The Days Of Summer


The morning glories are entwined now with the hyacinth bean vine. When the purple bean pods form, they will mix right in.
They are both in a pot on the sewing machine table, and the vines are climbing between the hanging galvanized tubs.


Lots of purple shades on the patio this year. 

It is the first year that I limited myself to just a trio of colors. Purples, yellows and a white cone flower.


I lie awake at night and think of childhood summers. 

Remember that last day of school? When the bell rang, you ran out the door and down the steps straight into the promise of summer. 

Months of freedom. 

There were no vacations for us. We didn't have the money or the car to travel in.

So my travels were through the many books I brought home to read.

Which meant lots of trips across town on my old bicycle. To the little brick library nestled underneath a canopy of trees.


Summer meant Orange Crush or grape soda.

Ice came from sturdy metal ice trays back then. Remember those?

Summer meant root beer floats. A scoop or two of vanilla ice cream in a glass. The hissing sound of root beer being poured over it.

Cream-sicles. I loved those push-up Cream-sicles. How you hurried to eat it because the heat would turn it to a sticky mess that dripped down your fingers.

There was no real relief from the heat. Just open windows. 

So much of summer I witnessed through the tiny grids of window screens. 


When darkness came, I remember the sound of tree branches swaying in the wind. 

Night sounds. Frogs croaking.

Sometimes the pitter-patter of sudden rain. The scent of it reminded me of fresh new beginnings.

The distant sound of a train moving, clickity-clack, down the tracks through town. It was a mournful sound. Conjuring up visions of people saying goodbye.


After a few weeks, the days of summer seemed to slowly creep by. 

The excitement you felt on that last day of school dimmed. And you started yearning for school to open its doors once again. 

The end of summer was the smell of crayons and glue and sweaty bodies closed up in a classroom. 

Until the coppery dry leaves gathered around the bare trees and autumn brought relief from summer's heat.

Such was life in a little town in Oklahoma. With red dirt roads and bitter winds that always left a powdery dust in its wake. 

What do you remember about the lazy summer days of your childhood?

***

I drifted into a summer-nap under the hot shade of July, serenaded by a cicada lullaby, to drowsy-warm dreams of distant thunder. 

~Terri Guillemets



Follow

63 comments

  1. I've really enjoyed your purple, yellow, and white color scheme. I'm glad you have some pleasant memories from childhood, Brenda. My first 10 years of life were in a semi-rural area in southern Ohio. On summer nights we played tag and hide-and-seek in our yard and the adjoining yards. We would chase lightning bugs. Mosquitoes loved me more than the other kids, so I had to wear long sleeves and pants after dark to cut down on the bites. That made me feel like a weirdo! One of my favorite activities in the summer was to sit on the floor in front of a fan on a hot day (since there was no air conditioning) and play with my Barbies. The drone of the fan was so soothing. I also rode my bike and always had scabs on my elbows and knees from wrecks. I remember watching my mom mix up pitcher after pitcher of Kool-Aid and my brother and sister and I drank it from Tupperware cups. We also made Kool-Aid ice pops using a Tupperware set of ice pop makers. We ate cold cereal every morning in Tupperware bowls. I guess we wouldn't have made it through summer without Tupperware!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes Tupperware! And as a young adult, Tupperware parties! I'm so enjoying everyone's summer memories.

      Delete
  2. I do not have a blog but love to read yours Have you every thought of writing a book. I love your writing the memories you speak of takes you back to my childhood and how the summers were. You have a great day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have written a novel or two, back in my thirties. I don't know what I ever did with them. Don't have them now. It's a very intensive effort. I put all my energy into writing here on my blog.

      Delete
  3. What lovely memories! I always love summer nights: the train, the smell of mown alfalfa as the summer breeze moved it across the field. Open windows and all the night sounds. I always felt safe then. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Children today...many of course have air conditioning. They won't experience those late summer night sounds. (And thank goodness for air conditioning; I'd die in this humidity/heat!)

      Delete
  4. You paint such a vivid picture of summer. Very similar to mine, a few states away.
    We had a window air-conditioner for years. My dad would set down, on the living room floor, a feather bed, handmade by my grandma with down plucked from geese my dad had hunted (and she had cooked up), and my brothers and I would stake out spots in the one cool room. It also involved staying up extra late to watch TV shows that my dad liked but that my mom didn't let us watch when we could be sent to our rooms to bed, like Mission Impossible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We never seemed to watch movies. Just shows like Gunsmoke and Andy Griffith. Oh, Aunt Bee and her pies! As early as childhood, I was writing, and my way of writing was always to paint a picture with words.

