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Shannon Bardwell: The way it was

 

Shannon Bardwell

 

The lawyer laughed and talked about getting apples and oranges for Christmas; he agreed everything tasted better back then. 

 

Two gentlemen came into the courthouse; one was a lawyer and the other his buddy. While looking over some land deeds, they started talking about Christmases past. The lawyer mentioned being in his 60s. His buddy quickly one-upped him with, "I'm 73." Both men were quick-witted. 

 

Buddy said, "Everything tasted better when we were younger, didn't it?" He laughed, as jolly as Santa Claus, with a salt and pepper beard that was turning almost as white. 

 

"I remember when I lived in Chicago and we had Wisconsin cheese; man, it was smooth as butter and twice as good. I'd come down here and taste the same cheese and ask, 'What is this stuff?'" 

 

The lawyer laughed and talked about getting apples and oranges for Christmas; he agreed everything tasted better back then. The way their eyes twinkled I had a feeling they were talking about more than just apples and oranges. 

 

The lawyer left the room, and I stepped forward, "Do you really think everything tasted better, or is it just that we are so over-indulged we take things like apples and oranges for granted?" A very astute point, I thought. 

 

Buddy cocked his head to the side and grinned. His eyes twinkled again, "Nope, I don't think so at all. I think everything tasted better back then." 

 

The lawyer returned, and for a few minutes they described the taste of fresh farm eggs and chickens raised in the yard, oranges and apples that weren't dyed and waxed, milk from a cow with cream that rises to the top; food that wasn't shipped halfway 'round the world and was eaten in the season that produced it. 

 

To the contrary, Buddy told about eggs he had seen recently that were actually poured into egg-shaped molds; they weren't really eggs at all. 

 

The lawyer told about finding a wrapped honeybun in his lawyer desk that had been there over a year. He ate the honeybun, and it tasted fresh. There's something wrong with a honeybun that tastes fresh after a year in a lawyer's desk. 

 

I stepped back into the shadows and soon the men had forgotten all about me as they continued their reminiscences. They talked about how strong they had been and how they could work and how they could run, and then Buddy said, "You remember when we were young and we'd pee on the ground and it would bubble all up?" 

 

Both the men threw their heads back and laughed again. The lawyer remembered. 

 

Buddy said, "It was all those vitamins. We don't get any of those vitamins anymore." 

 

The lawyer and his buddy left, but not before leaving their reminiscences with me. 

 

Thanks, fellas, for sharing your memories. I'm wishing for you that you awake on Christmas morning and everything tastes just like you remembered -- and maybe, just maybe, you will slip outside where no one is looking and see bubbles.  

 

Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie. Her email is msdeltachild@msn.com.

 

Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.

 

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