The Shade Tree and Grandma’s Iced Tea

The good times were the simple pleasures in Life.

It was summertime and I was at my favorite place on earth, at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. It was four decades ago, and no one had air conditioning back then. Around 3 p.m., when it was the hottest, the whole town of Blanco rather stopped and people rested in the shade until it was cool enough to work out in the sun again.

At my Grandpa and Grandma’s we sat outside underneath a massive leafy covering of an enormous Box Elder shade tree. We sat in red, shellback, metal lawn chairs. We simply rocked rhythmically, passing the time lazily, taking it easy in the slow-dancing shadows that swathed us beneath the leafy giant.

Grandpa occasionally took the water hose and sprayed water on the tree’s leaves to make the shade cooler. Occasionally, when a breeze came, for just a few seconds, it felt like early fall in that shade.

Grandpa made a round white table underneath the shade tree by welding a metal pipe to the hub of an old iron wagon wheel, then cutting plywood to lie on top. My Grandma Vera took Blanco Water, steeped it with loose tealeaves, sugar, and poured it all into a gallon glass pitcher.

Grandma brought this pitcher to the round table and poured the ice tea into Mason jars filled with jagged-edged, ice-picked, shards of frozen crystal water Grandma always topped off her ice tea with a few fresh mint leaves from her backyard garden.

Grandma was the greatest. She died. It seems like such a long time ago. I can still hear her laugh and recall the little things that she always did to make my life wonderful.

I would do anything to bring her back.

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