Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Ohio Chronicles: Summer Breeze

A storm is coming in and the temp has cooled down to the lower 90's with a pretty good breeze. We opened our front and back doors to let fresh air blow through the house. It feels like my childhood and makes me think of 'home'.
Sometimes, I feel like I miss out on the essence of summer because we go from our air conditioned house to car to office and back again. Don't misunderstand - I am not complaining! A person could bake alive some days here. The sun can be unrelentingly hot and bright with no breeze at all. So a day like today is special and I like to savor it.

At work this week, one of the building units was down and one wing of the office was without a/c. Maintenance put about 6 fans in the hallway to pull some of the cold air from one end of the office wing to the other. The sound of the fans blowing warmish-cool air had everyone remembering our childhood summers.

One of my favorite memories is the Nickels Bread Truck. Not only did the Ice Cream Truck ring-a-ding its way down our road in the summer, but Nickels Bakery would occasionally include our out-of-the-way hillside on their route. When that big, red truck would stop in front of his house, Gramps would always purchase a jelly roll. Nickels also carried banana flips, assorted pies (the real crust kind), and a snack cake that I've never found anywhere else. It's an individual size, chocolate cake confection topped with a filling similar to a HoHo, then covered in chocolate icing. MMMMMMMMMMMM! I craved these when I was pregnant; mom would send them to me in a care package. Every time I go visit now, I stop at the store located at their main bakery and buy a few to take home.My mother-in-law was part of Nickels history. She was one of the first two women drivers they ever employed. It was during WWII, when the menfolk were away and the women helped keep the country going. She then worked in the bakery and learned to make the best pies on the planet. She was a good woman; a good mom and a good mother-in-law. She's in heaven now and I know she received a hearty "Well done" from Jesus.