Turning Back Time

When I was growing up, Christmas time always brought plenty of boxes of mixed nuts and Fanny May candy. Members of our congregation wanted to give the pastor a little something, and we children were ready to eat all the goodies we got. Whenever we opened a box of fancy mixed nuts, we fought over one kind of nut — cashews. We all adored those sweet and salty little crescent nuts. Mom didn’t mind us devouring cashews. She couldn’t stand them. Mom ate all the other nuts, but she wouldn’t even touch a cashew. She told us this story:


Grandpa was a jack of all trades. With no more than an eighth grade education, he took on a variety of jobs to feed his family, whether it was working in an airplane factory during WWII or selling WearEver pots and pans. When my mother was a little girl, Grandpa saw an advertisement on a way to bring a little more income into the household. He decided to sell cashews out of vending machines that were similar to gumball machines. A large barrel of cashews arrived at my grandparents house, but unfortunately the vending machines never arrived. Without the vending machines, Grandpa’s plan couldn’t be put into action.

But what to do with the cashews?

Food was never wasted in my grandparents house, so their family ate cashews in everything. Cashews for snacks, cashews in casseroles, cashews in salads, cashews in dessert. When the cashews grew stale, Grandma toasted them in the oven. Mom became so sick and tired of those cashews that she literally never ate another cashew again.


As many of you know, Mom passed away at the young age of 67. I want to keep her memory alive for myself and also my children. I plan on writing stories about my parents, my grandparents, and also my own personal history. And so I’m beginning a new series on Tuesdays called Turning Back Time.

I invite you to join me, whether you would like to read along or write along. Next Tuesday, you will be able to link up your own Turning Back Time post. To help you along, I will provide a prompt each week.

The first prompt is:

“Tell me all about it. Are limes the fashion now? It used to be pricking bits of rubber to make balls.” Meg to Amy from Little Women, by Lousia May Alcott

Write a story about a childhood fad.

You may use this prompt in a variety of ways: Record a memory from your own childhood. Remember a story told by your parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles. You may also record a story from your own children’s past (or present) to help them remember their childhood when they are older.

If the person you want to write about is still alive, use this prompt as an interview question.

Most of all, have fun recording the memory and remember, your story is worth telling!

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11 Replies to “Turning Back Time”

  1. I love to hear stories of people's ancestors. The cashew story was great.Some of my most popular posts have been when I've written about my ancestors. Thanks for the prompt.

  2. What a fun family story. It shows the diligence and work ethic your grandpa had.Now, if I have time to write this weekend, I'll try to come up with something…I mean, I grew up in the 80s, there's plenty of material there! 😉

  3. You're putting me to work here! I will really have to think about it, but I might give it a go. I can so understand your mother: I hate nuts in my food and I never even had to eat them in everything! Nuts should be eaten on their own, never in something else. Unless it's peanut butter, but then peanuts aren't nuts at all!

  4. I love this meme idea:)After doing Mommy's Piggy Tales, I'm wanting to write about my young adult life as well…I'll have to link up with you here when I get a chance to write:)

  5. Oh no, your poor mom. I had a similar experience with hot dogs, my grandfather worked at a meat packing plant and he'd bring them home by the case. I still can't stomach them.This is a wonderful idea though, better than a photo album.

  6. Oh, I like the writing prompt! I am thinking that someone needs to give me the ideas to write about if I'm going to keep blogging. All I've got in me is random thoughts.Your poor mom, having to eat all of those cashews! I don't blame her for being sick of them. My gram was like that, never waste a thing. I spent my summers with her in NY and I remember making some disgusting recipes that we DID NOT want to eat but couldn't waste so we'd invite her friend over to eat and send her home with leftovers.

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