My turn: ‘Soda water’ reminds me of grandfather

I remember on summer evenings when we were visiting my grandparents in Lubbock and Grandma Chaya would make a pitcher of cherry Kool-Aid to wash down her savory meat fried with “calabaza” or summer squash.

Grandma Chaya added slices of lemon, orange and lime to the Kool-Aid. It was good.

After dinner, though, Grandpa Chico often pulled out his wallet and said, “Ya’ll want a soda water?”

He’d hand dollar bills to Becky, Julie and I, and we’d walk down the street to the little tienda.

Nothing was as refreshing as “soda water,” a term many elderly Hispanics still use to call Coke.

I preferred “soda water,” even over Grandma Chaya’s Kool-Aid, but there was always an after taste. I still taste it today in many Texas sodas, especially in Lubbock. Lubbock has been plagued for decades with a terrible salt taste in its tap water.

Coca-Colas bottled in Mexico have a similar aftertaste, which strangely, my daughter Laura likes.

Some people refer to soda as “pop,” or as a “soft drink.” In the south, it’s “sody” and for some “Coke” means Dr Pepper, Pepsi or anything carbonated.

I’m trying to cut down on my soda waters now, but when I hear the term “soda water,” which I still hear sometimes, it reminds me of Grandpa Chico.