Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Summer Top 10 List

Ten things I like best about summer, or in my case, summer nights because I like them better than summer days :)

10. Home made ice cream

9. Night noises!!!

8. Watching shooting stars

7. Ice cream after supper :)

6. Warm breeze in the evening while sitting on the porch

5. Cool breeze in the morning before it gets hot and sticky

4. (This one I miss, a lot) Riding my grandpa's 4-wheeler through his fields in the evening

3. Sleeping with the windows open!...though I miss this one because our duplex only has sliding doors and no regular windows :(

2. Bon Fires!

1. Watching lightning bugs

I'm not that big of a fan of summer. My style is more autumn and spring, but alas, once summer actually hits, I usually love it. I'm 27, and yet I still LOVE going to the pool in the summer! I can't wait till I can take Isaac with me :). However, summers just aren't what they used to be now as when I was growing up...and I miss that, greatly. Remember the care free nights when all the neighbor kids or cousins would randomly show up in their yards and we'd all play together? Or what about running around the yard (and we had a huge one!) barefoot in the grass chasing fire flies :)!! Oh how I loved that! The girls would either catch them in jars and watch them, or put them on our fingers like rings (weird, I know), while the boys' goal was simply to smash them.

Oh what I would give to be 5 again and run through the sprinkler in my Strawberry Shortcake swimsuit, the cool water splashing my warm skin as I would play for hours in the yard!

I never thought I'd say this, but I also miss the sounds from the ball diamond just up town a couple of blocks. I played on the Denmark Little League teams from T-Ball all the way till junior high, so the better part of my childhood months of June and July were wrapped up in games. As I got older I would get annoyed hearing all the cheering and loud sounds from the ball diamond, but now that I live in a bigger town, I miss those small town noises.

When I was little, the best treat of all was after dinner (sorry, in Iowa, dinner is lunch or supper, but supper isn't lunch, and often supper in my family was referred to as dinner-confused yet?), my grandparents who lived about seven miles out of town would go for a drive and come up town to see us most nights of the week. My grandpa had two cars and a farm truck-if they pulled up in the nice car it meant they'd probably just eaten out somewhere and were going to sit on the porch with us, but if they pulled up in my grandpa's long red cadillac looking boat, aka The Boat as us cousins called it, then it meant ICE CREAM!!!! Whoever wanted to could load up in the car with the grandparents and ride uptown for ice cream cones, but if you didn't want to go along for the ride, you were out of luck because the deal was you HAD to go with them to get the ice cream :).

My grandpa also kept his baseball glove in the trunk of the car with a bat and a baseball for the boys/softball for the girls. It was on such an early summer's night as tonight that he took the time to teach me how to throw a baseball. I can still hear him saying, "Throw past your ear, then release..." And you learned quickly how to throw a good throw, or you had to chase the ball yourself! As I grew older my grandpa would catch for me while I practiced pitching (I played first base and pitched from grades 6-9 on that small town league).

But I think, of all the summer memories, the best of all was when my family (aunts, uncles and cousins included) would gather at one of the family farms and have a BBQ (over the fire, not the grill), home made ice cream, and sit around the I miss those bonfires...sitting for hours upon hours watching the stars and the flames out in the gravel road of a family farm in the countryside, blanketed by quilted fields filled sweet corn and beans, lightning bugs and mosquitos, and the faint sound of the distant coyotes.

I sometimes wonder, with a bit of sadness, what will Isaac's summers will be like. Will they be filled with BBQ's and laughter, sprinklers and sun, bonfires and lightning bugs? We live in town now...a big town. We have no yard, no tree to put a swing in, no grass to run through barefoot, no place for bonfires, no room to play catch outside, and sadly, not very much of an opening to watch the stars at night. I know that doesn't mean he can't do that a friends' houses, but there's something so special about summers and the outdoors growing up, and just going outside, and not waiting to be invited over. It's a selfish thought, I know, but a thought nonetheless. I long for a home, not a duplex. I long for wide open spaces, not a cul-de-sac. I long for a yard, not a curb.

...I miss the country life, especially at summer.

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