Soda Pop Memories

Cola Bottle Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Bottle,” my mind went back to visiting my grandparents’s farm and one of my favorite drinks as a kid. An ice cold bottle of Coca-Cola was hands down my favorite drink back then. After spending the day helping my grandmother with various chores, this bottle was a welcome treat. I remember sitting down outside and drinking it, while their dog Lucky would cuddle up next to me. I don’t drink soda today, but on rare occasions, we still get a single bottle of cola because Philippe insists it’s the best thing to cure a headache. As it turns out, when he was a kid, this was what his mom would prescribe for one. I remember my own mother prescribed Sprite for an upset stomach, so these carbonated pain relievers bring back sweet memories. At home, we only had cans of soda, so, for me, seeing a bottle of Coca-Cola brings me back to memories of my grandparents, who are no longer with us now. It was something special that I only shared with them. Sometimes a simple bottle can have much more value well beyond its original intent.

And I do have to marvel at the marketing genius of Coca-Cola as well. They’re images of Santa became iconic as part of the holiday season. In fact, they shaped the version of Santa that is most frequently depicted today. Prior to 1931, there were all sorts of depictions casting Santa as a skinny old man who’d never seen a cookie in his life to a terrifying creepy little elf. Thanks to Coke, we now have a chubby friendly Santa. And what kid wouldn’t also love the bubbly treat that the Big Guy himself favors most? So between thoughts of Christmas and my grandparents, this is one drink that packs much more memories than sugary calories. Though I don’t drink cola anymore, I still adore all of the moments it brings back to mind. These days, I do still lovely carbonated water, so bubbles are still part of my life. And, better, I have all of the beautiful times I can recall from childhood. As I get older, I never want to lose touch with these memories. They’re the ones that made me who I am today, after all.

Beyond bubbly drinks, I also have wonderful memories of my favorite cookie as a kid. These were called snickerdoodles and I adored them, though my attempts to get Philippe to make them have never quite worked. Today, however, everything changed. I was teasing him about making some cookies for dessert after lunch, and instead of laughing it off, he asked what kind? Seeing my moment of opportunity I nearly shouted “snickerdoodles!” and he looked up the recipe. After a few moments he said, “do we have cream of tartar? What’s that?” I responded that I have no idea, but yes, we do, and I’d bought some several months back and put it in the back of the spice cabinet just in case. To this, he simply paused and stared at me for moment with a smirk. Then, he made cookies! So, yeah, we’ve spent the afternoon nibbling on cookies like little kids and having a wonderful day in the process. There’s nothing quite like the experience of getting to relive one’s past, whether it’s a mountain of your favorite cookies, or taking a moments to remember those soda pop memories.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Vermilion, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Ultramarine (Green Shade). (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Cola Bottle Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

 

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21 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 3 weeks ago

    Great bottle of coke Charlie! It takes me back to being a very small child and working in our family store. I think that was before cans of soda because bottles of many flavors of soda looked pretty in the cooler. We were allowed one soda a week and could choose any flavor. I also loved snickerdoodles! I can almost taste them!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕Awww yay! Your memories resemble mine! Soda wasn’t something flowing from the tap, but a little dream in a bottle! Loved those days!

  2. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    I can imagine that a sugary caffeinated drink like Coca Cola could help with a headache, if you weren’t used to a lot of sugar or caffeine. Of course, the original recipe would probably work even better, lol! And here’s to snickerdoodles!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s true… we don’t get quite that sugar rush and only get the Mexican coke with actual sugar to cure those headaches! hehe But, snickerdoodles are just amazing and turns out they pair well with wine! 😉

  3. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Amazing Coke bottle!!! I never developed a taste for Coca Cola because we never had carbonated beverages when I was a kid…except for Christmas when dad always bought a case of “Fawn” soda. Fawn was a local beverage company and the case always had a variety of flavors….cream soda was my very favorite! 😍 Now, Snickerdoodles is another story and I will be making a big batch of those beauties as soon as the weather cools down a bit.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I love cream soda as well… hehe… and the rarity of carbonated beverages made them that much cooler! And yay to snickerdoodles! They’re the best!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 3 weeks ago

    Coke in a bottle reminds me of the red machines they used to have in gas stations in the 50s and 60s. Put in a dime or so, and out came cold Coke in a bottle! Plus, you could collect the bottles and turn them in for money. Yay to Philippe making cookies!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I loved the days of the glass bottles! Also days before the high fructose corn syrup! hehe And yes! Philippe finally made cookies, and they are awesome!

  5. Lisa 3 weeks ago

    Yay! Philippe! I no longer need feel sorry for you, Charlie, for being deprived of snickerdoodles. I’m not a huge fan of them, but I’m big on oatmeal raisin which are kind of healthy. Sorta. Almost. A little. And Philippe is correct about Coke and headaches. The caffeine opens your blood vessels which can help your headache go away. Win win situation.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      hehe! Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Yes, no need to feel sorry anymore. And perhaps not any more in the future as Philippe discovered they pair well with wine. And oatmeal raisin is another favorite! I also love oatmeal cranberry this time of year. And yay to to a win win headache situation!

  6. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 weeks ago

    Beautiful bottle and even more beautiful memory. grandma and grandpa memories are the best! Awesome I managed to get dessert today too lol. Kentucky fried chicken is giving away free chocolate chip cake with a meal lol. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 I miss my grandparents dearly, but the memories will always be there! And wow… free dessert? You win! lol

  7. Walter F Pierluissi 3 weeks ago

    Charlie, this is a memory flashback to 1967, 8 or 9 years and going to the dinner with granpa’ and have my coke with chocolate ice cream, the black-out…. Best days ever!!!!! Thanks to trigger these memories…..

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Walt! 😃💕 So thrilled this brought back good memories!

  8. Loan Anh Pham 3 weeks ago

    One of my favorite drink when I was a kid, Charlie 😍. It’s lovely. And Philippe, How lovely he is 🥰
    I think what’s a great thing to having him 🍀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕 Yes, I’m incredibly lucky to have someone like Philippe!

  9. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Wonderful Coke bottle full of memories!

  10. Jacob 3 weeks ago

    I don’t drink much of the stuff anymore either, but there’s something romantic about the glass Coke bottle. They only seem to be around at Christmas here, so they always make me think of chilly, happy festivity (well, at least until Christmas afternoon when the arguments start!). I suppose the Coca-Cola advert will turn up on TV in a matter of weeks!

    I hope the snickerdoodles were even better than you remembered. Maybe they’re worthy of another snickerdoodlewash!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      I agree! 😃💕 Coke made itself rather synonymous with Christmas so I think that’s why I have such a love for the stuff. And as for the snickerdoodles, they were amazing! Still have quite a few left actually. We probably should have had a proper party of some sort. 😊hehe

  11. smzang 3 weeks ago

    Again your painting and article awaken the best of memories.
    When I was a child a 6 0z coke in a green glass bottle cost
    just 5 cents.

    and snickerdoodles….Yes!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      hehe! Glad this brought back good memories! 😃💕 Yay to green glass coke bottles and snickerdoodles! The best little things in life!

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