Yay! Summer is here!
do dishes, scrub toilets, vacuum...
summer was much more fun when I was a kid.
Back then my last week or two of school was filled by
day dreams of the arrival of
trips to the beach house, camping with the family,
fishing, riding bikes, skating, skate boarding,
(the kind you make yourself out of an old skate and a board)
playing ball, kick the can games that lasted
until waaaaay late.
So much to do!
The first day of school vacation
my eyes would pop open before the alarm would have normally have gone off.
In a shake I'd be slipped into my summer uniform...
a sun suit
(puffy sack like things that have leg holes and tie at the shoulders),
lace up my Red Ball Jets
and fly down the stairs to the dining room...
cram some scrambled eggs with wieners cut up in them
and an over-done piece of toast
down my throat.
I might even eat half a banana or a apricot.
Outside to the front porch.
After what felt like an hour or two of believing that any second
someone would show up to play...
I'd give up and go back inside.
Mom would be sitting on the sofa in the living room,
watching her morning shows.
These were boring beyond belief.
Housewife shows with recipes,the newest gadgets and fashions from
In those days, there were no non-stop cartoon channels.
Cartoons were for Saturday mornings.
Romper Room... but that was for babies.
I'd slop into a chair like a load of wet laundry.
My mother did her best to ignore me and focus on her show.
Followed by kicking the bottom of the chair with the heals of my sneakers.
I knew she hated that.
I'd have a little crooked smile.
"Turn up the TV."
No remotes back then either...
we kids were the remote.
She didn't wait until I had time to go back to the chair.
"Go outside and play... Shoo!"
My mother's summer mantra.
Sit on the warm concrete steps.
My very best friend in the whole world lived next door.
But summer was full of rules...
No swimming in the pool until after an hour after lunch.
No leaving the yard without permission.
No knocking on the neighbor's door before 10:00.
"Is it okay yet?"
(Repeat twenty or so times.)
Back to the porch to watch a sow bug cross the sidewalk.
Not very interesting really, but it ate up time.
Watch Mr. B water his flower beds.
I'd start to imagine all the things Gregory and I could do...
dig roads and tunnels for cars and trucks under the fir tree where the soil smelled damp and it was easy to dig with a spoon...
draw on the sidewalk...
put up the up tent and build make-believe fires...
"Is it time yet?"
I'd knock on the door and then there he was!
Gregory was one of the skinniest, sickliest looking kids on earth.
His little legs looked like bell clappers out the bottom of his cut off jeans.
He always wore a striped tee shirt...
it might have been the same one
(His mom wasn't exactly into "clean".)
and Red Ball Jets just like mine.
Most of the time his face was dirty and his hands down right
He had terrible allergies and constantly wheezed, sniffed
and wiped his nose with the heal of his hand...
then ran his palm down the leg of his shorts.
The bags under his eyes gave him a haunted look.
I thought he was perfect in every way.
"Hey. Watta you want to do today?"
"I dont know... watta you want to do?"
It might go on like that for awhile.
It didn't matter.
He'd come outside and we'd start to wander until
opportunity directed our path.
It was finally summer!
There were honeysuckle flowers to suck,
siblings to spy on or bother,
mud cookies to bake on the hot sidewalk.
We had things to do...
Here its supposed to be a "hot" day.
All the way up to 84!
I've got in-laws coming this afternoon, so my
first day of summer
will be dedicated to cleaning the house
then working on a new flowerbed I'm putting in next to the patio.
Not very exciting.
Summer vacation just isn't the same.