(One of the Many) Tastes of my Childhood

It is commonly said that smells trigger memories of people, places, and things past.  I certainly can confirm this phenomenon, but I’d like to add (at least for me) that certain TASTES also trigger some of my oldest (and often fondest) memories.

Case in point…   Butter Rum Life Savers.

This year, on my annual road trip to duck hunting camp, I stopped to gas up and grab a bag of Wintergreen Lifesavers.  They are my “go-to” hard candy (especially when you know you are going to do some drinking and cigar smoking).  The convenience store I stopped at had a sale price if you bought two bags.  Not really needing TWO bags, I was going to pass - but out of the corner of my eye I noticed a different flavor (that I normally do not see) – Butter Rum.  On a whim (and a nostalgic impulse), I grabbed a bag of each and headed out.

I don’t eat them often (in fact, it’s been YEARS since I last had one) – but I find that when I pop one of those Butter Rum Lifesavers, I am immediately taken back to my youth.  As a very young child (around five or so years old) my dad would often take me with him while he was out running weekend errands.  

Not always, but just often enough to make it special, he would buy a roll of Butter Rum Life Savers. 

At that very young age Butter Rum Life Savers always made me feel so “grown up”.  Kids (as well as myself as a child) typically tend to steer towards the sweet and simple traditional “five flavors” (lemon, lime, orange, cherry, and pineapple).  On the other hand, Butter Rum seemed so…  I don’t know, sophisticated (?), adult (?), mature (?) - Or maybe a blend of all those things??  

I suspect another part of this is also about the name itself.   Butter RUM.   I knew rum was considered a “grown up drink”, so a candy flavored after a grown up drink must be… grown up.  

Finally, I can and will also confirm that the fond memories may also be taking me back to spending time with my dad.  I really liked hanging out with him while running weekend errands.  The surprise Butter Rums tapered off as I approached my early teens, but dad and I ran our weekend errands up until I started workin' for a livin' (which was frequently on the weekends since I worked in a local neighborhood hardware store).    

Butter rum is and will always be (to me) the flavor of innocence of youth, of hanging out and spending time with my dad, of getting to sit in the front seat of the car next to him (we used to be able to do that back in the day), of being only five years old yet feeling oh so “grown up”.  

It is a taste of so many fond memories of a much simpler time of life.

For the record…  My dad still does this to this day – but not with Butter Rum, and not with me but with my kiddos (and they will confirm).  I suspect that the taste of Butter SCOTCH will forever associated to their grandpa in the same way Butter RUM does for me.

Crib… 2019

I have not done a “crib” shot (at least hear on The Life of a Father of Five) since 2008.

Last time I did a “crib” shot – it was a photo of my house just before winter.  After all the “fall clean up” is done and I am just waiting for the long Minnesota hibernation to begin.

Today, while cleaning up for the winter, I reminisced about the good old days when I used to blog, and how I did the “crib” post.   Well, I decided to do it again.  11 years later.  But, hereto fro I will not be referring to our home as a "crib" anymore.  Seems like that pop culture reference did not pass the test of time as well as some may have hoped.     

Not much has changed really (from the outside) – but man, the inside is so much different than it was in 2008.  #1 of 5 and #3 of 5 are not living at home. #2 of 5 is in his final year of college.  #4 of 5 is away at college.  #5 of 5 is really the last kiddo still lingering around here on a regular basis – and she is a sophomore in high school already!   

Well, here is the OUTSIDE of the FOF compound – 2019.



First day at our house - Aug 20, 2006 (photos).
Last day at our house - Oct 24, 2019
Rest peacefully Meemers... And thanks for the good years.
July 7, 2006 - Oct 23, 2019

Is it AUGUST already?

To say that my motivation for blogging has been "compromised" (?) over the past few years is truly an understatement.   I look back on the stats, and going from a high of 183 in one single year, to having posted – um, let's see here…   Well, ZERO posts from January through August in 2019 means I was well on my way to a zero posting year.

Some of the "gimmies" that I obviously missed include the very simple and very easy "Blogiversary" back in April.  (This would have been is my thirteenth year of keeping "The Life of a Father of Five" alive – even if it is on life support and seemingly taking its last few breaths) through the very important and potentially photo intensive post documenting #4 of 5's high school graduation of (especially since I have previously documented #1 of 5's, #2 of 5's, and #3 of 5's).  Actually, one of the things that is prompting me to write THIS post is our preparation for dropping #4 of 5 off at her new college campus as she begins the next chapter in her life.  I even missed the opportunity to post about my 26th wedding anniversary with The Mother of Five.  We took a short trip along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

So clearly there were some pretty memorable opportunities to further document my "life of chaos" as a father of five that got neglected.  What can I say?

Family life –
Work – (Yes, that one gets a double check.  Some of you know why.)
Facebook and other social media outlets –
Stress (see work and family life above) –
Long neglected home improvement projects that take time –
Much of what I would blog about has already been covered (ad nauseam) –
A different blogging outlet (which is also admittedly neglected) –

The list above is far from being what I consider a comprehensive list of my "excuses".  I also acknowledge that (yet again) I am making a blog post about not making blog posts.  I promise, I am really not trying to make any excuses...   Oh, who I am kidding (not myself, and CERTAINLY not you – my few but loyal readers) – this really is one lengthy excuse.  I need to stop making them, and get back to this "hobby" that I do (or, at least once) enjoyed.  Hey, I got enough material to start playing "catch up" a little bit – so I DON'T have "Lack of material" to put one of those "check marks" () behind. 

I do also know (or have been told) that I have a bit of a "fan base" among #4 of 5's friends.  It's kind of funny actually – From time to time I hear "Hey there Father of Five!" shouted out at me as I am out and about  – the park, the county fairgrounds, the grocery store, and even from cars driving down my street. 

Well, friends of #4 of 5 (and FOF fans) – stay tuned!  I have a couple of posts in the queue just for you guys!    


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