Tomatoes and Butterflies
Only a few more days to enter my Celebration Giveaway for my new book, The Innocent. Entries have to be in by midnight EST Saturday night, July 3, 2015. For more details, check it out on my website. I invited those who entered to share a summer story or something they especially love about summer and I've gotten some great stories and favorite things. I shared some of those favorite things on my Mailbag Tuesday feature on my Facebook page. One thing most of us could agree on was how we love those tomatoes from the garden in the summertime. And I might add seeing butterflies when I go walking in the fields. I'm always wishing I could see more.
Some of you shared how summer was for you when you were a kid and I'm going to share Sandi's tonight. Sandi has a way with words. She'll have you running along with her in her summer fun and I would guess that many of you might have known similar summer memories from when you were kids. I know I did.
Summer Memories from Sandi
We were a poor family...but only in terms of money. I was number six out of eight children. Our house was small and in the summer, my mom would, often, open the door and yell..."scat." She didn’t have to tell us twice because she had quite a list of things we could do inside–like dusting or washing dishes or cleaning under the beds–jobs no kid would want to do.
What we lacked in toys, we made up for in imagination. One year we had a zoo–with every bug we could catch lined up in jars for all of our paying customers to see...however, no one showed up in spite of our advertising. (Or perhaps it was because of our advertising).
We younger kids were delighted when we’d find a dead bird or even a large bug because then we could get our older sister, who had plans to become a nun or a majorette, depending on the day, to come out and do a funeral service. She’d read scripture and we’d sing and wail a little if we felt a particular affection for the deceased. (The wailing was usually reserved for one of our many pets).
We spent several days building a Ferris Wheel–needless to say, that went about as well as the bug zoo.
The grape arbor held endless possibilities and served as a grocery store (with cans we took out of the trash) or a fort that had to be defended against the Indians...or cowboys or just each other. We had an old shed on the property and one day one of the oldsters from the County Home (which was about a mile up the road) moved in. We didn’t notice until he had thrown nearly everything out onto the lawn and was sitting on a rock smoking a stogie (cigar). He was an interesting old guy and we learned several new words much to my mother’s chagrin and ours, if she heard us repeating them.
My brothers had a basketball hoop (a bent hanger) attached to the shed and one day the ball landed on the roof–I watched as they climbed up to get it and both fell through at the same exact same moment. I can’t remember which was more exciting–watching them land or the chaos when my parents found out what had happened. They had plenty of kids, but only one shed.
The days seemed endless back then. My grandmother lived very close to us (on the same lot) and although we weren’t allowed to "pester" her, we’d go and sit on her porch with her, when invited and she was a wonderful source of love and entertainment. She had a very deep belly laugh and if she laughed, we laughed, so we’d go through all kinds of antics to make her giggle–which was fun all in itself.
We would catch lightning bugs at night and Dad would put up a tent and we’d declare that we were going to sleep in it–we’d make it about two hours before someone would bring up a story about a ghost or a mass murderer who had been seen lurking in our neighbor’s garden... Then, we’d all run screaming into the house and climb into our safe warm bed until the next time. Ghosts were one thing, but mass murderers were pretty scary.
We had none of the things kids have today. One bicycle was shared by all and I don’t think any of us had been to a real swimming pool until we were almost grown. The closest we got to water outside was if we turned on the hose and sprayed each other. We had a wagon and we’d take turns being the pusher or puller. Dad made us a seesaw/merry go round and it was great fun until someone would get in the way and...well, that’s another story.
I don’t ever remember being bored. When Mom would get out the Sear’s catalog and start thumbing through it for school clothes, I knew it was almost over. Oh well, there was always next year and time truly does fly...when you’re having fun.
More Stories to Come
Thanks for sharing your childhood summers with us, Sandi. I'll share some more of the stories in the weeks to come.
Also watch for a big announcement Sunday. Of course, I am announcing the winners of my Shaker prizes in my Celebration Giveaway, but there will be another announcement as well about a little change going to happen here.
As always, thanks for reading.