      Delete
  5. Yes always remember the last day of school before the holidays when you rushed home to get a early start on everything fun. Dad built us a 'house' at the bottom of the garden where my sister and I played. We had old furniture and a gramophone. When the beatles first single came out we rushed into town to buy it to play on this old gramophone (I was surprised that Mum would let us buy it). Then we would go and stay for a week with Mum's brother and his wife, it was so boring though as we didn't have much to do but at the end of the week one of
    our cousins came home with us and stayed at ours for a week, all three of us slept in the same bed and talked and talked. Mum was religious and insisted that she read a portion of the bible to us every morning. Well one of the words in the scripture Mum read had the word 'womb' Our cousin piped up 'what is a womb Auntie?' Mum had a hard time with that, she never read any more from the Bible to us after that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Over the word "womb?" Wow, the times have sure changed. Isn't it fun to remember those days?

      Delete
  6. Glad you mentioned the sounds. Some of my strongest memories are of the night sounds on my grandparents farm in north east Louisiana.
    They had a large, old house that a "dog trout" down the center when I was very young. When it was remodeled, the front porch was screened. So many memories of rocking and swinging on that porch. If several aunts and uncles were visiting, mattresses were placed on the porch for the kids to sleep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even as a kid, I wished to have a screened-in porch. And to this day I've never had one! Still on my bucket list, I guess. I think it's important to remember with all our senses. People sometimes forget the "sounds of life."

      Delete
  7. Hello Brenda I'm really enjoy what you write, your photos.
    I have the feeling that you are part of my daily life, every time I receive an e-mail from your blog, I am glad, and the stories of your dogs and squirrels are a delightful.
    Thank you for sharing, we are connected, miles away but your stories, make me close to you a sensitive women, who can appreciate the beauty in every little detail of life.
    Receive a hug of friendship
    Cindy ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think of this blog as a place where women gather with their stories and their memories and share. Thank you for sharing and being here!

      Delete
  8. I have so many of the same memories. Mostly playing alone and entertaining myself. When school started back , I would wear my new school,clothes. Of course they were wool and I would die from the heat.
    We lived in a teeny town and didn't have a library. We had a monthly visit from the bookmobile. I loved walking into town to go.
    Life was so different then.
    Hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I mostly played alone too. Except for when second cousins would come to town. I guess that set the stage for me being able to entertain myself, and to prefer being alone.

      Delete
  9. Good Morning Brenda, What a wonderful walk down memory lane with you this morning. My summer days were spent a lot like yours. Thanks for bringing it all back to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to lie in bed and summon up memories. Good ones, mundane ones. The minutiae of everyday life.

      Delete
  10. Good morning Brenda, I remember all of the things you wrote about...growing up in Dallas in the 50's, we didn't have ac either, but I don't remember being so hot as now...age has made me more sensitive I guess. Mother bought a water cooler fan and I loved the smell of the wet excelsior pads. I would ride the bus to the Oak Cliff Library and check out books and ride back home...the children's library was in the basement...I still remember a little something about some of the books I read back then. I, as well, enjoy reading your blog every day; often the first thing I read in the morning. Stay cool my web friend, Charlotte Hutcheson, Central Texas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't really recall what I read back then. I know I liked Nancy Drew. Still to this day I prefer mysteries/thrillers suspenseful books that take a lot of thinking. I also like women's fiction.

      Delete
  11. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. It made me happy this morning! I remember it so well!

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's my mom's favorite color scheme.

    Summer meant bike rides and the ice cream truck and playing games till the street lights when on in the neighborhood, the "song" of cicadas, Pool hopping in the neighborhood, Little dog shows with the neighborhood kids in our front yard, games of dodgeball and caw-caw-ring-o-lario ( I have no idea if that's spelled right) lightning bug catching.... loved it all. We didn't do a lot of vacationing either, but did manage trips now and then, also cherished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't guess we had ice cream trucks in our town. Not out in the country anyway. What on earth is caw-caw-ring-o-lario? What did it entail?

