Sum-Sum-Summertime

Fragments From Floyd: June 2005 Archives revisits the summers of his past. He has one of the most beautiful blogs with excellent writing and seems talented in sparking some of th emore interesting memes.

This time he invites other bloggers to join him, and open up the window on their summer memories…

so revving up the time machine to travel back…back….back in time.

Many of the really early memories revolve around making mudpies in the back yard, and the little child’s pool to splash around in. Playing dress up with the other kids on the block ( my mom supplied all the dresses and props). Selling candy on the front porch and fighting with the boy who insisted that his rusty bicycle chain was-too worth a pack of candy cigarettes. Skating down the block and back.

Then, too, were the morning mosquito foggings, and the mourning doves calls. running around the neighborhood and making flower salads.
Later…
Playing tag, and kick the can til long into the dark, climbing trees and biking to that old tree which grew out over the river with a favorite book. Playing badminton, tether-ball and four-square.

Always catching lightening bugs and putting them in a jar. Catching butterflies and pinning them to a display. Watching the bats come out each evening. Trying to stay out as late as possible every night, getting so dirty that it was a poor kids tan…. seeing who could keep the dirtiest before the mom made you clean up.

Going on vacation to Lake Michigan-Chicago area, usually, sometimes to a beat-up little cottage on Indian Lake, where my grandmother cooks up unending piles of catfish and perch that my cousins and my grandfather had caught, gutted,skinned or scaled, and filleted. Unending and fabulously good. Games of scrabble and every board game available with cutthroat seriousness in winning. But scrabble was first choice for everyone.

Corn on the cob and cobblers, hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, always a little charcoal one and sparklers and fireworks on the Fourth of July -which was always at some overcrowded park that took forever to walk to because we parked so far away…
Most summers there was summer Church daycamp We got on a bus and traveled to the conference camp. First thing was to sit on hill in front of the lodge for the morning devotional message… after singing 100 bottles of beer on the wall on the way there…. we separated into age groups in little campsites, caught crawdads, and frogs, and snakes. Made crafts and went on hikes. Bivouacked back at the lodge in the afternoon for vespers, had special devotion times in the center of the woods, walking through the cathedral of pines to a clearing. Sitting on logs in a circle and singing. Wondering at God’s creation…going back home singing B-I-N-G-O, more beer on the wall, and more that I can no longer remember. Came home tired and happy.

Later….
walking a mile to the private pool to swim, having to pay for my own season ticket, but it all being worth it to be part of the in group….getting tan and keeping cool in the pool. Going to summer dances with garage bands in the park recreation center… reading huge amounts of books and feeling happy that there wasn’t much else to demand my time. Playing cards, listening to the newest music and learning the latest dances. Whispering about things we weren’t supposed to know and passing around books we weren’t supposed to read. Ironing our hair.

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The days were hot and lazy, we used fans and open windows to keep cool. We got ice cold cokes from the drugstore and ice cream bars from the ice cream man with his alluring bells and music and all the kids running to get their orange push-ups and drumsticks. Manning my mother’s garage sales in the alley out back. Going to the Municipal Rose Garden. Getting summer jobs that didn’t pay much, and blowing it all at the State Fair.

The State Fair every year…. seeing the animals and the exhibits, going on the rides and eating the “Fair Food”. Cotton Candy, corn dogs, Lemon Slushes, candy apples, riding the rides, and hopefully NOT throwing up that year. Riding more rides… especially the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Going to the Art Gallery every chance possible -especially when in Chicago. Taking the El downtown. Buying Origami papers in the gallery shop. Painting and making art projects and generally wiling the time away.

These were my summers.

6 thoughts on “Sum-Sum-Summertime”

  1. I so enjoyed this trip down a memory lane that could easily have been my own. You mention so many of my favorite things but two particular ones — Scrabble and putting lightning bugs in a jar. I know these amazing insects used to hover over swampy areas after dark in mid-summer, but I haven’t seen any for years. I so want to show the grand-kids how they show through the pocket of a T-shirt or light up their own wee environment in a glass jar.

  2. I really enjoyed writing this. The lightning bug population is way down, but some years we still see them out among the corn fields in force. They usually show up some time later in June. We haven’t had so many June bugs this year, but I’m not unhappy about that.

    Lightning bugs are such gentle and benign bugs from the aspect of whether they “bug you or not”.

    Hope you find an area where they are resident . I wonder if spraying for mosquito control affects the numbers?

  3. The lightning bugs are out in force down here. And chasing them has become one of my girls favorite evening activities. We even bought them one of those fancy-schmancy mesh bug catcher things since mason jars are in short supply in our house.

    Some of mine…. hauling hay, catching crawdads in the creek, riding [now outlawed] 3-wheelers, reading, reading, reading, trying to snatch-hook off the bridge, swimming, painting that humongous fence, riding bikes, and much more…

  4. I had gotten one of those insect houses too! Don’t tell me..Target?

    My boys helped the farmers haul hay…that tells me you are one tough dude! They used my gardening gloves and I never did get all the little pieces of hay from the tips!

    What is it with crawdads? Maybe the Lord created them just for children’s summer fascination:)

    Thanks for sharing your memories…wasn’t it fun?!

  5. Yep, Target! If my wife could pick one store to have locally, that would be it.

    Crawdads, grasshoppers, fireflies…. I’m just glad we live someplace our kids can enjoy simple things like that. Of course, that means they also get to enjoy tics and chiggers. 🙂

  6. This was great, and wasn’t it fun to write? Interesting that some common threads are showing up in many of these summertime reflections–fireflies being one of them. We may have to dig a little deeper!

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