A Trip Down Memory Lane- Songs that remind me of another place and time.

It never ceases to amaze me the power that words have on my life.  Words have the power to uplift me, but they also have the potential to break me down.  So much for “sticks and stones,” people. A great example of this WORD POWER is in songs.  I bet if you closed your eyes and thought about it, you can remember eventful times in your life and along with them,  songs that accompany those memories.  This activity is quite easy for me.  I think because when I hear certain songs the words come crashing into my mind like waves into the shore. So, take a trip down memory lane with me ( gas prices have dropped, so it won’t cost too much), and then think for yourself.  A few stops for me on this musical highway of life are as follows:

  • “MOMMA’S DON’T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE COWBOYS” This tune by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings was an anthem of sorts that we sang along to on a trip out west in the late seventies with my parents.  We traveled from coast-to-coast that summer.  My daddy would be up in the driver’s seat of our RV, and I would be standing behind him, and we would sing along with these two modern-day outlaws. It was awesome.

  • “THE FIREMAN” by George Strait was a popular country tune during my high school days.  I honestly don’t know why it stands out in my mind so much. Maybe it was the carefree attitude of the song. When I hear it, I take a trip back to my teenage years. “They call me the fireman, that’s my name.  Making my rounds all over town, putting out old flames.” The fact that George Strait was an absolute dream to look at and listen to didn’t hurt!

  • “TAKE IT EASY” by the Eagles was a song that brings me back to my senior trip in 1985. We were freshly graduated and headed to Florida for our Senior cruise.  It was during that lengthy bus ride that my classmates and I would sing along to the Eagles, “Take it easy, take it easy.  Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy.  Come on baby, don’t say maybe, you gotta know that your sweet love is going to save me.” Now, looking back in the rearview window of life, I realize that that time was some of the most freeing.

  • “LOVE CAN BUILD A BRIDGE” by The Judds takes me back to the early nineties.  I was freshly married, and my husband and I took a trip out West with two of our friends.  That was a crazy trip.  We rented this awful Ford van that honestly looked like we were a pack of pervs- you know the kind.  It is always a white van with tinted windows.  Anyway, we traveled from South Carolina to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in twenty-eight hours of straight driving.  It was exhausting. Anyway, when you are in the desert of Arizona miles away from anything, you better like country music because that is all you are going to get on the radio.  Yeah for me, I love country music. However, going from the North rim to the South rim of the Grand Canyon I swear we heard “Love can build a bridge between your heart and mine. Love can build a bridge, Don’t you think it’s time? Don’t you think it’s time?” about a million times.  I am only slightly exaggerating.  It got me to thinking though.  If someone would build a bridge over the Grand Canyon, it would seriously cut down the drive time, seriously.

  • ” DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA” makes a stop in this musical memory trip.  My kids and I were traveling from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Williams, Arizona, in 2005.  That whole radio thing all over again, so we had in the Charlie Daniels Band.  My kids and I sang loudly and proudly the words to this song as we made our way over the Hoover Dam.  “The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal, he was in a bind, cause he was way behind, so he was willing to make a deal.”  My ten-year old son was having a field day.  He got to say “bitch” and “dam” without getting in trouble.  He loved it.  I have to admit that I loved it, too. We had such a great time.  Those two were my whole life back then, and it was a wonderful trip for us all. Unfortunately, we left the tape in the Jeep rental, or was that lucky… Guess it depends on if you love hearing a song over and over and over again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnepPZChA5U I could continue on with this list, but I think you get the gist.  For those of us who love music, we can equate it to certain times in our lives.  For me, music is a form of therapy.  It allows me the opportunity to reflect and feel.  So, sit yourself down and think about this.  Now, what are some songs that cause you to stop, listen, and remember?

