The other night, I was making a lime sauce for the fish tacos I was preparing for dinner. I sliced open the first lime . . . and memories flooded in! (It happens every time I slice a lime.)
When I was a kid, I never saw a real, live lime. Oh, I had lime flavored things all the time: lime Kool-Aid, lemon-lime suckers, Sprite, lime popsicles, lime jell-o.
But no real limes.
Until the summer I was 16 . . . and I got my first real job . . . at Dairy Queen.
After learning how to perfect my DQ Swirl (really; for the first several days of my employ, all I did was practice the swirl), I moved on to making all the other DQ treats: the Banana Split, the Hot Fudge Brownie Delite, the Peanut Buster Parfait, the Mr. Misty Freeze (this was in the pre-Blizzard days). The thing that always delighted customers most, though, was when we turned the ice cream upside-down to coat it in chocolate dip. Pure magic!
Anyway. We also served fresh limeade at my DQ. Simple recipe: 2 limes, 2 squirts of sugar syrup, and soda water. So tasty!
The first time I made a limeade at DQ . . . and I cut into those limes and squeezed out the juice . . . I thought I'd gone to heaven! The lime smell was fabulous! I used to get so excited whenever someone ordered a limeade -- and I could cut open those limes again.
Goofy, I know.
And even though it was a crappy summer job with long hours and very little pay and I mostly hated it . . . today, almost 40 years later, I go right back there every time I slice open a lime! Back to being 16 in 1975: working on my tan . . .listening to the radio (Someone Saved My Life Tonight . . . Jive Talkin'. . . Black Water) . . .getting my driver's license . . .swim team . . .watching The Soaps with my sister. . . hanging out with my friends . . all from that heady, summer-y scent of fresh limes!
Yeah. When it comes to remembering 16, nothing does it better for me than . . .