Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Days

Today's post comes from the writing prompt at The One Minute Writer .  If you are unfamiliar with this site-check it out the next time you are lacking inspiration for your own blog or writing.  Each day, a new prompt is listed, and you are supposed to spend one minute, writing freely about that topic.  Of course, me being me, it took me more than a minute just to write out this explanation, so you KNOW it's going to take me more than a minute once I finally get around to writing what I actually came here to write about. 

Two "fun facts" for you about me if you haven't been here long: 1.  I pretty much always waste spend at least a paragraph telling you all about what I'm going to be telling you before I actually tell you.  Got that? It's the teacher in me, I guess. 2.  I'm a rule bender.  I don't break laws (unless you count speeding, which I totally pretend not to), and I believe that rules are a good thing, however, I bend them to suit my needs, and generally feel pretty justified in doing so.  So now, the point of this post...because, remember? I told you there was going to be one...

I've always loved summer.  Long, sunny warm days, that seem carefree, even though as an adult, I work on many of these days.  Thinking of school starting in less than a month gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, even though it's not me that will be going back to school.  I just love the laziness of summer-not having to get my kids up and rushed out the door in the morning, not having to make them do homework when I fell like they should be relaxing and playing outside after a busy day of learning...

As a little kid, I remember getting up in the morning, pulling on my hand-me-down, Incredible Hulk green Toughskins cut off shorts, a polyester striped shirt (hey, it was the late 70's, early 80's!), and flip flops (which we innocently called "thongs" back then), and heading outside to ride my Big Wheel.  I loved my Big Wheel so much-I really do wish they made them for grown ups! Usually, I'd ride with Charlie, the little kid down the street.  He was kind of mean, and younger than me, and peed on trees a lot, but he really liked me, and was afraid of my Mom, so it was all good.  Plus, he was pretty much the only kid around to play with, most of the time.

Charlie and I would ride up and down the sidewalk, racing each other, purposely crashing into each other, and usually, pretending we were the Dukes of Hazard.  Sometimes we were CHiPS, but only when Jeffrey, the CHiPs obsessed kid down the street joined in, but that wasn't often.  (I still remember Jeffrey's CHiPS themed orange big wheel...)  We'd take turns playing Bo or Luke, or Enos or Roscoe. Yeah, I'm a girl, but really, Daisy was no fun to play-she just wasn't very bright, and we knew that. One of us would chase the other down the street, ram in to the back of the other's Big Wheel, and then the person in front would flip over their vehicle, pretending to be "crashed."  As I recall, the storyline didn't go much beyond the chasing and crashing, although occasionally, stolen "money", that was actually dried out grass clippings, was involved.

After tiring of this, we'd  usually head to his house or mine for some Kool Aid, then run to the nearest swingset, where we'd play Kool Aid-mustached circus acrobats, airplane pilots or house, until Charlie did something mean and made me mad. I'd go inside for a while and pout, and then later, we'd meet up again-either Big Wheeling, or climbing the crab apple tree in my front yard.  That tree was many things-sometimes it was the Duke's farm house, other times it was a house for our dolls (when I could talk him into it, and yes, when a boy's best friend is a little girl, chances are, he'll own at least one doll, no matter how masculine he is, or how many trees he pees on), or a Star Wars ship (when he could talk me into it).  We spent lots of time jumping out of that tree, or swinging from a branch, trying to impress each other (unsucessfully) with our fancy tricks.

Although I don't really miss Charlie, or watching him pee in random places (what WAS that about , anyway?), I do kind of miss those carefree sunny days, when I could play all day, and not have to think about when my next bowl of Spaghetti-O's would be served.  I could pedal along, hearing the pleasing sound of my Big Wheel "roaring" down the side walk, getting suntanned (no one worried about skin cancer back then), scraped up and mosquito bitten.  Life was good, and this was kid-life at it's best!

The kids in the pictures are a (pre-Charlie era) 4 year old me, and my husband.  Don't you love my knee socks, Mom-made outfit, and "don't mess with me and my cool hawg" scowl?


  1. Those memories sound wonderful. I loved those carefree days of childhood and I'm afraid many kids don't have those experiences anymore.

  2. Bethany, I love everything about this post! How cool is it that you and your hubby both have Big Wheel pics?

    Are you ME? Because you just described my childhood summers, except that my boy was named Jason. We rode Big Wheels and played Dukes of Hazard, too. But, I was fortunate enough to have girls in the neighborhood and when I was with them we played Charlie's Angels.

    I know what you mean about school starting back. I don't want to let go of these lazy days of summer, either.

    This was a beautifully written post, Bethany!

  3. Awesome post! It brough back so many memories for me with my brothers! I didn't really have anyone my age other than my two brothers, so much like you, it was big wheels, tire swings, and swimming! I used to be so tan...and we thought nothing of drinking from the hose, when thirsty!! Oh, how times have changed!! :)

  4. I never had a Big Wheel although I always wanted one. I had a red trike instead. That trike took me places until I grew out of it.

    You brought back some serious memories of growing up and enjoying being a kid! whatever happened to Charlie?

  5. Thanks everyone-this was a fun post to write. Charlie moved about the time I went to junior high, and we kind of lost touch after that.


I love comments! Thanks for reading my post!

Related Posts with Thumbnails