July 24, 2013

Things I Miss about Summer

Creative Commons, courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/15216811@N06/
As I stood on the deck this morning, I noticed a definite cooling in the breeze. The current hot spell has broken, with lows now in the 60s, and a high temperature of about 80.

I looked in the sky, half expecting to see Mary Poppins drifting down.

Then I started to think about Summer - and what I miss about the season from my childhood:


  • Sleeping outside in the backyard
  • Climbing the apple tree in my grandparents' yard
  • Snapping green beans and shucking corn in the shade of an Indian toby tree
  • Biting into a slab of cold watermelon, juice running down my face
  • Jumping on my bike and riding through the neighborhood, the wind in my hair
  • Slurpees (though I think they were called Slushes at our local convenience store)
  • Playing in the unused chicken coop, which became our aromatic playhouse, the lingering smells of stored onions and the coop's former feathered inhabitants filling our noses
  • The knowledge that I could sleep in - though I never did, because I didn't want to miss out on a single minute of non-stop fun
  • Playing outside until dark, catching lightning bugs and smearing the glowing guts on our PF Flyers
  • Learning that saying "I'm bored" means that you'd have truly boring chores to do all day
  • Drinking a soda (grape, orange, root beer, cream soda) from a slender glass bottle
  • Playing wiffleball/softball/kickball/tag
  • Splashing through a creek, catching tadpoles and crayfish
  • Laying at the top of a hill and rolling down
  • Transistor radios
  • Putting a blade of grass between my thumbs and blowing it just so - and hearing the eerie wailing sound it emits
  • Reading an entire chapter book in a day...maybe two
  • Hiding in the underbelly of a low-hanging pine tree, cushioned by a carpet of pine needles
  • Strawberries, fresh from the garden
  • The reflection of a buttercup under my brother's chin - verifying his love of butter
  • Building a fort in the woods out of discarded pieces of lumber
  • Finding recognizable shapes in the clouds, and watching their drifting shadows darkening the grass
  • Chlorine, concrete and cool water - the pool!
  • Talking into the whirring blades of a window fan, our distorted voices making us laugh
  • Taking a nap atop the made bed, hoping for a cool breeze in the stifling heat
  • Watching the multi-colored lights dance across the walls as my grandma held her rhinestone necklace in front of the sunbeams slanting through the living room window
  • Dust motes swirling in the same sunbeams
  • Making mudpies; Using driveway stones and mud to fashion a makeshift dam to hold back the rushing stream of water hurrying down the street along the curb
  • The smell of exploding caps, whether from a cap gun or hit with a rock
  • Penny candy
  • Kool-Aid mustaches
  • Swinging at the playground
  • The coolness of the sand when we plunged our hands into the corners of the sandbox
  • Waking up to the scent of bacon that my dad cooked over the campfire during a family vacation
  • Days without appointments, music lessons, or planned activities - resulting in time for daydreaming, playing jacks, or just watching an army of ants march single file to the half-eaten Popsicle lying on the sidewalk
  • The bitter (yet yummy) crunch of homemade dandelion salad (picked from the yard) with a warm bacon vinaigrette salad dressing
  • Spending rainy evenings on the patio
  • Lying on the living room carpet, listening to Pirates' baseball on the radio
  • Finding the perfect shady spot to read and relax - and moving to the next shady spot as the sun moved across the afternoon sky
  • Running through the sprinklers
  • Hearing the hollow-sounding 'thunk' of a playground ball bouncing on the sidewalk
  • Squirt guns and water balloons
  • The smells at the county fair - from funnel cakes, popcorn and candied apples to the pungent aroma in the livestock buildings
  • A fistful of ride tickets at an amusement park or local carnival
  • Late August mornings so cool you'd need a jacket - and the knowledge that a carefree Summer is almost at an end
  • Clothes shopping for the first day of school
  • Finally, being eager for the smells of new clothes, mimeographed papers, pencil shavings, chalk dust, and cafeteria lunches - as you're ready to put aside Summer fun and head back to the classroom
I was struck by how many items on my list involved free time (and were free of charge). I don't think kids have this kind of summer anymore. They're over-scheduled and over-stimulated.

What do YOU miss about Summer?

5 comments:

  1. Wow. You touched on everything I adored about summer as a child. Though, I had no brothers or sisters. I loved our local slushies. At one point we had a Snow Cone man that made his way through our small town and then as a teenager, he made his rounds by our local pool!! My grandparents couldn't beat me inside at night. Since most of the land, or at least half was woods, I can still point out to my children small traces of club houses, vague enough to say someone was there and tried building something. lol. This is a wonderful post. Our local fair is in town this week and it feels like the days are going by too fast.

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  2. Ahh, what wonderful memories, I went tripping notalgically into childhood. Thanks for this wonderful escape. Can you image what Our grandchildrens' lists will look like? Sad.

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  3. WOW! SO MANY OF MY SAME MEMORIES, KIM! YOU'VE READ MY MIND...ESPECIALLY THE PARTS THAT WERE ALMOST IDENTICAL LINES IN MY MEMOIR! And I so agree with you about kids today!!
    Oh, and how about the smell of freshly cut grass, helping to hand-crank the homemade ice cream maker, and biting into fresh tomatoes? Mmmm....I think I need lunch...and it's not even 9:00 am yet! Thanks for the memories!! :)

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  4. I know and love so many of these things...and miss them as well! For some reason, there aren't really lightning bugs where I live. And when there are, they don't "flash right" to me. It's very strange.

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  5. Kim--What great memories. I miss drinking from the hose. Making necklaces from clover. And playing a game that involved throwing the kickball over the roof.

    Yes, so many things were fun and free in those days...

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!