As a kid growing up in a sleepy southern town, summer was the time of homegrown tomatoes, lightening bugs, coca-cola in a bottle, swinging on the porch at my grandparents, and the sound of “dry flies” in the evening. I heard that familiar sound last night, and closed my eyes thinking of what my summers were like as a kid. It makes me wish I could rewind the clock.
My summers were great! They were much different from the PS2, unlimited DVD watching summers we hear about now. I could walk barefooted up and down the street to visit playmates, and grandparents without worry (yes, both of my grandparents lived within a block of us). Once we got older we could even go to the 7-Eleven for nickle candy, and slurpees. I had the greatest purple Schwinn bike with a sparkly banana seat that I would ride up and down the street. Once I got hot, I would plant myself on the back porch for a “Chilly Willy.”
Beach time was always fun. My family would head to the old Myrtle Beach (before it became too overgrown). A big treat was to head to the Pavilion and ride the rides. We ate Sno-Cones on the beach, and my dad would hold us firm on a raft until a huge wave came washing us to the sand. It is something I remember like it was yesterday. Looking at Myrtle Beach now, it is hard to get that same feeling.
If you ever saw Steel Magnolias – “Ouiser” made the statement, “We are southern women…we grow tomatoes and wear funny hats.” How true! My mother is a prime example of that now. Fresh vegetables are staples for the summer – not grocery store veggies…out-of-your-yard veggies, or those bought at the Farmer’s Market. My mother has a garden that is out of this world (the green thumb gene skipped past me). Though, Sarah is learning just how awesome a garden can be. Hopefully she will carry on the tradition.
I wonder if kids today will ever have fond summer memories. The summers weren’t about going and doing all the time. They were about lazily doing the things that kids loved. I drove past my grandmother’s house yesterday. For a moment I saw her sweeping the magnolia leaves from the front walk. I even got the feeling of laying on the swing late at night as she tickeled my back to the sound of “dry flies.” What I would give to go back for one day – what a day it would be!