She loved maple nut goodies. And French Burnt Peanuts, too. Dime store candies that are easy to find and never melt on road trips.
So many road trips we took. Visiting family, going on camping trip vacations, and sometimes, just driving. Those were my favorites. And when the candies would most often come out.
I don’t know what kind of magic spell she cast on that purse but there was always something sweet to be found in one of the corners. After we ate cheese and crackers from the mini cooler that often sat on the backseat between my brother and me, we’d eat those little candies and play the license plate game, or the find-the-alphabet-on-the-billboards game, or I Spy.
There was always a song to sing to on the radio or if the signal was bad, Mom would sing her favorites herself. Consequently, I know way more songs from the 70s than I really should. But I’m so glad I do.
She made little things like maple nut goodies and car ride sing-a-longs into something lasting, so real I can almost hold it in my hand right now.
The whole of my childhood summed up in a small piece of candy.
Maple nut goodies are sunshine through the car window and my mom singing Bad Bad Leroy Brown while she clapped along with herself and skipped the almost-swear word. My brother and I annoying each other to no end (got ya last infinity, got ya last infinity-plus-one, nu-uh there is no infinity-plus-one) in the backseat. My dad giving us “the look” in the rearview and my mom making him laugh by tickling him just under his ear.