Friday, January 12, 2007

Another Memory

Christine walked lazily ahead of me. Her calves, like mine, were streaked with mud. She bent down to pick up the green glass bottle and tossed it into the plastic bag I was struggling to keep a hold of. The plastic was hot and slippery in the heat, coated with sweat from my grubby little hands.

"I think that should do it," she said with a crooked grin.

We walked into the gas station with our treasure and I struggled to lift the plastic bag onto the counter. It settled with a few satisfying clinks. The cool air conditioning was a shock against our sweaty skin.

Dale smiled down at us from the register, showing a few aged teeth, his blue eyes dancing. "Do you girls want the usual?"

"Yes, sir." I said, reaching for one of those sugary packaged treats--two oatmeal cookies with a thick layer of cream connecting them. Christine grabbed our ginger ale and we were on our way.

It was a good morning's work collecting enough bottles from the kitchen and alongside the highway, but the treats were always well worth it. My mother would have flipped out if she had known her nine year-old was out walking up and down a country highway, but then again, that was half the fun.


Sarah said...

Did you really do that? or is that part of a story? I remember walking around a little town that one of my friends used to live in. I would go out there to stay with her for a week and we would do whatever we wanted to.

Kate said...

Yep, I really did that.

Chris said...

That reminds me of my grandparents' farmhouse. We would collect everyone's 6 ounce coke bottles (and Sundrop too) to take to the "station" to trade them in for $.02 candies.

Nice memory:)

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