Who is your favorite Doctor?

English: Dr. Pepper 12 OZ Regular Can with the...

English: Dr. Pepper 12 OZ Regular Can with the current logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight the activity schedule allowed the Fella and our boy Cooter to have a Guys’ Night Out for supper.  Cooter had chosen earlier–his favorite chicken sandwich place plus playground.  When our Princess and I got home, he told us that he had so much fun at supper.

“I had Dr. Pepper.  I really like it.  I like Pepper, and he’s a Doctor.”  And then he laughed like he’d just said the funniest thing ever.

His laughter carried me back fifteen years to riding in my friend’s van.  It was a special day, one that she and I both had some free time.  We took my Aub and her little guy out to pick up a happy McLunch.  Born six weeks apart, they were the only two little ones at our church.  We had spent the morning together at the Mother’s Morning Out she and I ran, and then we decided to go for lunch.

As we started to pull up  to the speaker in the drive-thru, we asked the little ones what they would like to have to drink with their chicken bucket of joy.  Aub, a girl after her aunt Mess Cat’s own heart, called out happily, “I love Dr. Pepper.”  (She had had one or two before with Mess Cat.)  Drew, our little friend, piped up with, “I love my doctor too.  He’s Dr. Harvey.”

You can imagine the laughter coming from the front seats on that one.

Or maybe you had to be there.

The thing is I was there.  And for a few minutes tonight, as the weight of the day threatened to take me under with exhaustion and a little sadness, I was there again.  The sheer joy of having an unexpected outing with my friend, this friend who loved me through some pretty hard times and celebrated some really great ones as well, took me away from the woes and worries of the day just as it did then.  And the laughter of the three year olds after we started laughing, so sweet, and not having a clue what they were laughing about–precious.

I love having memories that can make me smile and bring back the warmth of a moment, of a day.  Driving home tonight I thought about what my greatest goal is right now.  To give my children good things to remember, much as my parents did for us.  I’m not talking about “Oh my parents took us to Disney every summer” or “We got everything on our wish list for our birthday each year.”  I’m thinking about things like how Mama tried cooking homemade pizza on the grill in the summer to keep from heating up the whole house, and how it was the best pizza I’ve ever eaten.  Still.  Or how she and my Aunt helped us put together a Barbie wedding complete with a wiener roast after.  Or how Daddy didn’t play when it came to hard work and keeping your word, but he did make things like planting a garden or washing a car extra special just by talking and listening to you.  I hope one day my children can look back on the memories we are making now and find comfort and joy and maybe even a giggle or two.

Dr. Pepper.  That boy cracked me up.  He and Aub were a pair back in the day, that’s for sure.  Tonight I’m thankful for him and his “Blue’s Clues/Rugrats” loving self and all the laughter we shared those years ago.  And again tonight.  Mostly I’m thankful for the happy memories and the people who made them happen.

Wishing you all merry memory making.  One day someone will be glad you did.

When the Family Gets Together

That's not something you see very often!

That’s not something you see very often

In my travels up and down 247 back and forth to Macon a few months back, I saw this sign.  That is not something you see very often, is it?

But once upon a time…..

Some of my fondest summer memories are of time spent with my cousins.  Mama and my Aunt loaded all seven and then eight of us up in the Chevy II Nova (way back in the days before mandatory car seats and seat belt laws), and we headed up to Macon.  The Museum of Arts and Sciences hosted movie mornings in the summer. I think it was every Tuesday and Thursday, but I can’t be sure now.  On the planetarium walls I saw many of the old Disney classics–Cannonball Express, The Ugly Dachshund, Candleshoe, and Escape to Witch Mountain, among many others.  Oh I loved the cool air and the comfortable seats in the planetarium.  When we left the cool darkness, the bright sunlight and steamy, sweltering heat made us blink and immediately enveloped us on the short walk back to the car.

After the movie, we often (okay my perspective, may not have been THAT often) went by the Krystal’s drive-thru and picked up burgers on the way home.  Back then 25 cent Krystals were not so unusual.  I can remember a head count being done–how many can you eat? was asked of the older ones and extras were added for the younger ones.  I wonder what those folks thought when Mama and my Aunt ordered 35 or 40 Krystals at a time.  With coupons.  Good times.

So many fun times spent together, especially in the summers.  Pots of chili or spaghetti spooned out in numerous bowls.  Playing Colored Ribbons or Cowboys and Indians in their yard or ours.  The Barbie Wedding.  Easter Egg Hunts and now Turkey Egg Hunts too.  Movie marathons on the Video Disc Players.  Remember those?  The thing holding the movie was shaped like a record album.  Remember those? Oh. Never mind.  Suffice to say, great times then.  Piled up in my Aunt and Uncle’s living room.  Star Wars–the original movies.  The Man From Snowy River.  The room was so dark and the picture on their color tv was so bright.  Almost like our own mini movie theater.

I am thinking of my cousins tonight as one of the best cousins ever has her birthday today.  And in the past week my own children have spent lots of fun times with some of their cousins.  And it’s also my niece’s birthday.  Yeah, I’ve got cousins on the brain.  And family.  And Krystal’s.  But that’s another story.

I am lucky to have a close family, where second and third generations out, we gather and love each other, share laughter and tears, and have each other’s backs.  If I am in a bind, I know who to call.

Tonight I am thankful for my cousins, who know me and oddly enough, seem to love me anyway.  I am thankful for my children’s cousins, and second cousins, and third, who brighten their lives and mine–with their creativity, imaginations, sweet spirits, and downright fun outlooks on life.  I give thanks for Mama and Daddy and all my aunts and uncles who made family a priority and made sure we had these great memories to turn back to on days like today.  And I’m grateful to Rody Davenport Jr. and J. Glenn Sherrill.  Oh, they’re the folks who invented and founded Krystal’s.  I don’t eat their burgers as often as I used to, but I still love them and the memories they carry with them.

A Hallmark card I got years ago--yep, this is how we roll.....

A Hallmark card I got years ago–yep, this is how we roll…..

Some fun Krystal facts: (from Wikipedia)

The first customer, French Jenkins, ordered a cup of coffee and six Krystals–for 35 cents

The focus for the restaurant from the beginning was cleanliness.  Mrs. Davenport suggested the name based on a crystal ball lawn ornament she saw–thinking of crystal clear and clean together, with a K for a twist

It first opened in 1932–it is the oldest hamburger chain in the South

Brenda Webb took her name from the chain after her sister Loretta Lynn suggested it–to Crystal Gayle

The current world record for eating Krystal burgers is 103 burgers consumed in 8 minutes by Joey Chestnut, set on October 28, 2007.