Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rainstorms and Root Beer Floats

It's always bizarre the way random, but super specific things will stick in your memory. I cannot remember valuable information when I need it, or often the end of my sentence, but I can describe the pattern of the paper liner in my childhood dresser drawers. Because, you know, that helps me on a daily basis.

There's something about a rain storm that always stirs up memories of root beer floats. The heavy, fresh scent of soil come alive with moisture, the thick breezes full of humidity, and the loud splats of rain on pavement calls to mind Blue Bell "Homemade Vanilla" swirled in IBC Root Beer. Slushy in a pre-chilled mug. Savored, first with a straw and then with a long iced tea spoon. We'd sit on the front veranda in our folding butterfly chairs, wrapped in blankets and breathing in the wet air, and for that half hour or so the storm would feel like something extra special. Front row seats to a private performance from the Rain Gods. A traveling Magic Show just passing through. Celebrated with sugar, toasted with "beer." 

I don't remember why this stands out to me, and when I've asked my mother she doesn't either. She doesn't recall doing it, either as a comfort or reward or even as a distraction. I know that game. I was a nanny - I know the lengths you will go to in order to keep children occupied when they must be kept indoors. Maybe it was one of those days where, with three little girls and two under the age of six, that was the last card up her sleeve. I wouldn't doubt it, knowing our shenanigans.

I have a feeling this probably only actually happened once or twice, but my little sugar-addicted mind has forever connected the two things together, like you do at that age. It's raining thereFORE I should be having a root beer float. 

Sadly, I no longer drink root beer floats when it rains. Now I curl up with coffee and a new catalog for inspiration or a good book for company. But I can still taste that hint of sassafras and vanilla in those rainy drops.

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