Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chocolate Chip Memories

I got the munchies one afternoon while working on Greek homework.  I decided to make myself a snack that would take time to eat (the munchies often presents as a symptom of boredom) and would be neat (I didn't want to make a mess or spill food on my text books or LDK's lexicon).  I decided on chocolate chips and raisins and went about fixing myself a small bowl of them.  As I sat back down at the table, a wave of memories came flooding back.  I was transported back to Saturday mornings during my last two years of high school.
Every week my youngest brothers and I would get up super early.  They'd sit down for a quick breakfast (well, with Isaac nothing was every quick...his toast almost always came in the car with us), while I put together their lunches.  It was always peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Saturdays (I had not yet developed a peanut allergy at this point, now me making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches would be a very bad choice).  Saturday was the only day they could have peanut butter and jelly because their school was nut free.  Church on Sunday was nut free too, but they showered Saturday night, so we took advantage of it.  With peanut butter and jelly packed for both of them (and something else for me...I wasn't a big peanut butter and jelly fan), I'd get out three small Tupperware containers. I'd fill the bottom 1/3 -1/2 the container with chocolate chips and then top it off with raisins.  I'd put the lids on them and into the lunch bag they'd go.  A few cookies, some fresh fruit if we had it, and Rubbermaid sippy-bottles of juice would top off our lunch bag.  I'd make myself a bowl of creamed rice cereal (for the road), make sure they had their school books and clean faces and we'd be off.
As soon as we were far enough away from home, we'd turn the radio on and listen to "Paws and Tales", followed by "Adventures in Odyssey".  If we couldn't pick either program up that day, there would be a CD or tape of German children's songs for us to sing along with. For the first year I'd drop them off at their school with instructions to stay out of trouble until class started and then head over to my school.  The second year (I'd graduated from my program after the first year), we'd just go to their school and they would play with the "German fun bag" while I directed traffic in the parking lot. Or I'd quiz them on their vocabulary while parking cars.  Then they'd be off to their classes and shortly after I'd go to the Kindergarten room where I worked as a TA.
After class we'd go to Kinderchor and I'd sign some of the songs while trying to keep Isaac focussed. Then, we'd load back up in the van and either go to the grocery to get things we couldn't get at home (and occasionally a special treat) or head straight for home.  They'd munch on their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we'd all enjoy our chocolate chips and raisins.  We'd listen to the radio until we got close to home and then switch back over to CD or tape
Chocolate chips and raisins were as much a part of my Saturday mornings as getting out of bed.  I'm pretty sure the boys would have been more upset if I forgot to pack the chocolate chips and raisins than if I'd forgotten to pack their sandwiches. And now, as I sit here, eating my chocolate chips and raisins (and not so much working on my homework), I've been transported back.  Back to a time before seizures.  Back to a time before college.  Back to a time before seminary.  Back, back, back.  All the good memories, all the things I'd rather forget (I mean, who really wants to remember everything about high school?), all of it was coming back.

It's funny how something as simple as a snack can bring back memories.  What brings back memories for you?  Is it a food?  A place?  A song? A smell? Are the pleasant memories or unpleasant or a mixture of both?

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