Sunday, July 15, 2012

Front Yards in the Summertime Were for Playing

Years ago front yards were for playing-really playing and pretending and spending time in from the minute you got up-especially when on summer vacation and the days were long and hot and hazy and the lemonade freshly squeezed and kept in the refrigerator in a certain glass pitcher with slices of lemon just waiting to make your mouth pucker up and ice cubes ready to be chomped on.

The front yard of our grandparents' farmhouse was everything any kid could have asked for. It had trees to climb up into with limbs to hang from and swing from and drop to the ground from. There were clumps of bushes to hide in-or-around-or behind. One particular clump had some bamboo-type things growing in it. They made great bows and arrows after we took the leaves off them and one of us ran inside for some string. Such weapons came in handy when fighting the enemy or surviving a catastrophe. Catastrophes were  daily, some times hourly. That happens when imaginations are full-speed ahead. Of course our grandmother's peony bushes also provided great cover. We never touched the flowers. We knew they were off limits. We just hid behind them.

Some days my cousin and I would load the little ones in a wagon and go off on an adventure around that marvelous yard which was anything we wanted it to be any day we wanted to be there. We'd pack up supplies-which might have included Lorna Doones or Fig Newtons, bamboo bows and arrows (because you never knew what might be lurking around-or in-or near the bushes which weren't just bushes if you know what I mean), blankets, a few pillows and whatever else fit the script that day. Some adventures lasted into the afternoon or at least until naptime for the littlest ones being pulled around and around in a wagon on a sticky summer's day.

Because the front yard was huge-at least looking at it through the eyes of a child it was huge-it was a great place for hosting major sporting events. Besides playing Red Light, Green Light; Simon Says, Pick-Up Sticks, Marbles, Hide 'n Seek and Tag that front yard held some mighty baseball games despite our only having a bat or two and a ball and our bases were trees and bushes and the star was my older brother who was a mighty hitter. I think my brother was one team and me and my two cousins were the other. I can't remember who won what back then. It didn't matter. I just remember how much fun it was playing in the front yard of our grandparents' farmhouse in the summertime with lemonade waiting for us in the glass pitcher. 

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