"Hot enough for you?"
With the temperature pushing 100 degrees, some folks are ready to slug anybody asking that question. It's been a hot July here in Kentucky. But the rain has been falling and the creeks are full. That's how we used to cool offwhen I was a kid. We'd load up in the car and take off for the creek down the road. Then there was our cousins' pond we swam in every week. No concrete ponds for us. We just waded in with the mud and the fishes and the snakes. Actually I never saw any snakes or I might have waded out a little faster than I waded in.
Things have changed some since those days when a backyard pool was the stuff of impossible dreams. Wouldn't it be nice, you might have said, but you would have never believed it possible. Now a lot of people have pools in their backyards. My neighbor has a pool. My niece has a pool.
Ah, but I still have the creek. And the memories of those swimming holes when I was a kid. They say summertime to me. A time when I might lay down on the cool linoleum covered floor and lose myself in a good book. We had chores for sure, but July was when things slowed down. The first cutting of hay was in the barn. The crops were too big to plow or hoe but not ready for harvest. The garden was just coming on and I could eat tomatoes and cucumbers still warm from the sun. There were always kittens to try to catch and daisies in the field to pluck the petals to see if he loves me or he loves me not. The cousins came to stay with us a week and we would go stay with them a week. The public library had shelves and shelves of books holding out promises to me. A pitcher of ice tea would be on the table noon and night. Ice cream was often in the freezer.
Those July weeks stretched out long and lazy. Maybe I need to recapture one of those July days. Go down to the creek and wade in or settle down out in the swing with a book and that tall glass of ice tea.
That sounds like summer to me. But my grandkids will have other summer memories. They might remember the creeks too, but they'll also remember those pools. Their cool reading places will be in their air-conditioned bedrooms. But the library still holds out promises to them. They're still making memories and enjoying those long, lazy days of July that can be a gift to a child.
Thanks for reading. What do you remember about July when you were a kid?