To be a kid again….
While the summer heat bears down on me daily as I do my outdoor chores, I think back and remember my summers of long ago. The sweet anticipation of waking every morning and wondering what the day had in store for me. Would we ride bikes today? Could I talk Mom into letting me stay over at my best friend Melinda’s house? Would we go exploring in the woods? Would I have a house full of cousins to play with while Mom and one aunt or another did whatever grown ups do? Or would Mom make us weed the garden and clean our rooms yet again??
I would sometimes walk down to the pond when we lived at Duck Springs and fish for a little while alone. Of course I had to find my own bait. I preferred to catch crickets or grasshoppers and use those, but when I couldn’t find them, I could always find a handfull of worms by flipping over dried up cow patties. If the fish weren’t biting, just sitting in the shade or skipping rocks were both good alternatives.
When I see the generation of kids these days, they don’t know what they’re missing by staying indoors all summer playing computer games and watching tv. Mom used to send us outside and make us find our own entertainment – which was OK with me as long as I wasn’t having to work! One of my favorite things to do was to find bugs, frogs, turtles or anything else of that kind and chase my brother with them. LOL I still have an affinity for all living creatures, and still catch myself turning over rocks and old logs to see what’s underneath. And speaking of bugs, have you ever made a june bug beetle into a pet? Mom would give us an old spool of thread when we caught a few and showed us how to tie them to the string. b
Voila! Instant flying pet. When you came into the house, you put them on the screen door and tied the string to the door handle. That way when you finished your lunch or snack, the pet would still be waiting for more adventures. At the end of the day, you let the poor tired bug go and would catch a new one the next day. Whom ever made it to the end of the day without killing or maiming their bug was the best. LOL
I remember being very small and standing in the front seat of the car beside Mom when we would drive to town or to visit relatives. You didn’t need seat belts back then because Mom had a 900 mile an hour arm that could knock you into the back seat before you could even spit. Every time she had to brake hard – WHOOSH! You were pinned against that seat far better than any modern belt made by man could ever hold you down. The best part of the drive was if she had to get gas and I could talk her into buying a grape drink (Purple Passion was my favorite – but Grapico rocks too) and a cream horn. If you don’t know what a cream horn is – it is a pastry of sorts – kind of a flaky dough somehow formed into a tube with white vanilla cream inside. Of course they just don’t taste as good to me these days as they did way back then – somebody must have botched the recipe!
If a cream horn wasn’t available, then a Chick-A-Stick would do. Yummy sweet peanut buttery goodness in crunchy stick form.
Home made popsicles were a favorite treat at home, and my brother and I would fuss over what flavor of Kool Aid to use next. Actually we did fight a lot. It’s a wonder that Mom didn’t drop one or both of us off at an orphanage somewhere, but instead we usually had a house full of cousins and/or friends all summer. Maybe there was something about having a large number of kids that made it all work? I don’t know, but it sure was fun to have other kids to play with when you got mad at one, you just went to the other and played a while until it all blew over and everybody was happy again.
Catching lightning bugs was probably my favorite evening activity. There is just something magical about a bug that can somehow generate a glow in it’s butt. Begging Mom to give up one of her precious canning jars usually resulted in us getting 1 jar to share. Until I got a little older and wiser and just didn’t ask. LOL I learned early that it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. You had to sneak your ‘night light’ jar of bugs into the house ’cause if SHE caught you bringing bugs into the house, there was heck to pay. We also would just go outside and stare at the stars, wondering how far away they really are, and if that light moving slowly across the sky was REALLY an airplane, or a spaceship from a far off galaxy? If we were very lucky, we would see a shooting star and get to make a wish.
Sometimes Mom would take us to the library and let us check out a book or two. This was always a big hit with me. Shelves and shelves of books just waiting for me to choose which story to become a part of…. Somehow sitting in a quiet corner with a book can still to this day transport me to another time and another place. I love falling into a good story and leaving everyday behind while I enjoy a new adventure. When I read, I can block out everything else around me completely. Chris can be watching a football game and jumping up and down yelling and I never take notice.
How about playing hide and seek, freeze tag, Mother May I, Red Rover, and all the other assorted games? I never was very athletically inclined like my daughter Amanda was, but I could out run just about every other kid around. Climbing trees just because they were there, kicking over ant hills and watching the wild chaos on a macro level was good for a good hour or two of entertainment. Spitting contests with the boys, (LOL – I never WAS a barbie girl).
Ahh, the memories. To be a kid again without the bills, burdens and worries of adulthood. Just to have one summer back where you didn’t have a care in the world, yeah that would be sort of like Heaven.
- Posted in: Memories