Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lightning Bugs in a Jar

I found the above photo in "wallpapers" and downloaded it on my smartphone... I love looking at it and all the fond memories it brings back of childhood and summer.

We've just begun seeing a few lightning bugs (for you folks who prefer... fireflies) in our yard... and they always say "Summer" to me... warm evenings and staying out on the porch until after dark.

My brothers and I, like many children, were eager to capture the tiny lights... in jars... and did so every chance we got... catching lightning bugs in the dark, our bare feet cool in the summer grass... I can close my eyes and still feel and smell and see those summer evenings.

Mama and Daddy would sit out on the porch on summer evenings, talking about their day and enjoying a glass of sweet tea before it was time for the chaos of bathing dirty children and getting everyone ready for bed... we, of course, ran around in the yard as long as we possibly could, playing hide-n-seek in the dark and catching lightning bugs.

We'd run past Mama and Daddy into the house... Mama would call out, "What are ya'll doing?"

"Gotta get a jar!!! We're catching lightning bugs!"

"Make sure you get a mayonnaise jar! Don't use my good jars!"

We would fish out a jar, find an old mayonnaise lid, grab a knife and punch holes in the top so the bugs could breathe... and off we'd go, stalking the flickering insects til they landed in the cool damp grass and we could catch 'em... fun times!

Looking back on this simple summer fun, I've thought about those children that we were... and what we just automatically knew... about canning jars...

We knew the difference between a mayonnaise jar and Mama's "good" jars... the Mason Jars... we knew those jars were important to "putting up food" for winter...

Mama knew we could be trusted to "find" a jar... use a sharp tool (knife) to poke holes in the lid... she didn't rush in to find our "equipment" for us... my Mama was no "helicopter Mom"... she raised us to do some things ourselves... as I see so many "hovering mothers" these days, ever afraid their little darlings will get hurt and doing so much for them that they don't learn to do for themselves... I am thankful for my Mama and her sensible approach to our upbringing!

Hunting lightning bugs wouldn't have been as much fun if Mama had done all the work for us!

Here's to summer evenings and lightning bugs in jars! And Mamas who let kids be kids! I miss you Mama!


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  2. I remember chasing "lightning bugs" to put in Mayonnaise jars also. I still have a few old mayonnaise jars that me and my granddaughter use when catching lightning bugs. Good old and new memories.
    On another subject could not find a way to email you a question I have about canning tomatoes. How would I email you?
    New to your blog and am finding lots of information I can use. Thank you

    1. My email address is ~~Granny

  3. Brings back memories for sure. We rarely see them anymore. People say it's because of all the pesticides the farmers use. Wish they would stop so they could come back. Thanks for posting.

  4. Thank you so much for your post brought back such wonderful memories....

  5. My Mother was like yours. :) Thank you for the memories!!

  6. I grew up in southern California and never saw lightning bugs. One summer my husband and I took our three young daughters across country in our RV to Washington, D.C. While driving back to our campsite one night I commented on how nice it was that they decorated all the trees with white Christmas lights. My husband laughed so hard he almost drove off the road and informed me that those were lightning bugs. When we arrived back at camp my daughters and I grabbed some empty baby food jars and began catching those twinkling marvels. What fun!! What sweet, sweet memories!!

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  8. Nothing so sweet as a evening in Alabama chasing lightening bugs and capturing a lot of them in a Mason Jar, and just when the big ole corn moon rises high, you open the lid and all of that lightening beauty flies high towards the moon. Such sweet happy memories of home and the sweet sweet smell of sugar cane being ground for sorghum and ribbon cane syrup!



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