Growing Older…Isn’t it Grand, and Aunt Ann’s Squash Pickle Recipe

Good morning guys, how are ya? Tomorrow’s Thursday?? Where’d Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday go?? Ya’ll seen em, cause I ain’t sure I did. LOL!

You’re probably sick of hearing me ask it, but I swear I don’t know where the day goes anymore? The weeks are just rolling by. Shoot, it seems like Christmas wasn’t that far back, and you might as well say its April already.

Maybe it’s just me?…yeah, right! I KNOW I’m not THE ONLY person out there, “getting old,” or maybe I should say, getting older? Sounds better doesn’t it? Almost………nice, huh? Well it ain’t! But you know who you are, so just face it…we’re getting old. Ain’t that right JC?

JC’s a buddy of mine, and a great guy too! I met him while we were going to different schools together. Actually, we DID go to the same school, it’s just that we were like on…different schedules.

His schedule had him AT school, every day of the week, ALL day! Ya believe that??? ALL day, EVERY weekday, the man was IN school! I know, I know, it’s hard for me to believe too…and I WAS there! I saw it! LOL!

I was more like, hmmm…let’s see, what’s today…Monday? You know, I think I just might take a ride out to Rock Springs, which is a State Park that has a large spring flowing out of the ground and is the origin of the Rock Springs River. So it boiled down to school…or Rock Springs? In my eyes, back in “the day,” this was literally a no-brainer! LOL!

Anyway, I’ve know this guy for years and years, not only him, but his entire family. I’ll always remember his Dad, Harry Haskell, hollerin for his son, JC, to, “Hit em a lick,” back when we played football. I mean you could hear his Dad over everybody, “Hit em lick, JC!”

You know, they have PA systems announcing the game, but when Jeff’s Dad went to hollerin, I swear…the man WAS the PA system! Once he yelled out from the stands…it got quiet for a moment or two.
People were like, “WHAT was that?” Then somebody would speak up that had been to the Apopka High school football games before and heard Harry Haskell yell, and they’d say, “Aw, it’s nothing, sit back down and watch the game! It’s just JC’s Dad!”

His Mom and Dad, shoot, when I was over there, they WERE, my Mom and Dad. Same with his brother and sister, Ronnie and Tina, also.

In reality, we were really, just family. Well, cept for JC, he was always like family too, but more like, a Cuzin. Naw, not like your Mom and Dad’s brothers and sisters kids, but something a lot farther removed, kinda like great, great, great, great….great, great, great…great uncle…or aunt’s children!

JC’s one fantastic guy, and I’m just pickin at him this morning. Growin older and thinkin back on “the good times, with friends.”

I remember my Grannie Margaret, Granddaddy, and Nannie Murphy, bless em all. I can only fantasize of them coming back through the door, or goin out to their house and spending the weekend, or Granddaddy taking me down to the camp with him for the week.

Me and him in my eyes we were equals. God I loved that man, and there’s no question that he cherished me…I was the first-born grandson, and that man was proud of that fact.

So there was so much bond or love between us, that it literally exuded out of him at times, so that in itself, to me, was almost as if…we were just buddies…equals! Just being around Granddaddy were some of my most enjoyable times in my whole life. Plus…he taught me to work.

Nannie Murphy, God rest her soul, loved me just as much, but no more, or no less than any of her other children and grandchildren.

She never had a driver’s license, yet worked her entire life as a nurse, and raised 5 children, right by herself. How’d she get back and forth? She walked.

4 of the children were hers, and one she raised on account of the child’s bad home life. Nannie took her in, and raised her as one of her own! That was how Nannie was.

Nannie, till her dying day, NEVER once called and didn’t ask, “Son, are you warm? Do you have enough underwear and socks? Have you got plenty to eat?” Then, after I assured her that I was fine, we’d talk about any other thing that happened into our minds.

Grannie Margaret, for some reason, I was always tryin to aggravate her, and in many cases was successful in my attempt! She was Granddaddy’s wife, and it seems Granddaddy had taken it upon himself to teach me a few things. One of which was…how to cuss!

I have to say that evidently I’d learned how pretty well, because from the time I was 3-4 years old, man, I could sling em out at ya! I guess I talked so dirty around Grannie was that, simply…Granddaddy wouldn’t let her whip me! LOL! I had…a free pass out at their place!

