I grew up during the 70s and 80s in a small blue-collar Indiana town. I absolutely loved summer because it meant days of endless play. School was out and my mother wasn’t interested in having four kids underfoot in a tiny half ranch house. We’d get up early when my father got ready for work and have our cereal while watching cartoons. The television was always on in our house. Cartoons in the morning, my mother’s favorite soap operas during the day and things like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and Dallas in the evening. Between the cacophonies of the television, my parents battling to be heard over each other and the noise of four kids in a tight space, I couldn’t wait to get outside.
I’d start the day by taking off on my yellow banana seat bicycle. My first stop was the penny store for whatever candy I could afford with the little bits of change that our father would take out of his work clothes pockets for us the night before. With the loot from the penny store safely stashed away, I’d ride around enjoying the slight coolness of the summer morning. Glad to be free of the constraints of being in the house, on a mission, an adventure to anywhere and everywhere. I’d peddle faster just to see how fast I could go.
Next up would be to stop at our neighbor’s house to see whether Tommy could come out to play. He was my childhood buddy. Between Tommy and me, a couple of G.I. Joes and my trustee Ken West, we saved the world on a daily basis. Ken West was the western version of Barbie’s Ken doll. He wore a brown plastic cowboy hat, vest, boots and spurs. He bent at the elbows and knees so that he could ride the horse that came with him. In order to simulate the mountains that I’d seen on the Western television shows that my father liked to watch, I’d dig enormous holes in the back yard piling the excavated dirt into mountains for Ken to climb. My mother really disliked that. As an adult, I can see why. It didn’t make for a nice lawn having mole holes dug all over your yard by a kid trying to create her own version of the Rocky Mountains in very flat Indiana. But, when I was a kid, like most kids, in my mind anything was possible if I imagined it.
Anyhow, why I am blogging about this in the first place? Well, when I got up this morning and thought about my plan for today, it struck me how similar it is to those sweet days of summer escape as a kid. This morning, my day started with a quiet run before the world started to stir. I felt free and ran fast, just to see how fast I could go. As soon as I finish this blog, I’ll have breakfast. During breakfast, there will be no sound from the television or voices yelling at each other. However, there will be a beautiful chorus of different kinds of song birds that have made the meadow their home. They are now our noisy family and we love them dearly. If I listen ,I can make out their identities, the Wood Thrush, Chickadee, Phoebe, Mourning Dove, etc.
After breakfast, I’ll spend the day in the meadow. Instead of digging holes to create mountains, I’ll dig holes to plant another 25 blueberry bushes and 25 hickory nut tree seedlings. Then I’ll check out what flowers are showing themselves since I last walked the meadow. I’ll look for wild strawberry in hopes that Mama G has left us some. I’ll tend to the garden and each lunch in the sun. I’ll spend time in my head imaging all the places I could go and things that I could do. I’ll remember that anything is possible. Have a great day. Peace.