Growing up we didn't have a lot of money and yes 'gas' was actually cheap! Today we would never consider just going for a 'drive'. But back then it was the one thing we did as entertainment. Us kids would pile into the back of dads big boat and the windows would be rolled down. Bouncing in our seats we'd head off for our casual drive. I can still feel that summer breeze blowing across my facee, and the sun on my face.
When dad said 'drive' we all got big smiles on our faces and we'd run to get our flip flops on and head for the car, fighting over who'd get the coveted 'window' seat! On would go the radio, CKRM and we'd listen to some Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers or Glen Campbell. Sitting in the back seat all of us girls would sing along to the favorite country tunes. My favorite was 'Rhinestone Cowboy'. I would sing that song non-stop until I drove my mom crazy!
Mom and Dad liked to cruise through back alleys looking for discared 'treasure'. Mom was great at spotting something that was too good to be thrown out. We'd find all sorts of stuff from lamps, tables, radios and more. They'd exclaim to each other about how anyone could throw perfectly good stuff away. This was way before Garage Sales actually took off. If someone didn't want something anymore, working or not it went into the alley besides the dumpster, and Mom and Dad were great at picking through to find the treasure.
Then we'dbe off to Wascana Park. We'd drive the slow 20mph through the park and sometimes Dad would go slower. You see we were on a mission, a pop bottle mission. It was our job as kids to spot any pop bottles and then Dad would stop the car and we'd run out and bring them back. We were quite good at this and we could spot a pop bottle lying in the grass better than anyone. We'd get a little competition going as to who could spot the most pop bottles. My nickname at the time was 'Eagle Eyes', I guess I must have been good at spotting those bottles. With each shiny(yes they were still glass) bottle that was found, we started dreaming of what we'd get at the store! Freezies, Fudgsicle, Coca-Cola, Old Dutch Chips or maybe some penny candies....the possibilities were endless!
If we were really lucky some of the tennis balls from the courts would be stuck outside the courts in the trees, we'd run like crazy and get us a tennis ball! Mom was great at spotting the little green balls in the trees. We'd giggle together thinking we just found gold - the tennis ball was the ultimate 'drive' treasure!
Then mom would get that twinkle in her eye and wink to dad! We were smart enough to know what that look meant....DQ Icecream! They'd try to throw us off with driving a different route and making it seem like we were just heading home, but we knew that we'd be getting an ice cream. Mom would call out, 'who wants ice-cream'? She'd go in and come out with a paper tray full of DQ soft serve cones, and if we were really lucky they'd be chocolate dipped!
Mom always managed to make what little we had seem like a lot! From our summer ice cream drives to the little ways she'd make Christmas special by wrapping up a lot of small items and how she'd wear her couple of outfits well past when they should be worn, just to ensure me and my sister didn't go without. Somehow we were always fed, clothed and happy!
Happy Mother's Day Mom!
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