Thursday, May 10, 2012

Summertime and the Living is Easy

Today, at Writer's Workshop, I'm writing on prompt 4.) List your top 10 favorite things about summer growing up.

Summertime and the Living is Easy.  Whenever I hear this bluesy tune, my mind transports me back to when I was growing up in Central Florida.  Like any kid, I longed for summer.  But I was an unusual kid.  I have to admit that it wasn't long until I became excited thinking about going back to school.  My love of learning and schedules would just overwhelm me and I would eagerly anticipate days back in the classroom.

Still in the spring, when a person gets tired of being confined in class, I would dream of:

10.  Beachcombing - Even though I lived in Florida, the closest beach was 40 miles away.  There were times we only had one car, and of course, dad used it for work.  Also, my mother was afraid of water and didn't like too much sun.  So, our trips to the beach were infrequent.  (Did you ever notice that it seems whatever attractions the state you live in has to offer are the very things that you hardly ever do?  Why is that?)

9. Trips to Town:   During the summer, my brother and I enjoyed going with Mom to town to get groceries.  This is the time we could go spend our allowances.  I would wander up the aisles of the Dollar General located next to the grocery store while Mom shopped.  My mission:  to find clothes or jewelry that fit my budget and looked cool.  Tall order.  My brother would hang out in the snack bar close by spending his allowance on pizza slices.  When we all met back at the car there was usually a ring of marinara sauce around his lips. 

8.  To Everything (turn, turn, turn) There is a Season:  The summer season always meant to me, a great time to change my room around.  Sometimes. More. Than. Once.  I remember one summer I actually talked my brother into trading rooms.  It must have been the latent decorator in both of us because we really loved to rearrange our furniture and make out rooms look as different as we could.

7. Swing time:  I was always a dreamer.  Summertime meant hanging out in our big swing that was attached to the big tree in our front yard.  The tree was festooned with so much Spanish Moss, it was like a private cubbyhole.  I spent a lot of time there making up stories and gazing at the pasture in front of the swing.

6. Summer attire:  What could be better than hanging out all day in cut-offs  (jean shorts) and tank tops and Jesus sandals?  Back then, when I wanted to dress up, there would be scooter skirts and culotte dresses and sunglasses. I also remember having a pair of  Dr. Scholl's wooden clogs/sandals that made a clack-clack noise wherever you walked.  Very cool.

5. Schedules:  At first the great thing about summer was no schedule.  You could pretty well do whatever you wanted when you wanted to do it (within reason). My parents were never very strict about what you did with your time.  After a while, though, my love of listing would kick in and I would draw myself up a table listing the times of day and what I should do at certain times. I had more fun creating the schedule then actually doing the schedule

4. Staying Up Late: It seems so funny now, since I love to go to sleep as early as possible, but as a kid I totally loved staying up. I remember I used to watch the Johnny Carson Tonight Show.  Oops, that gives away my age!

3.  Sleepin' In: This goes hand-in-hand with staying up late.  I loved having no alarm clock tell me what to do!

2.  Keeping My Nose In A Book:  Always a voracious reader, summer vacation was my time to feast on as many books as I could.  And yes, reading had a lot to do with my staying up late.  I always had to read "just one more chapter!"

French Quarter, New Orleans vacation

And my number 1 favorite thing about summer vacation was road trips.  Although my father worked for the airlines and could fly pretty cheaply, most of the time we drove to our destinations because we liked having the freedom of having our own car.  Dad used to be a truck driver so road trips did not bother him.  I remember visiting California, Colorado, Salt Lake City, Utah, New Orleans and Atlanta on different trips. Other years we headed back home to Southern Illinois to visit Granny Violet and all the aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a lot of fun despite Dad's driving habits.  Dad took a trip to 1) see how the car would perform, and 2) to see if he could break his previous record on the time it took to travel.  Stopping to eat and /or rest room breaks were discouraged!

Thanks for joining me on this trip down memory lane.  If you'd like to find out what other people did with their summers, visit Mama Kat at her blog, Mama's Losin' It!


Jayne Martin said...

It looks like we grew up in the same era. I just remember how long our summers seemed back then. Unlike today's kids, we got three full months, from June 8th to September 8th. I have to admit to getting a little antsy for school to start around mid-August. The excitement of brand new school supplies and new clothes (because of course I'd grown over the summer) was really fun.

Kallay said...

My mom used to rearrange my room in the summers, too. I loved it! It was so much fun perusing catalogs for new bedspreads and linens, and choosing paint colors.

I was a bookworm, too. Wow, a whole flood of memories came back. Great post! :)

Anonymous said...

I loved this post! I literally transported myself back in time. Thanks for sharing!