When most of us hear these three words, we think of the Rice Krispies cereal, right? For me, however, these three words take me back more than 50 years ago to my grandparents’ back porch. As a young girl, I looked forward to the two-hour drive from big city Indianapolis to small town Linton, Indiana to visit my maternal grandparents. I was awestruck to see produce from their garden in the summer months. At home I could not walk outside to a garden patch and pick vegetables to eat. But I could do this at Mamaw and Papaw’s farm house at Sassafras, as their area of town was known. The plants would tickle my legs a bit as I walked in-between the rows with Mamaw. She would carry a bucket and I usually had a sack in hand when it was time to pick the green beans. The air would be thick with humidity as the sun’s heat poured down upon us. I was always swatting bugs! But it was all worth it to carry my full sack when Mamaw and I would walk back to the porch to sit down together to prepare the green beans for supper. And the snap, crackle, pop session would begin.
I remember my grandmother conversing about all kinds of things as we snapped those green beans together. Sometimes my sisters or cousins would join us. I don’t think any of us realized until years later that Mamaw was imparting life lessons to us—love your family, work hard, read your Bible, honor God, don’t cheat, be kind, and much more. None of us were tied to cell phones. No background music played. We simply had the tranquility of the farm house, fresh air, birds singing, and the gift of conversations.
My grandparents are no longer living and I cannot share with them my continued tradition of snapping green beans with my children. And today, my own grandchildren snap green beans at the coffee table in my living room at least once every summer. Sure, it’s easier for me to just pick up a bag of frozen green beans at the store. But I like traditions and memories preserved. I hope I’m creating memories with my own grandchildren. I think they enjoy the snap, crackle, pop of freshly picked green beans. Ahhh, the sound of snapping those home-grown green beans from my childhood years is music to my ears today. In fact, sometimes I like that “music” better than anything else on Pandora, I-Heart, Spotify…
Do you have any childhood activities you did with your grandparents that can be passed on to the next generation today?