It wasn’t every year this happened. I can’t give you a frequency rate. I do remember "a few" weinie roasts at our house.
The invitation to a weinie roast went out on the Cameron grapevine and was strangely coincidental with Dad cleaning up the property which created a huge pile for a bonfire. I have no clue where all the stuff came from or what exactly it was. I just remember the junk pile, the fire, and what seemed like everybody in town in our yard and in and out of our house. Weiners, koolaid, potato chips, and various dishes of food on every surface that would support it. Chatter, laughter, kids running.
I am comforted by the visual memory. I’m sure my child height made the pile seem bigger and the fire taller than it really was. I can close my eyes and see my 6’2" dad, not stooped over, not shuffling, not old, carrying and tossing pieces of whatever onto the pile, excited and pleased that he had an event with which to host his friends and neighbors. Daddy, are we going to have marshmallows? Should I get the sticks ready?
I remember outer garments, so it had to be a fall adventure, therefore, fall colors, chilled crisp air with those special unique fall smells. Add to that that special smell of burning leaves. There’s nothing else like it. I remember one special year that he planted pumpkin seeds with the corn. When the pumpkins were big in the fall, he tied the cornstalks together for a Currier and Ives moment.
Once again, I am made to realize that the small things we do together as a family make memories to treasure. Sure, I would probably have great memories of a cruise to Alaska, or a Corvette on my 16th birthday, neither of which happened. But it’s the weinie roasts, the road trips, the Christmases, the Sunday dinners, the walks to school, the walks home, a dialless black phone with a crank–those memories I cradle in my heart; memories from a world lost to time.
Those are the treasures I will pass on to my children.