Youthful Summer Days
I’m sure that we all can remember those days of summer after school was out and the freedom to go outside to run and play or to ride a bike and swim. It was a time of enjoyment that wasn’t limited because the sun was hot or the air still, sultry, and humid. Socks and shoes were optional. Tincture of merthiolate or merchorochrome was applied to scrapes and cuts after being washed with soap. Shirts were only an afterthought and sunscreen was unheard of back then. Mom would dab on apple cider vinegar to cool the sunburned skin when we chose not to wear a shirt.
Rainy days provided mud and puddles to play in and would often earn Mom’s anger when we brought the outside indoors. We had play clothes which were actually good clothes that were getting too small or were near being worn out.
As kids, summer seemed to stretch on forever. Endless days of sunshine slowly flowed by until the days of school and being imprisoned inside approached. The educational walls used up so much of the day. It often allowed little respite because of the tasks assigned by the teacher. It was called homework. The only reprieve came when Mom called for supper or the weekdays finally yielded to the weekend and a short window of escape arrived. Softballs and bats were exchanged for footballs. The fields that were once makeshift baseball diamonds become the football gridirons.
Autumn turns to winter and the footballs are stored. Heavy coats, boots, mittens, and scarves are resurrected. Sometimes larger sizes are purchased, necessary because our size has grown from the year before. Sleds, toboggans, skates, and skis are dragged from basements, sheds, and garages, dusted, and put into use. Ice, snow, and blustery wind do little to deter the escape from the confines of the house. Snow days become a temporary pardon from the weekday work farm of school.
Now, those days fly by all too quickly and we complain about the heat or the cold. Ah, to have the heart of a kid again.