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  • Writer's pictureJenifer Brown

#21 The Adventure to Great Soap & How to Find it: More than a Mineola.


I've shared some stories about my childhood neighborhood and the experiences I had there. what I haven't told you about my good friend who is really in touch with their cultural roots! (That's a Dad joke, by the way)


I'm talking about a huge Mineola Tangelo tree that stood in my best friend's yard. I regret that our parents didn't take pictures of us in that tree because we practically lived in it. We spent numerous hours sitting on the enormous branches of the tree, relishing the shade and enjoying the fruits it provided.


I would hope to say that the bulk of the kids that spent as much time as I in that tree smile when they think back on the jokes we told, stories we swapped, and dreams we planned. It's funny to me that when you are a kid, anything can become a place to map out what you would like your life to be.


I vividly recall a conversation with my friend Leah where we agreed that we would marry men with exotic last names. We used to believe that a fancy last name would bring everything a girl desires in life. However, our childish way of thinking was proven wrong when I married and became Mrs. Brown, which is not exotic at all. I am blessed to have the wonderful things in life by being married despite a common name.


It would be enjoyable to revisit life's various perspectives through our childhood eyes, and I'm certain it would be quite comical. We shared our fears, being mad at our parents, Planning forts we wanted to build, or the trails we planned on blazing during the next camping trip.


We discussed our aspirations of returning to our neighborhood as adults and providing generous amounts of money to the new homeowners in hopes of purchasing, in the event that our parents no longer owned our childhood homes, so that our own children could experience the same delightful summer memories we cherished. ( I actually did try to buy mine in 2006, but due to a roof issue I chose not to purchase).


The tree was like a castle to us, with its towering branches providing us with endless pounds of citrus that we ate ravenously until our lips were sore, the scent of peels in the air, with juice running down our chins. It was our shady spot to observe the world passing by summer after summer.


When I get to feeling nostalgic & on the north end of town, I hang a fast right down that dirt road that raised us to the 2nd house on the right. That tree is still there, and it's showing its age. It's thinned, and sparse in some spots. But, in my heart, it's just as healthy, tall, and fruit-heavy as it's ever been.



For my lifelong friend Rob 1959-2023. Thank you for being part of so many memories that shaped me.








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