When I think back on the summers of my childhood and youth, I remember:
kool-aid and push pops.
swimming (or at least playing in the water) at the Municipal Pool.
not swimming because I wasn’t allowed until the scab from my smallpox vaccination fell off.
sucking the juice from the honeysuckle blossoms.
flies and mosquitos.
going to GA camp at Heart of Texas Baptist Encampment.
climbing on the rocks at Paisano Baptist Encampment.
a pallet on the floor of the car at the drive-in movie theater.
the swamp cooler that had to be kept moist in order to cool the living room.
playing Barbies on the front porch.
watching re-runs on TV, Hawaii Five-O and The Mod Squad.
Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.
Mark Spitz winning seven gold medals in swimming at the 1972 summer Olympics.
Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain and Tenielle.
Only Women Bleed by Alice Cooper (I hated that song all summer long in 1975).
fresh apricots from the trees in our backyard.
wasps, yellow-jackets that stung me on the bottom of a bare foot.
going to Astroworld on our Houston vacation.
100 degrees on top of Pike’s Peak (a very hot summer on our second ever family vacation in Colorado).
purple hot pants and granny dresses.
Star Wars and Grease and American Grafitti.
going to the library twice a week to get my limit, ten books at a time.
reading my books in the chinaberry tree next to our house.
chasing the ice-cream truck.
Vacation Bible School.
iced tea and lemonade. Actually, we drank sweet iced tea year round. Still do.
sweating profusely and then immersing myself in a cold pool or creek or even a bathtub. Cool, clear water.
playing with the water hose or in the sprinkler.
my lovely pink parasol.
calling for “doodle bugs.” “Doodle bug, doodle bug, fly away home. You house is on fire, and your children will burn.” Rather violent-sounding, now that I think about it.
catching horny toads.
sparklers on the Fourth of July.
playing house in the shade of our pecan trees.
instead of mud pies, making “salads” out of grass and leaves and berries and feeding those salads to my dolls.
riding with the car windows rolled down, before air conditioning in cars.
spending the night with my grandmother on Friday night and walking to the store all by myself.
walking barefoot on HOT pavement because I forgot to wear my shoes and jumping from shadow to shadow to keep my soles from burning.
teaching myself to ride my blue bicycle.
drinking Coke from a wet, frosty bottle that I could hold to my face to cool me off.
pouring water over my head to cool off.
learning to float on my stomach, on my back, but never really learning to swim, in spite of lessons and practice.
going to the air-conditioned movie theater to cool off and watch a movie.
sunburn, and peeling the skin from my sunburn.
my dad wearing a hat to keep his bald head from getting sunburned.
going fishing with my Aunt Audrey and Uncle Fred.
trespassing to play down by the creek that ran near our house.
walking on the railroad tracks, looking for loose change that someone might have dropped.
watermelon and hand-cranked ice cream.
Enjoy your summer. Make some memories.