The school lunches Mom made for us, we ate and enjoyed, but they were also very safe from any trade negotiations. No one looked at our fried egg on whole wheat bread sandwiches and thought, "What do I have in my lunch box that I could trade for that?"
They didn't seem interested in our carrot sticks, bowls of peaches, or the occasional oatmeal raisin cookies either.
Since the only beverage we ever had was water, Mom didn't even bother sending a thermos along. We could get plenty of water at school.
We got used to seeing the other students exchange delicious looking food. There were times I really wished we would be on that level of lunch time goodness, but I didn't have much hope of that ever happening.
The thing that intrigued me the most was the one family, each child always had a pint jar filled with Kool-Aid. I wanted those so badly. I could only imagine how delicious it must taste as they drank all those brilliantly colored drinks.
And then one summer Sunday afternoon it happened. A family stopped in for a visit. We children had a lot of fun playing and then as per usual Amish tradition it was time for popcorn. We ran inside to get our plate full when what to my amazement should appear, but two pitchers full of sparkling red Kool-Aid.
I drank my cup full slowly, savoring every drop. It was every bit as wonderful as I had always imagined it would be.
Kool-Aid never became a regular thing though in our family. In fact it was years before Mom bought more.
Those first years after we were married, we went through a lot of Kool-Aid. Having a farmer husband who needed something to drink other than water when working in the summer heat made it a necessity. I mixed gallons of it everyday during haymaking season when my brothers would come over to help and they all partook of this treat.
Strangely enough, I don't even like Kool-Aid now. Give me plain cold water from our well any day, and I'll be as happy as I was as a little girl drinking that precious cup of Kool-Aid.