Taffy Summer Revisted

An MS’er revisits a candy store


Friends, due to a crazy week and a prediction of no internet for a few days, I am posting this week’s blog early.  And also due to the above, it is a repeat from this time last summer.   Luckily the humidity hasn’t been as bad this August but I think we can all still relate……… 

This post is dedicated to all of my Cape Cod friends who are likely in the deep, deep throes of Augustitis. It’s ok my over worked, over heated, over tired, over questioned, over being run over friends- Labor Day will be here soon.


The stickiest job I ever held was at a candy store that made its own salt water taffy. (In case you are wondering, the salt water part is a myth- no we didn’t take beach pails across the street, collect the bay water and pour it in the taffy vat.)


This was my first real job at the legal age of 14 as opposed to the four not so real jobs I held before.

Those jobs included selling shells (high end shells painted with nautical themes by my very artistic uncle), sweeping the sidewalk in front of one lovely storefront at the bottom of my street, and babysitting the three year old whose parents owned the store next door to the sweeping place. A job where I would watch the child in the backroom of the parents store or take her to the beach to build sandcastles as long as we didn’t go in the water past her knees.

The craziest job was during the summers when I was 12 and 13 and ran my family’s guesthouse. I would take strangers (often single men) up to their bedrooms in an empty home and give them the keys to the house.

Luckily it was never a problem (oh, the bliss of the naiveté in days of old.)

But I have been thinking of the candy store job a lot lately, and I am not sure why.

Is it because no matter how clean the owners kept the place or how many inspections they passed, the floor of the backrooms were always covered in corn syrup? That reminds me of how sticky I feel in this miserable humidity.


In this damp sticky weather I am sticky as soon as I wake up. I am sticking to clothes, to chairs, and with my MS clumsiness, I am sticking to walls too.

The summers at the candy store I also stuck to everything. I easily ruined three pairs of shoes each season and those were the only times in my life where I actually followed my mom’s “take your shoes off as soon as you come in rule.”

I would need to allow an extra five minutes to make it back to work from my lunch break as my shoes stuck to the sidewalk with each step and added precious extra seconds to my walk as I forcibly yanked my feet off the ground.

No wonder I turned out clumsy, MS or no MS.

This weather is making me stick everywhere and I am just a sticky, icky mess similar to the sticky mess I was at the candy store. Problem is, at least taffy is sweet. I am not feeling so sweet these days.


Maybe this job is on my mind as I am working so hard on my ‘get fit’ plan and those summers were the years when friendly tourists asked me how I stayed so skinny working in a candy store.

It actually wasn’t that hard. Believe it or not you get sick of fudge easy when you smell it all day long and I never again want to even see taffy or corn syrup. Ah, but it is nice to remember that at one time people referred to me as “so skinny.”

Perhaps I am thinking of those busy summers as I suddenly realize that I used to love the season and the excitement the crowds, summer activities, and the hot weather brought.

Not so much anymore.


Now the crowds translate to noise which makes my ears hurt, much too long to get anywhere or do anything and dangerous road conditions. And the hot weather makes me want to move to the Artic.

Yes, that is it. That is why I am fondly pondering those years in the seventies. I am wondering how I survived and I don’t mean in the guesthouse business.

No one in my world had ac in the eighties. We definitely didn’t have it at home and not only did the candy store not have it, the heat from the ovens and taffy machines jacked up the temperature. Yet I don’t remember suffering like this.


What is causing me to turn into an achy, sweaty, smelly mess as soon as the thermostat hits 82? Is it the extra lbs? Age? Global warming? MS?

Oh yes, MS affects everything, especially things that happen between June and September.

I can fondly ponder all the memories I want. As long as I ponder them in an ac cooled room with a big glass of ice water and some time to rest.

And no taffy anywhere!!

d walking

Image courtesy of [digitalart] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [artur84] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Simon Howden] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Liz Noffsinger] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Xedos4] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Leave a Comment