Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Vacation

It seemed summer was forever when growing up in the country. Saying good-bye to friends at the end of the school year was like a sad farewell. But once the school routine was tossed to the wayside not much thought was given to those friends until that routine returned.

We never did day trips or long trips; trips to Disney or parks full of animals or historic sites or beaches. Instead our trips were on the back of an old wagon going over the plank bridge to the hay fields. Our trips were walking down to the pine grove-lying under the pines and talking and listening to the wind sift through the trees. Our trips were waiting for our aunt to get home from work to walk down through the woods to the river for a swim and after the swim, enjoying graham crackers on the walk back home.

Our summers were totally set in the country-on our rafts made out of telephone poles going up and down Sucker Creek on great adventures; up in the haymows or around the stanchions and paddocks that once housed my grandfather's livestock or in the small granary next to the barn. We'd have sleep-outs in the backyard; picnics under my aunt's pine trees; drink freshly squeezed lemons turned to lemonade and stuff ourselves with hotdogs and hamburgers and watermelon and roasted marshmallows.

The majority of our time was spent in and around our Chicken Coop Clubhouse revamped to include the desks, books, and chalkboards of an abandoned one-room schoolhouse. Imaginations were in flight there-every single day-all summer long surrounded by arts/crafts, books, and cousins and siblings.

We were never bored. We never asked to go anywhere because we had everything we needed to turn a summer vacation into one enjoyable, seemingly never-ending adventure-even with chores to do and brothers and sisters to watch. When it was time to return to that routine; time to catch the yellow bus which would take us to see those long, lost friends, our summer matched any other student's summer despite their trips and bells and whistles.

We didn't measure summer fun by miles traveled but if we had, our summer most certainly would have placed first because when you use your imagination-you can go anywhere you'd like to go-over and over again-all summer long.

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