Grannie told me several times that while I was out at their place she’d be in the kitchen cooking supper. Their living room sat kinda catty-cornered from the kitchen, and although she couldn’t see me physically, she COULD, hear me in there just cussin up a storm.

Well, she said she’d gotten to the point that she figured if she just ignored me, I’d eventually…just shut up. Not me, she said. They had a rocker that if you rocked hard enough, you could bend forward in it, and see into the kitchen.

Grannie claims, and since she’s now gone I consider that all it is, is “a claim,” that I’d get that dern chair rockin as hard as I could, and when it rocked forward far enough, I’d holler out, “Sh..”
She’d be in the kitchen tryin her best to ignore me, hopin I’d get tired of her showing no response, and once again, I’d just shut-up.

She’d say at that point, I’d go to rockin even harder, all the time peerin around the corner, getting louder and louder, just a hollerin, “Sh..!” Once she finally had enough, she’d come flyin into the living room givin me “the what for!”

At that point, I’d stop. Mission accomplished. I’d… “pis… Grannie off, and it showed! Now, on to something else!

My reasoning behind sharing this with you guys today is simple. I used to dread the thought of growing older. That’s no longer the case. I cherish growing older now. It allows me the opportunity to go back in time, and relive my favorite memories.

Yes, these memories are just that…memories, but, my God, at all the wonderful people I’ve known that are no longer here, but still today, they can put a smile on my face, and because of this, I keep one in my heart as well.

I have truly been blessed, by the people our Lord saw fit to put into my life, to share those wonderful times with.

I love them all, and yes, I do miss them!

I also like the opportunity of enjoying the truly simple things in life that age, furnishes us with. I guess a word that while younger didn’t seem to be in my vocabulary ,but has become now, not just a word, but a virtue…it’s called, PATIENCE.

I look at many things today from an entirely different perspective than when I was, “still wet behind the ears!” LOL!

The beauty God put here for us to take note of. 20 years ago, I couldn’t give a hoot about the birds singing, or watching the rain roll off the roof while sitting in the porch swing during an afternoon shower.

Deb and I were in the greenhouse just this past week, and we must have spent 10 to 15 minutes watching a butterfly work. Can you imagine that at age 25? Me either! Yet, what a pleasure it is anymore to take the time and just…observe. Life truly is a wonderful gift, isn’t it? Growing older is a gift as well!

Well, that’s about all I have to say for today, and I hope possibly, it inspired a few of you guys out there to stop, smell the roses, and to give thanks to our creator for blessing us with this truly tremendous gift…the gift of life!

Oh, I almost forgot. Our good friend, Gary, asked for Aunt Ann’s Squash pickle recipe, so this is for you Mr. Gary! Along with an added bonus…her pickled okra recipe too! Enjoy, my friend!

Squash Pickles


Wash squash and slice thin. Peel onions and slice thin. Cover both with water and add salt. Let stand one to two hours. Drain

Bring vinegar, sugar and seasonings to boil and pour over vegetables. Let stand 3 to 4 minutes. Bring to a boil, stirring and boil 4 minutes.

Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.

Aunt Ann’s Pickled Okra:
• 2 pounds tender, small, fresh okra
• 5 pods hot red pepper
• 5 cloves garlic, peeled
• 1 quart white vinegar
• 1/2 cup water
• 6 tablespoons salt
• 1 tablespoon celery seed

Wash okra and pack in 5 hot sterilized pint jars. Put one pepper pod and 1 garlic clove in each jar.

Bring remaining ingredients to boil. Pour over okra and seal. Let stand 8 weeks before using.

Serve chilled.

Note: If pepper pods are not available, use 1/4 teaspoon crushed, dried, hot red pepper for each jar.

Yield : 5 pints

We want you guys to have a great day, and God Bless! As always, my better half Deb, advises to keep a smile on your face, and one in your heart!

Dub and Deb

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One Response to Growing Older…Isn’t it Grand, and Aunt Ann’s Squash Pickle Recipe

  1. Gary Bass says:

    Thany You !!! Got my okra and squash in the ground already so I can’t wait to give these recipes a try.
    Love Yall,
    P.S. Smile. GOD loves you too….

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