it for a tag home base, home plate for whiffle ball… or a meeting spot for taking a break from playing cowboys and indians.

My Grandparents are gone and the house is no longer in the family… but the next time I’m back in my home town I think I’ll drive down the ally and look for that bird bath.

If I was a betting man I’d bet it’s still there!

Little bird on a mossy rock

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Memory Monday – Detasseling

Whenever I hear a Guns N’ Roses song I’m instantly taken back to one particular Summer.  A Summer of hard work but one I look back on now with a smile.

I was 14 or 15 and a cousin and I contracted some acres of field corn to detassel.  I can’t remember how many acres or how much we were paid… but I remember it being a lot of money for a teen.

Detasseling is a long, hot, sweaty job.  You start at one end of the field walking to the other side removing all the tassels from the top of each corn plant.  Get to the other side and you start back doing the same thing in another row.Blue sky and white clouds above an Iowa corn fieldOn more than one occasion by the middle afternoon, under the hot sun, we were a little tired.  To keep us going we sang… the entire Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction album… from start to finish.

The mental image of what we must have looked like seems funny to me now.  Two teens walking through an Iowa corn field singing rock songs. In a way… I kind of miss jobs and bonding experiences like that.

What I don’t miss is the corn cuts on my arms and closing my eyes to sleep at night and still seeing corn!

Did you detassel corn as a teen? What was your detasseling soundtrack?

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Memory Monday – Happy Joe’s

I’ve written before about how certain smells bring back memories for me.  Well, it happened tonight while I was making supper.  It was “Family Omelet Night” and I had everyone else’s made and was putting mine together.

In my “fixins” pan I was heating up some ham, onions, mushrooms, and fresh jalapenos and tomatoes from our garden.

Peppers, onions, mushrooms, ham, & tomato in a frying pan

The smell of those particular ingredients cooking together reminded me of what the inside of Happy Joes Pizza smelled like when I was a kid.

I don’t ever remember eating at Happy Joes Pizza with my family. Our usual family pizza joint was Pizza Hut.  That’s where we went when we weren’t eating at Bonanza for the salad bar.

Happy Joes is linked in my memory to birthday parties with friends! I know I went to several.  They had a special window with stairs so kids could watch the pizzas being made.  I thought that was so cool.

The other thing that I remember about Happy Joes is they had a small section of candy with suckers the size of softballs.  I never got one of those rainbow colored suckers… but I do remember getting a Jolly Rancher candy stick a few times. Fire is/was my favorite.

Our omelets tonight were awesome but I’ll admit that after smelling the ham, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes cooking I kind of wanted Happy Joes Pizza!

Do you have a Happy Joes Pizza memory?

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