Around here public school teachers have already gone back to school & the kids start next week. My kids start a little later in the month but either way, summer is quickly coming to an end. I love summertime and have since I was a kid but there is something about a new school year and getting back into a regular routine that excites me too.
When you are a kid, summer is the greatest word in the English language. The days are long, the weather is hot and each day is filled with endless posssiblity because these are the days when school doesn’t take up your whole day and homework doesn’t steal your nights.
When I was growing up, summers were sacred. There were bikes, basketball goals, the ballfield & the pool. The highlight of summer for me and my friends was the community pool affectionately know as “The Gordon Pool” to outsiders or just “the pool” to us members:) I think it was a like $100 for a membership for the entire summer. We all disppeared at 12 pm and didn’t come home until after 6. My parents and all the parents of my pool buddies had it made:) I recently told my parents about a meme I saw online that said “I am pretty sure my parents didn’t know where I was from 1990-1995” and that sounds about right for the generation I grew up in. Parents didn’t hover and we were fine and most of us are still fine today.
The pool was the greatest babysitter. We all loved to go because we knew we could all meet up there. The cute teenage boys would be in the deep end playing gator while us younger girls had our tea parties or played on the slide in the middle of the pool. Now those boys don’t seem so much older than me & we even have kids the same age. We didn’t need clocks back then. We knew when the Price is Right went off that the pool was open and then the lifeguard usually told us when it was time to get out and go home so we knew it was supper time.
There is comfort in knowing what will happen from day to day and back then we knew. We knew the gate would be open at noon and we would trudge in and hand our snack money to the ladies behind the counter to put in our box. The boxes were like a big standing tackle box with a piece of tape across the front of each individual box displaying the owner’s name. It would either be Mrs. Marcelyn, Aunt Trish, Mrs. Libby or sometimes Ms. Lynn manning the counter. You could order hotdogs, french fries and almost any candy you wanted. If you were lucky, Mrs. Libby would write your name in ketchup or mustard on your hotdog. There was almost any kind of candy you wanted and the chocolate was the best because it stayed in the cooler. There was no AC at the pool concession stand. Tracy Hawthorne was one of the lifeguards & all us little girls thought she ruled. She was gorgeous and she drove a little red BMW which was like everything in our small town.
We all walked or rode our bikes to the pool and summer days were all spent between streets named Ann and Sitton and my grandmother’s house was sandwiched in between on Greenview Avenue. Those were the days. Those days were golden and we didn’t know just how good or sacred they were when we were living them. Summer was watermelon, pools, shelling peas on your grandma’s porch, sleeping late and staying up even later, bare feet, & boat rides on the lake. One set of cousins had grandparents who lived on the lake & we went every weekend and all four of us kids were packed in the car without a seatbelt in sight. When our our lake days ended we rode home (like 30-40 minutes) in the back of a truck the whole way but not before we went through Dairy Queen and got Mr. Misty’s. Thanks, Uncle Greg:)
I guess summer was a good teacher, even as children it was teaching us that good things don’t last forever & things you look forward to all year long are over in a flash. As we are all now in our 30’s and 40’s we know just how precious time is.
We have had a bit of a 1980’s/1990’s summer at our house this year. I was down and out for 9 weeks with my foot injury so my kids slept late, swam some, climbed trees, rode bikes, read books & made the best of summer just like I used to. I can only hope they grow up to have sweet memories of their summers just like their Mom. My injury took the pressure off to fill this summer with endless activity and I decided I like it this way. Summers are for fun but also for rest.
What are your favorite summer memories? Soak up these last days and be excited for the next season! Seasons are a gift & they will always come & go – if not for that we probably wouldn’t appreciate each one quite as much.