Saturday, August 7, 2010

Childhood and summertime

Being a kid today is WAY different from when I was a kid. And I'm not talking about the "I had to walk to school in 6 feet of snow" kind of way. (Although, on a serious note, I *did* have to walk in the snow to catch the lie. My dad's gravel driveway was almost 1/2 a mile, and the bus stopped at the top of the driveway. When it snowed, which "back in my day" it snowed a lot- hellooooo blizzards of '93 and '96- we had to walk to the bus stop, or miss school. And in order to miss school in my house, you had to be near death). When I was a kid, we had more independence than kids today do. (Again, more in the "mom locked the door for the entire day" kind of way). Not that I don't allow my kids to have independence, but I think it's no secret that the dangers of the world are more frequently in the media today vs. when I was a kid...anyway, that's a different subject for a different time. I have some special memories of summertime from when I was a kid, and I'd like to take this opportunity to share some with my 2 blog readers :)

-Honeysuckle. Oh, how I loved walking around picking honeysuckle off people's vines. (Today that would be called trespassing). I loved the smell of honeysuckle, too, and I got so excited when that tiny bit of honey came out!

-Ice cream trucks. Yup, our neighborhood had an ice cream truck that came by, and buddy, he was a busy ice cream man. I loved standing in line with my 2 quarters in my had (yep, .50) eagerly pondering which frozen treat I'd pick. Most of the time my choice was the "bomb pop".

-Roaming the neighborhood all day. My mom was a lucky one. We could roam the neighborhood all day, with all the kids in the neighborhood. We'd come in when the street lights came on, or maybe the couple of random times when we got hungry or needed to go to the bathroom. Sometimes Mom would lock the doors, so if we were hungry or had to use the bathroom, we were out of luck. (What would the neighbors think if I locked my kids out of the house today? I'd probably go to jail.)

-Lemonade stands. My mom worked, so we stayed with my grandma during the day, which meant a whole other set of friends. I distinctly remember setting up several lemonade stands during the summer. Our lemonade was made of the instant powdered stuff, in an empty gallon milk jug with some paper cups, and we made a stand out of some random cardboard box we found in Grandma's basement. The 2 or 3 people that walked or drove by would have pity on us and pay the .25 for a cup of warm lemonade, which meant that we consumed most of it.

-The beauty shop. My grandma ran a beauty shop in her basement. She permed and cut little old ladies hair day in and day out while her grandchildren were under her feet. I loved hanging around the beauty shop, watching my grandma giving perms and manicures to her lady friends, while they sat under those hair dryers and read the plethora of magazines on Grandma's table. When it came time for Grandma to trim my hair, I'd pretend I was one of her customers.

-Cooking lessons. Staying with Grandma meant lots and lots of cooking. My grandma is the reason I know how to cook. Mom says she remembers every time Grandma would get out her pots and pans, I'd drop whatever I was doing to come running in the kitchen to help out. My grandma had a garden, and I'd help her "snap" and "string" the beans, cut cucumbers and squash, and bake whatever it was she was about to put in her oven. She did a lot of baking, too. By the time I was 10, I could crack eggs and scramble them, make a salad (not the bagged stuff, either), and put together a basic spaghetti dinner.

-My friend Erin. We went to different schools, and she lived in my grandma's neighborhood, so I mostly only saw her in the summer. I guess you could say she was my "summer BFF". We roamed my grandma's neighborhood (which I would NOT advise doing today), picking grapes off the neighbor's grapevine (again, trespassing today, but he loved the company), ran through the sprinkler...and on and on.

Of course, I have a *lot* more memories of summertime, but this is what has come to mind so far. To be continued?...

No comments: