Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Family Road Trips

Day 286

It’s Saturday and time for Linda Hill’s challenge and venture into our minds for some unplanned and unedited writing.

Today’s prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “chew/choo.” Use one or both, any way you’d like. Have fun!


We had a pretty close family and anytime we traveled it was by car. Sometimes the trips were short, like to visit my grandparents, or once we moved to Ohio longer trips to get back home to Virginia and Tennessee.

There were four of us kids and getting us to calm down and not bicker on these trips must have been a challenge. Mom and Dad had their tricks for sure.

My dad was a lay minister in a little town in Tennessee for a while. We knew that meant a good hour and a half in the car each way. The trip over was not bad because we were all sleepy having been rustled out of bed so early. The trip back was a different story because we were wound up after sitting in those uncomfortable church pews listening to preaching.

On the trip back Dad would stop at a gas station. There we all got a bottle of pop (which actually meant a 6.5 ounce glass bottle of coke) and a bag of Planters salted peanuts. The peanuts were opened and dumped into the coke for one of a southerner’s favorite treats. On the ride home, we were all kept quiet, drinking our coke and chewing on those peanuts. The last few peanuts generally stuck to the bottom of the bottle which meant holding the bottle upside down, mouth open while smacking the bottom of the bottle in an effort to dislodge that last peanut. I banged my front teeth many times trying to get that last peanut!

Mom always had a big purse that was jammed full of snacks for the road. She was always prepared.

The thing that kept us the most occupied, however, was singing. We all sang in the car. Everything you can imagine. From camp songs to hymns to folk songs to most anything that had a tune and words. One of the most memorable songs for me was Chattanooga Choo Choo. I loved the song, the lyrics but most of all the way my parents smiled while singing. It was a song from their era and it made them happy. And now, when I listen to it, it makes me happy and reminds me of some pretty special times.


I look forward to Saturday and Linda’s SoCS challenge. I not only enjoy writing, I love to read how everyone else responded. Pop over to Linda’s blog and see what all the excitement is about, then join in.

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19 thoughts on “SoCS – Family Road Trips”

    1. You should try it sometime. It really is a unique taste. I don’t know if the small bottles of coke are still around. Stay away from plastic bottles and make sure the peanuts are salted. The song is certainly a favorite of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can’t imagine making nice peanuts wet, by pouring them into a bottle of coke. 😦
    I liked Glen Miller as a child too, with ‘Moonlight Serenade’ being a big favourite of my Mum. When I went to see ‘Young Frankenstein’ in a London cinema, I was the only person who roared with laughter at this line.

    Best wishes, Pete. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for sharing that clip and your story. I would have laughed, too, because the lyrics were so familiar to me. I have never seen this version of the movie, so I am putting it on my ‘must see’ list.

      The peanuts and coke were a popular snack in the south where I grew up. I don’t think Coca Cola manufacturers the 6.5 ounce bottles anymore. I cannot eat peanuts anymore due to allergies, but it is a taste I will always remember fondly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve lived in the South (Georgia, no less) for over 30 years and have never seen anyone dump peanuts into a bottle of Coke. I’m sure people do it, I just haven’t seen it. Nor have I seen anyone have an RC Cola and a Moon Pie for breakfast, again supposedly a Southern thing. Weird, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have done both, many, many times. Well, maybe not for breakfast, but I have enjoyed a moo pie with an RC. Maybe it depends on where in Georgia. We lived in very rural spots, where gas stations and country stores provided our snacks most of the time. Nabs (Nabisco crackers) were a big treat as well.

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  3. I never heard of peanuts in a coke bottle. I’ll leave that delicacy to others. I do recall Sunday drives. My mother tried to take Sunday’s when we were young for a free outing somewhere. The roads were often deserted as most didn’t travel on Sundays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ughhh, now boiled peanuts are not something I can stomach. I tried them once. For me, they fall in the same category as poi.

      I think singing on road trips was fairly common. Car radio had terrible reception in the mountains.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Maggie, you definitely need to write a memoir at some point. These pieces about your childhood memories are always wonderful. I’d buy a book of them — and I’m sure others would, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My daughter and I used to sing on road trips all the time when I was a single mom. I’d teach her old folk songs and she taught me Evanescence and Pink. Since she’s grown and moved out, we hadn’t done that in years until she joined me last week in traveling to the mountains. It sure was a treat. Sometimes I get to do this with my granddaughter. I’ve never had peanuts in coke, but I do love salty sweet things, so maybe one day……

    Liked by 1 person

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