Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The summers of my childhood....

Why am I reminiscing so much this year? Who knows, but I am having so many flashbacks of my childhood summers. Not the turbulent teen years, but the early times, when life was simple and easy and my age was still in the single digits.

I take Milly a lot of mornings and ride down to this soon to be cul-de-sac that is right now just a dirt road bordered by trees. I sit and enjoy the quiet, the summer wind, the rustle of the trees and the singing birds.

And I remember...

The wheat fields that surrounded our house, and how they glistened golden in the summer sun, and the dusty smell of the field after the wheat was harvested.

The sound of the screen door banging, as I ran outdoors, usually barefooted to play under a tree with various kittens and puppies that were always underfoot. I would dress the kittens in doll clothes and push them around in my doll stroller, and they would let me.

The smell of the freshly dried towels as I gathered them from the line and climbing into bed in my newly laundered cotton baby doll pajamas, and inhaling the summer scent still clinging to the pillowcases.

Mother's gooseberry bushes, and how she always made gooseberry pie with green berries and how much I didn't like them. And eating a bowl full of freshly picked strawberries, in that great stainless bowl that I use daily in my kitchen, now.

Sitting on the grass under a tree, watching her work in the garden, looking for four-leafed clovers, which, by the way, I NEVER found. Not one, not ever, and I searched for years.

Icy pitchers of freshly brewed sweet tea, with slices of oranges just the way I liked it. And climbing the cherry trees in the back yard, eating fistfuls of those tart little pie cherries, and not being able to get out of the tree because I frequently got stuck.

And I remember the trains. Oh, how I loved those trains. We lived in a valley and there was a train track probably a half a mile away. I would sit in the porch swing and listen to the whistle and wonder what faraway places the train went to. I would watch it wind and twist thru the trees until I couldn't see it anymore and then I would patiently wait for the next one and do the same thing over again.

We had that great creek next to our house and I would climb down under the bridge that crossed it, and sit in the coolness of the concrete pilings when the days were hot and muggy. There were probably snakes and spiders galore, but somehow I don't remember those, just the coolness that enveloped me on a hot summers day.

I can still hear that screen door banging, still remember exactly how it sounded, and still remember Mother yelling at me, "Janice, don't slam that door!" It didn't help, I always slammed it, and would today if I had a screen door. I miss having one.

It's those simple things, girlfriends, tugging at those heartstrings...


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