Memory Lane: A Hot Summer Day

Image result for images of children playing in pond

When you’re ten years old and school is out on summer vacation, it doesn’t matter how hot the day is–you’re going for the gusto. At least, that’s how it used to be.

If it’s really, really hot, you play in the water. In our neighborhood, on the edge of the woods, was a little seasonal pond with a clean shale bottom. We sat in the water, or waded in it, splashing around with our toys. If you were a little older, the high school football field next door usually had its sprinkler system going, and we played around in that.

A hundred degrees? What did we care! We could squirt each other with garden hoses, or sit in rubber wading pools. And when I was twelve, I made sure I got the afternoon newspaper first so I could look at all the baseball box scores and see how Willie Mays did in the night game. I remember sitting on the lawn with the paper open to the sports page and my little iguana, very far from being a big iguana yet, perched on my shoulder.

So we rode our bikes and pitched horseshoes until we got hot, and then soaked down in the pond, the sprinklers, a pool, or in the front yard with the hose.

You never see that anymore. And that’s a pity, because it was good. I’m sorry kids miss out, these days, on times like that.

2 comments on “Memory Lane: A Hot Summer Day

  1. You’re so right, Lee. What a wonderful time to have grown up. Our childhood was similar – the creek behind us running with clear water fed by a spring, salamanders swimming around, walking in the woods to find jack-in-the-pulpit flowers (they were beautiful!). Our parents would hook up the sprinkler or a hose and we would run through laughing and giggling with joy. Ah, for those days . . .

  2. When I was a boy, I all but lived for summer. At the time, my parent’s lived just outside of a small city in Minnesota, so we had access to all the amenities but lived a basically rural existence. Summers were hot and humid, but garden hoses were plentiful. The occasional trip to the municipal swimming pool was a real treat.

    There were open fields near our home and a small woods where we lived many adventures. It was as a safe neighborhood with zero crime. I spent the summers of my later childhood with no supervision, coming and going as I saw fit. Mostly, I remember hiking and exploring the unpopulated portions of the neighborhood.

    We found an old wooden wagon, perhaps from the late nineteenth century. At least old enough to have wooden spoked wheels. For us it was adequate to inspire all sorts of imagination. It was probably a farm wagon, but to us it was a conestoga and evidence that early settlers had come right to our very neighborhood. The fact that the area had been settled for roughly 100 years and long since cleared of any archaeological discoveries was lost on us. 🙂

    If I look back, what I remember most, was the sense of security. The idea of economic failure or cultural decline never occurred to me. Mom and dad would always keep us fed, clothed and sheltered. We’d never catch up to the more prosperous people in the neighborhood, but our life was good. While my parents did warn me that there were people whom were of danger to children, such problems were not much of a concern in our locale.

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