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Little Things, Big Memories

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Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 96
Location: Northeast

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:05 am    Post subject: Little Things, Big Memories Reply with quote

On summer mornings I remember the giant maple tree outside my open window exhaling sweet cool air that wafted through the screen and into my room. I remember being so glad that the wide, painted boards of the wooden floor weren’t freezing on my bare feet (like in wintertime). I remember the relief of knowing there was no school bus to catch and the wild sense of freedom and potential that filled the morning.

I remember days filled with collecting pails of polliwogs (and Mom making us dump them all back), tossing stale bread to the Canada Geese and their goslings over at the pond, and riding our bikes to the YMCA camp pool for a swim on hot days. I remember being thrilled to win third prize and claiming a long white ribbon for the drawing that I entered into the art contest at the country fair (of course, there were only three entries), collecting unusual rocks in the sunshine along the bend in the river bank and getting covered with pine pitch when we played “My Side of the Mountain” and built flimsy little hutches out of branches in the woods. I remember walking down to the little country store to stock up on penny candy for the sleep-outs we would have in the big tent my Dad would sometimes make out of the sturdy clothesline (it was made from steel piping joined together in a block-shape) and the canvas sheets that covered his small boat during the winter months. (It was pitch-black and cold in the tent with the door flap down. It was a great place for telling ghost stories and “levitating” subjects in dim light.) I would regularly steal carrots from the refrigerator to bring to the horses up the hill and I whiled away many hours reading tons of books or just day-dreaming in the crown of my apple tree. Being a summer baby, my birthday party was always held out in the backyard on a big picnic table with sandwiches, lots of greasy potato chips, neighbor kids running around everywhere and the sprinkler going. (Balloons, grass-stained shorts, wild hair and pudgy, tanned, frosting-painted faces grace all the remaining photographs.) I remember weeding the garden, pushing the reel-mower around the yard and smashing butternuts (ed.) with a big rock on a flat stone buried in the hard-packed dirt driveway to get to the tasty nut-meat inside (butternut shells are very tough).

I had a perfect view of the setting sun from the top of my apple tree. The sky would turn pinker than the blossoms and then the bees, with whom I carefully shared the branches, would finally start to head to their homes. As dusk fell, we would play the more mysterious games out in the shadowy yard like, “Ditch It,” where we pretended to be robbers, spies or detectives, -- depending on our moods. We were daring and dangerous characters until Mom called us in. On really hot nights we would quietly climb out of the bedroom windows and onto the wide porch roof and drag our pillows with us. The swaying, whispering giant maple would lull us into drowsiness. Of course, we would go scrambling and tripping right back into our beds if we heard any noises on the stairs. (We weren’t supposed to sleep on the roof.)

I was so happy to grow up in a rural area and I was very lucky to have siblings about my age. It made summers all the richer with a wonderful mix of skies, scents, trees, colors, textures, adventures and imagination. I will always be grateful to my parents who worked very hard to make those summers possible.

To anyone who hasn't already tried it, I highly recommend a polliwog stake-out in their natural habitat. (Visit often! Watching the development cycle of the nascent frog is absolutely facinating.)

Happy summer to all!

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Joined: 22 Sep 2007
Posts: 3375
Location: GERMAN PAMPA!!!

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simply beautiful! And it takes me on some weird trip down my own memory lane. Laughing
Thanks for sharing!!! And happy summer to you too!

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Joined: 18 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful......I am pleased to have read the post...........
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