With the exception of 6 years – the five before I entered school and the one where I foolishly pursued a career in retail – summer has meant, quite simply, “No School.” It’s odd that the prospect is so exciting since I’ve always liked school and am, by choice, an early riser. It’s just the freedom of summer.
I think particularly of when I was a student in elementary school .
On that last day, we waited impatiently for the bell to ring and then walked in orderly fashion until at last we could burst through the door, running, shouting, arms akimbo, papers flying.
So what exactly was so wonderful about summer in those early years?
Was it the double- facing chair swing, the hammock, the wonderful green and white striped awnings shading every window?
Was it running through the sprinkler or being squirted directly with the hose?
Was it “helping” my father make root beer, the fascination with the bottle capper? Sipping delicious root beer floats which we called brown cows?
Was it the ice cream man with his Fudgesicles, Popsicles , Dreamsicles, and, my favorite, the chocolate covered ?
It certainly wasn’t mosquitoes who made me their main target, their bite causing itchy red swellings that I scratched until they bled.
It wasn’t red Kool-Aid which gave me hives.
Maybe it was walking to the neighborhood store for a double- decker cone.
Or maybe it was the smell of the rambling roses along the front fence or the sweetness and beauty of the peonies.
Or maybe it was waiting for the humming bird to alight on the beebalm.
Most definitely it was the chance to run out the door without a coat or sweater, to play outside all day until dark and to read inside if I wasn’t outside.
I guess it was just all these things- and more – filed in my memory bank in a glorious folder labeled “Summer.”
Dorothy C. Judd © 2016
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