Bean with Bacon Soup

Bean with Bacon Soup

On a day, any day going to Jim’s Market was an event for me. Not very often did I put together enough coins to buy myself something wonderful there. Mom handed over an extra quarter that morning.  Sitting in the easy chair, holding it tight in my hand I felt really rich.  I was thinking about soup.  I would wait until lunchtime before leaving.  By then I would have my chores done and schoolwork too.  The only thing that seemed to not be cooperating was the weather.  The day was cloudy and gray and beginning to rain.

By this time, I had stopped thinking about the kids at school, in my classroom, on the playgrounds, or even walking to school every day. Fifth grade was really fun, now in sixth – things were not so fun. I guess each day would’ve been better if I had felt better.  I seemed to be always tired now.  First, I started to have a fever, then a sore throat and swollen glands.  A visit to the doctor, a blood test, and finally an answer to the reason I felt so weak and sleepy all the time.  Mom told me that I had Infectious Mononucleosis.

At this time in my city, Mono was considered infectious to other kids my age so I had to stay away from them. I could be around adults but actually, I did not know many. Why would I be around adults?  I slept a lot.  I was alone most of the time.

Mom and Dad both worked and my sister who was six years older than me left early for school but came back home in the late afternoon. By the time my folks got home from work and we had dinner I was ready to go to bed. During that school year at home, I had a tutor from the school district that came to visit me every Thursday. She taught History, English, and some Math.

It was Friday and I was looking forward to Mom being home the next day. I had done the best I could on my school work during the week.  Sister would not be home for a few hours.  Today was the day.  I put on my galoshes, my rain slicker, and hat tucked my house key around my neck and was out the door.

Standing on the porch looking around I saw very little activity in the neighborhood. The cats and dogs were smart enough to be inside where they could be warm and dry. Jim’s Market was a block and a half away, just the right amount of distance for me. I knew I would have to rest when I got back home but it was worth the adventure.

Small neighborhood stores were typical.  Tucked into the bottom of our hillside sat this small grocery store and meat market. The first thing you smelled just inside the door were the fruits and veggies and then the very fragrant spices. Walking back and forth up and down the aisles, you could quickly see where everything was placed.

Of course, my favorite aisle were soups, stews, canned fish, or meats. This is where always motherly Florence, Jim’s wife found me that Friday morning looking at the Campbell’s Soups sitting all in a row.

She knew I was there to pick out my lunch that day. She had helped me many times. I think she knew about me being home from school because Mom had said if I ever needed help to ask Florence.  She had a great smile and made me feel welcomed. I recently had become passionate about Bean with Bacon soup. I never was much for sweets but I sure loved soup, especially Cambell’s. This was my prize for getting through another week.

Happily, I headed up the hill knowing what was for lunch.


Sharon Smith was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (USA); owned a healthcare uniform business for many years. She also lived in Japan and presently resides in Michigan. She blogs about her experiences and shared observations touching on culture, lifestyle, and the people around her.

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  1. Marci Kobayashi on January 11, 2021 at 6:41 PM

    Of course, all YOUR homemade soups were my favorite. Of the Campbell’s soup line-up, Vegetable Beef was my favorite as a kid.

    • Sharon G Smith on January 14, 2021 at 1:38 PM

      Thank you Marci. I have enjoyed making soups for many years. I also have enjoyed learning about soups from other countries. Obviously, a popular family meal. Who would turn down homemade soup with salad and maybe even homemade rolls?

  2. Mikaela on January 17, 2021 at 1:12 PM

    I’ve always been a fan of Campbell’s Tomato Soup. We would have grilled cheese too. Even now this is a cozy meal to have on a gloomy day.

    • Sharon Smith on February 1, 2021 at 9:52 AM

      Many of my friends have shared that chicken noodle was a favorite. Nevertheless Cambells soup is well known to be a family’s comfort food.

  3. Joan N Kazmierski on January 23, 2021 at 3:13 PM

    What a memory you have.Loved your story.

    • Sharon Smith on January 25, 2021 at 6:48 PM

      Thanks Joan for going down memory lane with me.