Saying I do- without the, I don’t think so… A Real Southern Wedding

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Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to marry the love of my life and my best friend. Okay, so I sound like all those women on “Say Yes to The Dress” and mine would have had to be the Atlanta division because of my thick Southern drawl. But, I can’t help myself. I have a heart filled with joy, and a wedding cake that was decorated with magnolia and dogwood blossoms made of fondant. Now, I am back from my honeymoon, and I think it is important that I share some of my “been there, done that” wisdom. So, what are some major do’s and don’ts when it comes to planning your second wedding?

• Do not wear white. My son asked me if I was wearing a white wedding dress, and since he was giving me away and my daughter was my maid of honor, I figure the jig was up as far as my purity. So, I wore champagne, and it was beautiful.

• Do make it a family affair. I am blessed with two precious children. (19 and 20) My new husband has two girls. (18 and 25) They were our wedding party. Let’s be honest- what forty-something wants to be a bridesmaid anyway? Gray hair and bridesmaid dresses don’t mix.

• Do not ask guests to bring gifts. This is a personal opinion, but I think it is a little tacky to ask people to bring gifts to a second wedding. What does one buy someone who has a house filled with lots of stuff? On my RSVP cards, I simply stated that my groom and I have been blessed and the gift of their presence was all that we asked.

• Do make it a special occasion for all guests. This wedding was more of a joyous celebration for me and mine. I wanted my guest to feel extra special and take part. After our vows, the congregation stood and sang a hymn. Not only did it get my guest involved in the service, it also was beautiful and most definitely a” joyful noise.”

• Do not speak softly during your vows. Not many of us enjoy silent movies. Heck, I don’t even like movies with subtitles. Make sure you speak loudly enough for your guest to hear you. Your vows are declarations, and they should be heard.

• Do Enjoy Yourself. I must admit that I remember little of my first wedding. My mom made all the decisions. She picked everything out. This time I planned and implemented most everything about my wedding. It was a reflection of my groom and me. People said it was one of the happiest weddings they have ever been to. That makes me smile, so – mission accomplished! Okay, this is my advice on second weddings. The most important thing to do is have a blast like only Southern folks can.

In the beginning…….

Hey there. My name is Ashley Summers, and I would like to take a few lines to introduce myself and what I hope to accomplish with this blog.

I am a fourth generation nut. Well, to be perfectly honest, I am a fourth generation pecan girl. Those of you who know me might say I had it right the first time. I live in the metropolis of Cameron, South Carolina, and work at Golden Kernel Pecan Company. I have been “full”time for about ten seasons now. I say full time because I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved in some aspect of the season. However, after college, I decided to teach middle school English until there was room for me full time here at GKPC. As you can imagine, going from teaching English to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders is not a big stretch from what I do now. That being working for my dad and uncle- the owners, bosses, chiefs, man- in -command, El Presidenta, etc. I know it sounds kind of weird, but like the farmer in those Ram truck commercials from the Super Bowl or those vampires and werewolves from those books and movies, it’s in my blood.

I want to accomplish a few things with this blog. One is to educate people about PECANS. They get the shaft a lot of times when people talk about tree nuts. I can not wait to teach you how awesome these little nuggets of gold are for you. Secondly, I would even like to make some of the recipes we have here at Golden Kernel Pecan. These little treasures come from my Memi Summers’s recipe books that she wrote all in the margins and tweaked where she saw fit. The recipes also have been passed down from others in my family and friends. Thirdly, I will also write a little about life in the South for me, a single(divorced), mother of two (19 year old daughter and 17 1/2 year old son). I live in the community from which I work. I have lived here most of my life except when I went to the University of South Carolina and when I was first married. I have a cute little dog named Ruthie. She is about four months old. I also have a very special, best friend who hopefully will be much more than that one day.

So, sit back and let’s get started. My next post will be a classic. I will teach you how to make our Golden Kernel Pecan Company Pecan Pie and Tarts from the recipe we use in our own kitchen here at our plant.

Thanks for reading, and let’s get cooking with pecans!