Remembering SummerThere is nothing more exciting than the anticipation of summer break as felt by an elementary school student. The thought that for the entire summer you wouldn’t have any homework was exciting enough, but add that to sleeping late, staying up late, catching fireflies, and swimming made summer the most wonderful time of the year (sorry Christmas!). My favorite memories are sunbathing with my mom and sister on a blanket in the backyard next to the garden. I don’t recall us doing anything but just lying there. If our eyes were open, they may have watched a drifting cloud or two, but most likely we slept in the warm sunshine. Another favorite thing to do was to have a wiener roast in the pasture. We did this pretty often during the summer months. My dad would light a fire, and we would roast our hotdogs on the end of a coat hanger. My mom would pack soft drinks and chips which would be served on the tailgate or a folding table. As a special summer treat, our parents would make homemade ice cream. They mostly made vanilla ice cream, which may be why that is still my favorite flavor. I do think they ventured out and made a peach batch one year. We usually went to the library on a regular basis to check out books or to participate in a program from time to time. Reading kept us busy on most days along with riding bikes and playing school. Now that I think about it, why were we playing school when we were out of school? Summer vacation was generally a driving trip. My mom would pack our lunch, and we would stop at a roadside park to eat al fresco. That seems so foreign in nature these days. I am not sure they have picnic tables at roadside parks anymore! Our work for the summer would be helping my mom to have a garage sale. She loved to have garage sales. It was a challenge to see what she could offload and how much she could make. She would even buy things at garage sales to turn around and sell for a mark-up at her own sales! As we grew older, we would go to the pasture with my daddy to count cows. Neither of us were helpful on the farm, so counting was about all we did. I didn’t like going through the ditches that my dad would traverse, so I am sure it wasn’t fun for him to have us tagging along. I would usually beg for him to not drive through them. When we got into high school, we worked at our dad’s car dealership over the summer, so there was no more break for us. The fun then came in getting a paycheck and having a change of scenery. At least we didn’t have homework when we worked, so we still had a treat. How I long for those summer days of childhood!
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Contributed by Kayla Price. Historical images from Hopkins County Echo