Concocting Virgin Bloody Mary drinks will forever remind me of summer.
Before Benj and I got married, I worked in my parents’ homeschool book business. Summertime was our crazy busy season because moms were buying books for the next school year.
We worked extended summer hours and still couldn’t keep up with the demand! As July and August approached, we were in the thick of it. If it was possible to have books coming out of my ears, they would have been.
Working from before dawn until after dusk gets to you after a while. I can testify to that.
Just when we’d be on our way toward accomplishing something, the phone would ring. Again, and again, and again. Then the doorbell would sound, and a stack of book packages or a homeschooling family would be waiting outside. We’d also have customers call wanting us to drive clear across town to pick up their books immediately.
And that was just the tip of the iceberg. It was relentless!
A Tomatoey Intervention
Sometimes, the craziness called for intervention. And some days, that was in the form of a tasty, tangy, and mildly spicy Virgin Bloody Mary.
One summer, my mom and I traveled to Monterey, California to attend a friend’s wedding. I was going as both photographer and guest.
On our first flight, the stewardess asked us what we’d like to drink. Mom requested tomato juice with lime, and I said that I would just have water, since I was trying to avoid sodas and sugary juices.
Mom suggested that I try tomato juice, and if I didn’t care for it, she would just drink it for me! Even though the mere thought of tomato juice usually made me wrinkle my nose, I decided to give it another try.
We poured the tomato juice into our plastic cups filled with crushed ice and squeezed our lime wedges over the juice. My mom has always loved it, so she began enjoying hers right away. But I just sat there in my window seat, staring at mine.
Eventually, I mustered up the courage to try a little sip. Then I had another. It wasn’t half bad! I was pleasantly surprised, and ended up drinking tomato juice with lime on the rest of our flights.
I’ll Take a Virgin Bloody Mary, Please
A few weeks later, I saw my mom walk through the door with a bottle of organic tomato juice from the grocery store. At that moment, something strange happened.
I got excited. About tomato juice.
After all those years of considering tomato juice to be foe rather than friend, it was a rather odd feeling.
For the rest of the summer, on some of our busiest work days, I would head to the kitchen to make Virgin Bloody Mary drinks for Mom and me.
Life is funny like that.