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?


  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.

  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.

    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!! :)

  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.

  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...


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