Monday, June 22, 2009

Observations On A June Summer Night

Does your house have a front storm door? Mine doesn't, and it's so foreign to me not to have one. I really thought it was standard equipment on homes.

As a kid, I remember my mom spraying Windex on our front storm door at least once or twice a week, especially in the summer. As soon as I finished my Rice Krispies, I was in and out of that door dozens of times, sometimes alone, often trailed by most, if not all, of the kids in my neighborhood. The handprints weren't just mine, and I probably left my mark on many other doors within a bike ride of my house.

Speaking of bike rides, my friends and I would roll up our beach towels with a dollar tucked tightly in the middle, and convoy up to the local pool. That dollar would buy me an afternoon's swim, a Suicide (a shot of every fountain soda flavor in one cup) and a Zero bar, and I'd still have fifteen cents left over to put in my dad's change jar. Occasionally I'll run across a Zero bar in the candy aisle, and immediately I smell chlorine and Coppertone and hear Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover."

After we came home and dried off, we rushed through dinner so we could all meet under the street light to play TV tag or hide and seek. Our parents would sit on the porch and watch, or all congregate at one house or another while we ran amok. We could always tell whose back yard they were sitting in, by looking for the cloud of cigarette smoke and listening for the clink of ice in highball glasses.

Finally, when it was good and dark, we'd get our jelly jars with holes poked in the lids, or if you were really cool (like me) you had an official bug catcher jar, and catch so many lightening bugs you could use it like a lantern. Of course, we also took the glowing parts off the bugs and smeared them on our faces like indians, or wrote our names on our arms. PETA forgive me, I knew not what I did.

And now I watch my daughter ride her bike up and down the street with her friends, bang in and out of the garage door, and take her cool bug catcher jar and stalk lightening bugs. I do have to drive her to the local pool, but I hope that when she's older, sitting on her back porch watching the fireflies light up the yard, she fondly remembers her childhood summers.

8 comments:

Jeannette E. Spaghetti said...

I don't remember actually squeezing the glowing butt off of a firefly, but I do remember wearing said glowing butt on my knuckles and pretending it was a light-up ring.

Also, I'm not the kind of girl who would bait a hook with a live worm. Eww.

However, I am the kind of girl who has fed live goldfish to other fish.

Jill of All Trades said...

Thanks for taking me down the memory walk. Gosh, I miss those days of chasing lightning bugs and summer memories.

Kym said...

Wow! Memories (all except for the rubbing of glowy bug guts on my face!)

My Life My Life My Life said...

AWWWWWWW the memories...i love the simplicity of my childhood. it makes me sad that i cant give my kids more of that. I can give some but not all....

Zip n Tizzy said...

I dreamt for many years about lightening bugs. Sadly we don't have them out here, and I had to grow up hearing so many wonderful stories about them.
We don't have storm doors either, but we do have dozens of children on our street and it makes me so happy to watch my kids growing up knowing the kids and their parents on their block.

Marrdy said...

Yours is the childhood I always dreamed of having! How wonderful memories.

MaLeah said...

I love this post. I love the smell of strawberries and nectarines and of sunblock and chlorine. The sun staying up till 9 p.m. and being so exhausted from swimming all day that you still fell asleep on the couch watching t.v. before the sun had set. The taste of grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and crackers, and cold Kool-Aid. The screaming laughter of 5 little girls who had slumber parties at my house every weekend and eating Little Caesars Pizza and ice cream until we were so full we could burst.

Zookeeper said...

OMG! Did we live in the same neighborhood? I'm glad you and Maddie are enjoying the summer. As they say...thanks for the memories!