Summertime

When I think of summer I think of:

  • lists of chores to be done before we could play
  • trips to Stone Mountain when it was only a beach and a slide  with the neighborhood kids
  • getting up and checking the sky on the morning of the Stone Mountain trips and being disappointed every time because it was overcast–then being excited EVERYTIME when the haze burned off
  • sprinklers
  • popsicle that ran down your chin and arms until you were sticky
  • lightning bugs–how many of those little suckers died in my mason jar?  The ones with the shiny lids that my dad poked air holes in with a screwdriver
  • homemade ice cream–the ice salt and the whirrr of the electric motor and the way we got to all lick the large paddle when the ice cream was done.  Everyone got a lick-everyone-and usually all at the same time.
  • cookouts
  • neighbors and laughter
  • crickets
  • the ice cream man–ding-dingity-dong–the worn out bell would tinkle from the other side of the neighborhood.  Everything would be dropped–balls, bats, bikes—-a quick delegation of who would go hold the truck and who would run home for money was made and then everyone dispersed with the precision of a military drill team
  • bathing suits and tennis shoes–no nikes but keds, not leather keds but the white canvas ones
  • cul-de-sacs
  • picnic lunches outside with paper cups–surrounded my friends all eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches on squishy white bread with plain potato chips that came in an aluminum tin can with a lid on it–what was the name of those chips?  Our tin sat on top of the refrigerator.  It was tan with brown spots.  They were greasy and salty and added just the right amount of crunch to the sandwich.
  • playing in the creek
  • mom killing (obliterating) snakes with a hoe
  • the library
  • sleeping late
  • the loud, rhythmic whoosh of the attic fan–the one that mom used when she was trying her best to NOT turn on the air conditioning in late June
  • fishing at the grist mill at Stone Mountain
  • Lawn chairs with aluminum legs and hard woven plastic seats that scratched your bare legs when you sat on them with your shorts.
  • My mom laying out in the sun with baby oil.
  • Getting to sleep on the PVC Furniture on the back porch.
  • Lemonade stands
  • putting playing cards in the spokes of our bikes
  • babysitting
  • sparklers
  • parents poker  night which meant kids gathered in a basement or outside that were allowed to stay up ‘late’
  • Playing “guess where we are?” my sister and I laid down in the back of our station wagon (gasp-no seat belts) while my parents drove around in a random route.  We always ended up at the DQ where we got chocolate dipped cones, sat at red vinyl swivel stools at the bar, used on of their long-handled-plastic-spoons and competed to see who could suck out the most ice cream while leaving the chocolate shell intact.  It never worked but we never stopped trying.
  • cake walks
  • going to the back of the ‘ice cream store’ in a smokey room, sitting on wooden church pews, while my grandpa played piano in a blue-grass/country jam session
  • tubing the Chattahoochee
  • water skiing
  • swim lessons
  • pigtails

One of the saddest parts about growing older is missing summertime!

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