Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summers of My Childhood

Memories of my childhood grow heavy as we enter the ‘Dog Days of Summer.’ My grandparents’ house was my favorite place in the entire world. Their yard was a child’s paradise; swings, teeter-totter, glider, and lots of places to hide when we played hide-’n’-seek. They often had visitors and after supper, (that’s what we used to call it instead of ‘dinner’), the adults would sit on metal lawn chairs in the front yard, talking and sipping lemonade. I can still remember the sounds of their conversation with a background of children’s’ laughter.

Often they’d stay out there until dark and watch us kids catch lightning bugs, (or fireflies as they’re now called.) My cousins would pinch off their tails to make ‘diamond’ rings for their fingers, but I couldn’t. Momma tried to assure me that it didn’t hurt the bugs, but for some reason I didn’t believe her. At my request, Grandma gave me a jar with holes punched in the lid so I could keep my lightning bug. A strange phenomenon took place; even though the bug lived after being trapped in the jar, it quit lighting up. After a couple hours, I set it free. Many years later, there was a period of time in my life when I felt trapped and no matter how hard I tried, my light was gone. Finally, I understood how that bug must have felt while trapped in the jar. Being able to breathe wasn't enough; it needed to be free.

Sometimes those summer days got so hot and humid it felt like you could cut the air with a knife. Often it didn’t even cool off at night and there was no breeze to be had. In the heavy stillness you couldn’t hear the sounds of nature; even Gramps’ coon hounds were silent. It was as if all God’s creatures were too hot and exhausted to exert their normal efforts to fill the air with their music. On those nights, the men were likely to sleep in the yard; some on the picnic tables, some on old army cots. But there was always a treat for us kids on those very hot days; Gramps would turn on the sprinkler for us to run through. What fun we had running through the cold water, getting warm in the sun........., and then doing it all over again!

If you live where the summers get hot and sticky, I hope you have some great memories of your own childhood to enjoy. I wouldn't trade mine for a million bucks! And by the way, are we ever too old to run through the sprinkler? I think not!


phyllis said...

I Love the story of when you played in your Granpa's yard & the fireflies..wonderfull

Katre said...

Ok, I am WAY IMPRESSED. Besides the BEAUTIFUL music the story of childhood mixed with photos was just wonderful. The music made for a nice story background and the pictures just added to the story to make it even more of a homey type feeling as you were reading it. I think you may have made me cry. I'm so PROUD!!

Kate said...

Sorry that last post was from me, I just typed faster than my eyes were looking. :D