summertime fried egg sandwich

What do you think of when you think of summertime?

When we were kids, summers to me and my sisters meant going to California to visit our dad, stepmom and stepsister. They lived in the southern California desert at the time, so summer days there could reach temperatures of 110 and above, easy. Not the nicest weather, but we had fun anyway. Sometimes during the day, we’d get lucky and our stepmom would take us to the waterpark in town while our dad was working. We didn’t venture outside much during the day though. Most of the time, we’d run outside at sundown to play hide and seek in the dark, rollerblade in circles on their concrete driveway, and occasionally we’d all go to the movies.

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cherry vanilla popsicles

So. It’s been hot here lately.

Like, really hot. 108 degrees, hot. If there’s one thing you can count on in Phoenix in mid June, it’s relentless heat. Sadly, the calendar still thinks it’s springtime, but you wouldn’t know that if you stepped outside here on a random day at 3 PM!

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strawberry balsamic + black pepper popsicles

When I think of summertime, I think of popsicles, and when I think of popsicles, I think of my childhood neighbor Eric. My family moved in to the house across the street from Eric’s family when I was 5, and he was the same age as me and my twin sister. I remember standing at the end of our driveway with my two sisters the morning after we moved in, shouting to Eric as he sped up and down the street on his bike trying to impress us with his skills. All we wanted to do was introduce ourselves to him, because oh boy, here was a potential new friend! Eventually he stopped his feats of daring on his child’s bicycle, came over and talked to us, and the rest is history.

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Most days after morning kindergarten, my twin sis and I could be found hanging out with Eric at his house. In the storage room off of his family’s carport, they had a big deep freezer that, to my kid brain, seemed chock-full of nothing but popsicles (because that’s all I ever saw his mom pull out of it). Among the typical cherry, orange and grape-flavored pops, his favorite always seemed to be the Flintstones sherbet push-up pops. When the weather turned warm, you could rest assured that Eric’s mom would keep him in a never-ending supply of popsicles from the deep freezer.

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