Endless Days of Play

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.    


24 thoughts on “Endless Days of Play

  1. Bev, what a peaceful and loving morning you’ve constructed for your life. And thanks for reminding us that anything is possible. We have only to turn off the TV, and listen to nature’s great love songs happening. Terrific!

  2. Bev, What a beautiful way to start your day. You go me reminiscing about all my childhood friends. We loved play with cars and digging too. Definately loved playing army. Such happy memories. Thank you for sharing yours!

  3. Thanks for the memories of endless summer days as a child. Now as an adult, it’s time to remember to listen and pay attention to the natural beauty around us.
    Have a great weekend.

  4. There was a certain peace and joy in the needless summer days of our youth. Mine wasn’t much different with the exception of some excursions to the beach and Lake Michigan. Enjoy your Garden of Verses.

  5. Wonderful memories and forecasts of options, desires and potential, Bev – such vivid recollections! There are – still and always – endless possibilities and joys to be had. Can we also recapture the courage and daring of youth to pursue the opportunities without (or perhaps within) the shackles of responsibility? To regain the joy of adventure and the hope for soulful exploration must be the key to lifelong fulfillment. The distant stars still shine… Excellent, and thoughtful words as always, my friend!. Pax

  6. Hey Bev,

    I’ve never heard of anyone else who had Johnny West (at least that’s how mine was labeled) because he came with Jane West. I still have mine along with all the horses, vests, gunbelts, tack for the horses and covered wagon! I spent countless hours playing with these friends when I was a kid. In fact, I blame Jane West for my future career as a physical therapist as she came with 2 left hands, so I had to adapt things for her! Thanks for bringing up such great memories.

    • Poor Jane! It was a good thing she had you and you her since she helped form your future career. That’s really neat that you still have them. What a great reminder of being a kid. As for the name, maybe I have it wrong. It was 40 years ago. 🙂 Hard to believe how quickly time passes. Thanks so much for stopping by to share your memories as well. Have a great day filled with lots of play. Cheers.

  7. Such fun old days you had and quite peaceful mornings you are enjoying now. Every time I read your stories I end up with peace in my mind and in my heart. Gracias desde el fondo de mi corazón. Feliz fin de semana a todos!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s