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24 Apr 2008 / Julie

Happy Birthday, Mom! or Strange traditions

So today is… well seeing as it’s 1am… yesterday was my mom’s birthday. The bf and I both took the week off and Tuesday night after furnishing his new apt w/ Ikea we headed down to the beach where they live.

This morning i woke up and w/ dad running errands and the bf still asleep upstairs, I surprised mom with Hires root beer floats for breakfast. (It’s a good thing there’s always ice cream in my parents house, or I would have had to make root beer cereal… which i can’t imagine is as good.) There were two important things about this particular breakfast (other than it was mom’s bday breakfast)- Hires root beer and ice cream for breakfast. Both are traditions in my family.

1). Hires Root Beer. It’s only the singularly greatest rootbeer on the planet. Okay, well, at the very least it was my first love in root beers growing up. We always had a bottle of it in the house, laying in wait for when we actually ordered pizza or made burgers. We weren’t a soda drinking bunch, but Hires root beer was always around.

Over the years, it was phased out by other brands, like Mug (which i like), Stewarts (tho i like the orange cream more), and Barq’s (which i hate) and became harder and harder to find in stores until one day, we couldn’t find it anywhere.

A few months ago, while looking for something vintage for my dad’s 60th bday (which was last month), I ran across a site of old candies that were made back then and still produced… which then took me to a site that sold Hires Root Beer. Hot Damn! (and damn me for not remembering the site atm found @ hometownfavorites.com… looks like they’re currently sold out!) So i bought a case. After getting the shipment, i immediately drank a few bottles of pure bliss over the course of a week or two, but horded the rest for Mom and/or Dad’s bday. They were both very happy. :-)

2) Ice cream for breakfast. This was a tradition growing up, which apparently dad never knew about because he was always away at work. On the first full day of summer, after school let out, Mom and I would (well, probably more of a “mom let me,” because i’m sure i bugged her to eat like this more than just the first day of summer) have ice cream for breakfast. It was usually in the form of a banana split so as to have some semblance of breakfast, but there was always ice cream involved.

Much to mom’s dismay, as i started to get older, this tradition got phased out- though never really replaced by anything. But this morning she couldn’t have looked more gleeful at the idea. I wish I had had a working camera on me- the joy on mom’s face was priceless.

What traditions do you have, or remember having like these? Do you still do them? What changed, if you don’t?

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Sidebar:
These are two family traditions that have fallen by the wayside not to have been replaced by anything. In a leadership retreat I went on this past October, they talked about getting people to move forward- how you have to honor the past before you can move into the future… and how sometimes you need to find things to take the place of things that are no longer.

I have to say that I’m bummed to realize that nothing has taken the place of these two Strange Family traditions. There are still a lot of Strange traditions, but there was no clean swap to directly replace these. Thanks to my attempts to not get yelled at by my trainer, I don’t have ice cream no matter what the meal; and our favorite communal beverage was taken away from us by Big Corporation who (i can’t figure it out) either stopped making it, or stopped widely distributing it.

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