Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer
Many of us have childhood memories of the lazy, hazy days of summer. Here, Carol Harrison remembers some of the great memories she has collected over the years.
Childhood Summer Memories
Stories are part of the puzzle of our lives. We hear them, read them, live them, and then tell them to others. Some are fun memories. Others are tough and we hide them inside. Still others help us remember a lesson or two.
Today I thought I would share just some memories of summers as a child to inspire you to dig down and find any good memories or simple pleasures you enjoyed as a child. Then figure out how to share them and with whom.
A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane
I spent the last few days taking a sweet trip down memory lane to the lazy, hazy days of summer as a young child. I think of the tree lined street I grew up on, where the branches at the tops of the trees bowed low over the street forming an arch that provided shade on hot summer mornings. Our tiny shaded yard with its bit of grass offered a place to sit and enjoy birthday cake with my friends from on the block shortly after school let out for the summer but too small a spot to play.
Waiting For Prince Charming
As a young girl of six or seven the bright sunshine beckoned for me to spend my time outside or in my best friend’s backyard playhouse. Her older sister sometimes joined us and we spent mornings using our imagination, pretending the small wood structure turned into a lakeside cottage which none of us had ever been to or our palace as we waited for Prince Charming to arrive. Yet the only ones who showed up were our annoying little brothers who fell into the category of spies rather than princes.
One day we heard them outside the closed door of the playhouse. They hooted, hollered and made all sorts of crashing, banging noises. Our pleas for them to go play someplace else met with laughter and more noise until we heard one of the moms call, “Kids, lunchtime.”
We waited until our brother’s voices faded into the distance before we opened the door, not trusting what prank their four year old minds might have cooked up. I stepped out first since I had to run the length of five houses to make it home to mom’s home cooked meal. My bare foot connected with broken glass. I cried in pain as I watched blood drip on to the shards of a broken jar and the cement pad beneath it. My friend’s mom came to the rescue, bound up my foot, swept up the glass the boys had smashed and I hobbled home for mom’s tender loving care and an angry word or two with my brother.
A few days of limping along with a more watchful eye of where my bare foot stepped, and I once again roamed our block or traveled with my brother and our friends to the park a couple of blocks away. As children we felt completely safe to be walking those few blocks for the neighbours al knew us and we knew them. The supervisors at the park welcomed us and we enjoyed cooling off in the splash pool or daring each other to climb a little higher on the monkey bars. We competed to see who could pump that swing higher, wondering if someone could actually make it loop over the top and could we hang on if we did as the world turned upside down.
A Nickel Treat
A few times during the course of those wonderful summer days, my folks gave me a shiny nickel or five pennies and allowed me to walk to the corner store to buy myself a treat. Regular size chocolate bars or small toffee cost five cents. Sometimes I would get an extra penny and be able to buy a popsicle but that usually meant trying to break it exactly along the half way mark and giving one half to my brother.
On weekends my dad did not have to go to work and that meant family time. Mom cleaned the house from the third story down to the main floor. My job, even as a small child, was to help dust down the wooden stairs. Bump, bump, bump. I think my backside likely did as much dusting as the rag in my hand but I had some fun. Even more fun came when I got to the dining room where my job was dusting the base of the huge table. I loved climbing under the table cloth, pretending it was my fort or castle or secret hide away. Dusting took forever in my mother’s eyes. I look at that table now sitting in my home and remember the fun dusting it could be when a long table cloth draped over it and I was only six.
Sunday, after church, we visited family or my parent’s friends out in the country. What an adventure visiting the farms of dad’s childhood friends could be for this city girl. I liked time with grandparents even more. Many Sunday evenings we would go for a drive with my Grannie, especially after grandpa died. We’d drive along the river that ran through our city. We would check out the mansions and their gardens.
The final stop would be the Dairy Queen with its walk up windows and long line ups for an ice cream cone. Many times when we dropped my grandmother off, Dad pulled a little overnight bag from the trunk and I hopped out with my grandmother for a few days of special time—just the two of us. I loved these visits.
Some Sundays we drove the twenty miles to my other grandparents’ home where my brother and I had a huge yard in which to run and play, a sandbox to build castles and roads,and a lawn swing we could sit on and swing. Sometimes I got to stay for an extended visit and I would play with the neighbour children who also happened to be my mom’s cousin’s kids.
Time had no meaning in those days of play and friendship. It did not matter that we had few toys or that my brother and I shared one tricycle and wagon because our best friends on the block did not have any more than we did. Yet we had freedom to run and play together, to visit the neighbourhood park all by ourselves and know we were loved and safe.
Rainy days gave me time to curl up with a book, colour with my friends in one of our homes or play with our dolls. I do not remember boredom or a lack of time to use our imaginations. They truly were, at least in my memory, the lazy, hazy days of summer full of simple pleasures. What memories do you have of the lazy, hazy, days of your childhood summers?
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope.
She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.