Summertime Memories


Do you remember that last day of grade school when you could barely sit still at your desk because you knew that when the bell rang you had TWO FULL MONTHS of fun and games? Hide and go seek was always a neighborhood favorite, catching or attempting to catch fireflies, playing tag (you’re IT!!), tennis baseball (because momma would kill us if a real baseball hit the house), football – and I mean full on tackle… no wussies here… and all the other great outdoor games! We would play, play, play until the fireflies came out to say Hello. It was always such a sad event when we heard Daddy’s whistle to come home!!

Ahhhh, as a country girl… I couldn’t get enough of being outside. Even now that I have transitioned to city life as an adult (thank God, Haaaaaaa!!!), I find myself revealing in the great outdoors. I can’t imagine growing up in today’s world of technology when you use your fingers (video game reference there, of course!) instead of your feet to run around and have fun outside!!!

Ohhhh, the fun we had in nature!!!

To this day, I love the smell of a cornfield… it reminds me of endless hours of building forts or playing hide and go seek amidst the stalks. The cornfields are why I’m not afraid of snakes or rats… would always run into a few here and there. I was however afraid of the local farmer who would inevitably knock on our front door to lecture us about ruining his crop and FORBID us to play in his field… only to his dismay to find more of our “field play” damage in about a week or so, right? Even at the risk of getting in BIG trouble, who in the world can resist a multi-acre play field of corn? Ummmmmm, not me or any of my neighborhood playmates for that matter!!!

Between our great corn adventures and playing war or ninja with real ninja stars thrown around, going on journeys where we rode our bikes for MILES and MILES away from home exploring the land, bottle rocket fights, playing tackle football with the boys and blowing up matchbox cars with firecrackers… I’m absolutely SHOCKED any of us from the neighborhood are still alive. And even more shocked Imma girl… all I did was rough-n-tumble boy stuff growing up!!! No Barbie dolls here for this girl, LOL!!

We played outdoors from sun up to sun down. If we got thirsty, the water hose was our drink of choice because it would take entirely too much time to go inside to find something to drink… besides Mom might find something for us to do, so that would pull us away from our friends, fun and frolic. Then if we got hungry, we would grab some grapes off the vine, pull a few cherries off the tree, or eat a green pepper or other yummy goodness out of a neighbor’s garden. We didn’t care if it was properly cleaned… just brush the dust off, eat and go!! And if we were REALLY lucky, we went wild berry picking with Mom and enjoyed our crop while we picked it off the vine. One for the crate… and two or three for me!!! Yuuummmmmm.

Ohhh, how I miss my carefree childhood growing up in the country!!!

Yep, my dolls were praying mantis… as I used to make them dance, fight each other, and all kinds of fun crap. I would also play with banana spiders, who unfortunately for them, made their web in our front shrubs. These spiders are HUGE, but harmless. Going to the creek to fish for crawdads and then make them fight and dance to give the poor praying mantis a break, right? And, of course chase after garden snakes for fun. Seriously, how did we E-V-E-R survive??? LMAO!!!

One thing I will NEVER forget my mom saying repeatedly, “Go outside and play”… heck, it was usually the other way around… “No, you cannot leave the table until everyone else has finished their dinner. You will have to sit there patiently until everyone else is done!” And all the while mommy and daddy would take their own sweet time and we had scarfed down our food sooo fast that we set world records – remember?

It was simply torture to sit there during dinner while all of our neighborhood pals were still outside playing games in our yard – because we had an open yard that was PERFECT for every sport under the sun!!!!!!!!! My Daddy would even savor his very last few drops of milk (which was his dinner favorite), just to drive us bonkers. Once his glass was empty and hit the table, we were off and running like two blonde flashes of lightening!! Yeah, I was born a toehead blonde… for those of you who didn’t know it now that I sport my red hair!!

If we weren’t playing games on land… well, we certainly were in the pool or at the lake. I am such a water baby. Marco Polo, anyone? We not only played tag on land… we also played it in water!! Some neighbors had pools, so we migrated from location to location, depending on which parent didn’t care that the ENTIRE neighborhood was in their pool all day!!! We would swim with the fish and seaweed in the lake too. It didn’t matter our feet were sloshing around in the muddy lake bed floor. We didn’t care… it was so much fun and a great reprieve from the summer heat!! We would even open our eyes in the cloudy muck to see if it was possible to see any creatures swimming around in the water. Ewe. Gross, right? How did we not end up with some crazy eye infection? LOL!! And, I’m sure I swallowed my fair share of that icky water too.

While swimming at the lake, if we weren’t IN the canoe then we would tip it over and swim underneath, then peek our heads up where the air pocket was and talk for hours listening to our voices echo between the top of the canoe and the water!! Talk about a workout… treading water to stay afloat while chatting. Of course, there was a pontoon boat where we could joyously ride on the water, relax and soak in some summer rays. Then when too hot, suck down a few flavor-ice popsicles to cool off. This, in fact, is still my favorite dessert choice to this day!!!

Yiiippppeeee, the days of summer are back. What joyous fun we had back then, right? Today my heart aches for fun and games… the kind we used to have as kids. I love seeing my niece because she pulls the little girl right out of me. We simply burst with giggles! What is your favorite summertime childhood memory? Hope your memory brings you as much joy as my summer frolic memories did me. Until the next memory, keep a smile on your face and laughter in your heart!

Written in honor of my neighborhood pals growing up!! Thanks for the wonderful memories…

© Renae Rossman and Candy Coated Reality™

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