Summer memories

Hard to believe that summer is already more than half over. Usually I do not care for the very hot weather. But it has been a cold, wet summer. Last night I sat out in blankets and sweats it was so cold. One of my favorite summer events is coming and I looked to the sky in anticipation. I love meteor showers. Last year I saw some beautiful streaks in the sky. One looked like shimmering sparkles like the end of fireworks. I try to stay up or get up so I can spend an hour just gazing at the sky. One year my dear husband drove me all over the place to go look for the perfect spot to gaze. When we finally found a spot that was clear of lights, the clouds had moved in. He never lets me forget that. We were up until 3am attempting this. He is a good sport. Perseid Meteor shower is August 11 and 12th this year. It continues but those are the peak nights. This to me is a sign of the end of summer and that my vacation will be soon here.
As a young girl, summer was not really a favorite season. I liked school so I missed it by the middle of August. I always worked and it was usually babysitting. By this point the children I watched were as bored with me as I them. When I was younger, I would be made to go to Recreation camp. I hated that. Forced fun. We used to play “Fort” in the woods and I think this was where I fell in love with acting. It was the first “role” I played. I was always the Inn keeper and my spot in the woods was an Inn where people came and rested after long battles. It was only cleared spots in the woods with logs for tables, but in our imaginations it was Sherwood Forrest. I get the same feeling when we go to the Renaissance Faire which is held in a forest in Sterling, NY. I hold two specific memories of torture from then. I was stung by a bee which was a dangerous thing for me because I was allergic. This was before Epi pens and I remember waiting to see if the red lines were going to go up my arm. The other dreaded memory was being made to play softball on a baked diamond that had no shade anywhere. It was always an afternoon event in the hottest part of day. I finally figured out if I got involved in a craft project, they would let some of us stay in the shade.
But I have wonderful memories of staying at friend’s farms down the lake. We would often be stuck doing chores or babysitting siblings, but it was so much better than being fried on a baseball field. I still can see and feel the way the water was when we would go swimming. The lake would be so clear and soft. In those days, no one had air conditioning. To cool off was done by a dip in the lake or a shower and a fan in the window. As a young teenager, my best friend and I would head off to town in the afternoon after chores to go to the local magazine shop to buy Tigerbeat. We would then go across the street to the mill where her father worked and go to the feed bag storage area. It was always cool in there and we would climb up on the soft bags and gaze and dream of Davy Jones. Sadly all are gone now.
It was hard as we got older to spend time as most of us worked and boyfriends took what free time we did have. There used to be block dances in town. I can remember sitting on the porch at night and listening to the music float up. I got into a lot of mischievous activities when I was older too. I loved to sneak out and meet friends up under the bridge. We would have parties in the field and camp out. No one slept much. We moved away from the lake when I was a sophomore and up to an apartment complex. Many a night included a raid over the fence and into the pool, clothes optional. The only other body of water was a restricted quarry in the center of town. For me, this the only acceptable natural body of water as the big lake we lived near was not something you swam in. Even today, the beaches are often closed but it is much better. The biggest polluter, Kodak, is gone. Who would ever think that would happen?
By this point of summer, I was ready for the cooler weather to come and school to start. I loved the anticipation of new everything. I love to learn. Although I read a lot during the summer, it was not the same as school for me. We had an old library in town that was usually cool because of the large windows facing the lake. It was a fabulous place to go and hole up in a corner and seek adventure in the words. It is not the same with air conditioning and bright lights.
My garden is beginning to go to seed. This is natural, but the marking of the end of blooming. I do not have plants in yet for fall and will need to get some chrysanthemums soon. I am waiting for the harvest of my tomatoes, but with the cooler weather, I am not sure if I will have much. I am looking forward to our vacation up at the River. I know when I come back, summer will be over and that’s ok. I have a lot of great things lined up for fall. Just revisiting some of these memories, I still feel the same way about the end of summer. Just like I was when I was younger, I am a bit bored. I never do well with not doing or “just being.” This is something I have been trying to work on and the irony of it amuses me.

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2 thoughts on “Summer memories

  1. Nice memories! Funny thing, I just finished writing about boredom, and then came to my reader and you mentioned being a “bit bored.” Haha! Beautiful synchronicity 😉 Namaste . . .

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