      Delete
  13. I enjoyed reading your summer memories. I grew up on a dairy farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. In the summer we all (5 of us) had chores to do before we, or any of the neighbor kids, could go swimming in our pool. Almost everyday one of the neighbor kids would call and ask if we finished our chores yet so they could all come and go swimming with us! My mother said many times "if they want to go swimming so bad they could come help you do your chores"! Of course that never happened. My father would help us hang a big tarp on the clothesline and make a tent so we could sleep outside in the yard. We made a "secret" clubhouse from an old shed in the back yard -- what fun!

    I believe children now days don't realize the fun that could be found in things that we took so commonplace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The outdoor clotheslines were an integral part of life. My grandmother washed with the old time wringer. I was afraid her fingers would go in with the clothing she was washing. That memory just came to me! Do kids do chores these days I wonder?

      Delete
  14. What do I remember?

    running through the orange groves ... grandpa picking the perfect orange for us to share and giving me the one wee tiny section he called 'the kiss' ... family gatherings with tractor rides, homemade ice cream and being surrounded by so many cousins ... my mother's vintage tablecloths that only came out for these gatherings ...I have many of them today and the stains/tears bring back fond memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I can't imagine picking oranges right off orange trees. Good memories you share with the vintage tablecloths. I don't recall them if we had them. I don't think we did.

      Delete
  15. I sue do miss that feeling of the last day of school and the feeling of a whole mess of lazy summer days ahead of you. Now summer is just one big blur, with busy day followed by busy day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, planning weddings would take up your whole summer! Oh, that last day of school, running out that door and thinking there would be so many wonderful things to do. Then being pretty bored by week 2 or 3!

      Delete
  16. Brenda, You have a way of helping people remember and think of the best of life. I loved this blog post, so well written. I also have totally enjoyed reading all the comments people have made; some so sweet they brought tears to my eyes. Lovely pictures, both on the screen and in your words. Thank you. Sandra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am loving the comments! So many wonderful stories being told and shared. Just what I love. With so many bad things going on in our world, I like to go back to another time.

      Delete
  17. Such lovely memories...my summers were filled with swimming...in pools, lakes and the ocean. I was always wet. And it was grand. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember swimming sometimes at the public pool. Not in the lake. And OK isn't near an ocean. I envy those of you near oceans and mountains.

      Delete
  18. Even though I grew up in Georgia, your walk down memory lane was exactly like mine. Running barefoot, playing out in the summer heat, walking a mile up the road to play with a friend. Such fun....Miss those days and wish my grandchildren could have such an innocent childhood with the electronics, phones and TV. Love your flowers. They always are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the same of my grandchildren. The two oldest running around with cell phones. Seems a shame to me.

      Delete
  19. I enjoyed reading your childhood summer memories. The main thing I remember was the endless heat as we didn't have AC back then, and eating lots of popsicles. Every afternoon I would lay on an old quilt outside under our big shady tree reading my many library books while my mother and baby sister napped. Oh how I loved to read as a child and still do!
    I remember the smells of summer, fragrant flowers, rain on a hot summer day, and my father cooking hamburgers on our outdoor grill. The most fun was when all the neighborhood kids came outside to play games together in the evening as the temps cooled down and dusk approached. We would run and play till we wore ourselves out, then I would head indoors for a bath, and afterwords my mother would put calamine lotion on my mosquito bites. It would take the itch out of them, and I always had a lot of bites along with Missouri chigger bites!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love all these memories being shared here. Women from all walks of life who grew up in all kinds of different places. Like a chain of memories being former here.

      Delete
  20. Hi Brenda,
    For me smells of summer are the best memory triggers.
    Fresh cut grass, wet cement from running in the sprinklers, 50/50 bars from the ice cream truck,pool water,musty old tent while camping,wild weeds growing near my dads secret fishing spot and of course B.B.Q. And my favorite... Wet dog! We would take our puppy dog Duke swimming. Sure do miss being a kid...sometimes
    Blessings to you,
    Minnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't recall 50/50 bars. But I do recall so many wonderful scents, like cobbler from our fresh berries being baked. The smell of biscuits in the morning, sausage sizzling, molasses to put on the biscuits. And eggs from our chickens of course.

      Delete
  21. I always loved summer, it has always been my favorite time of year. I spent my early childhood in Nebraska and moved to California when I was in the 3rd grade. I remember reading lots of library books, so much that my mom would kick me outside for some sun and fresh air. I remember making tents on the clotheslines and all us older kids sleeping outside, I always slept so good doing that. I remember roller skating so much I wore out the wheels, and I was so sad, as I knew I would most likely not get another pair until my birthday or Christmas. I remember how hot it was at night, and my mom made all us girls shortie nightgowns, and they were a pretty blue print and I loved wearing it. I am the oldest of nine children and the 4 oldest of us would put on plays and talent shows and make the neighbors come and watch. They were good sports about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never learned to roller skate. I was the type that liked to read the dictionary. And I still love those words I tried to sound out and wrote down in a notebook. I was always so taken with words.

      Delete
  22. Summers when I was young were wonderful! It was always hot so we had dips in a little wading pool or playing with the water hose. Ice cream and watermelon! Catching fireflies and playing playing playing. Shorts and crop tops! So many good memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watermelon. Tasted so good when it was fresh and ripe! And those disappearing lightning bugs.

      Delete
  23. Dear Brenda,
    You are a joy to read. Like you, I have selective memories of my childhood, sweet and lovely small bits of my past that I don't often take the time to reflect on. Many of my childhood memories are best left in the past. My father died when I was ten and my mother was an abusive alcoholic parent. Thank you for reminding me of fireflies, frogs and my public library. I buried myself in books in order to escape the yelling, screaming and chaos at home. God was good to me and didn't totally abandon me. Like you,and against all odds, I went to college and earned three degrees. I found your blog by accident (a lucky accident or maybe karma). I read your posts daily now. Thank you for adding perspective and peace to my mornings. God Bless You.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of mine wasn't so great either. But as I've gotten older, I've enjoyed going back and retrieving the good ones, the simple everyday ones, and bringing them back to life in my mind.

      Delete
  24. Oh my! Sitting on my Ma's porch with my feet sticking out into the cooling summer rain, snapping beans into the big dish pan, my Pa whittling under the shade tree while sitting in an old wooden kitchen chair! I remember the lowing of the cows in my uncles's field across the road as they headed up to the barn for milking. Nothing tastes like a tomato fresh off the vine, sitting in the dirt in the garden with my bare feet in the dust. Freshly washed clothes (wringer washer, you know) snapping on the line and smelling of detergent and bleach. Spitting watermelon seeds with my cousins on a Sunday afternoon at Aunt Mil's house. Brenda, you sure can start the movies in our heads. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you all are better writers about your childhood than I am! I am impressed with all your wonderful memories coming to life.

      Delete
  25. Such a great blog post. A trip down memory lane. Summers were not that different for most of us, no matter what part of the country we lived in. Thanks for the chance to remember a precious time of life. Karie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a precious time. How could we have conceived this computerized digital world where children play electronics all the time and miss out on what we did?

      Delete
  26. Grew up on an island,1 of New York City's 5 boroughs,wasn't Hooligans by any stretch,couldn't see from 1 side to the other,
    I remember camping out in friends yards with makeshift tents,staying up and walking around the neighborhood,I still laugh at the thought of doing that today.
    Played hide and go seek in the dark,put pennies on the tracks for the train to flatten.
    I couldn't imagine living the life of today's children,staying indoors,playing video games,not having a parent at home..
    Glad you're feeling better,thank God for air conditioners!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so interesting to read about various parts of the country and what you remember. Oh yes, the pennies on the train track!

      Delete
  27. Although I love the creature comforts of air-conditioning, I do miss the open windows and summer breezes I remember from childhood (of course, I'm blanking out those stifling days!). Summer was new sneakers, the Good Humor truck, the smell of freshly mowed grass, and staying out late playing in the backyard until it got dark. Those were the days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it felt quite as hot back then. Or maybe it really is hotter???

      Delete
  28. I could hardly stand it during the last week or so of school in the Spring I was so anxious for it to be over. I wasn't very fond of school and I loved the freedom of having the days to do what I wanted. I remember wandering the yard and pastures on the first farm I lived on when I was between five and eight. The smells of the grass and the paper-whites and the cow pies in the pasture are odors that have stuck with me all these years. I guess I must have been allowed to go most anywhere as long as I stayed on our land. I learned to ride my first two-wheeled bike in the long back yard by coasting down a short hill and balancing, then later balancing and pedaling at the same time.

    My next set of summer memories are after leaving that farm when my step-father died suddenly and moving to the small town just five miles from the farm where my grandparents--my mother's parents--lived. We lived in an upstairs apartment on Main Street for a while, then moved to a big old Victorian house across the street from my grandparents. There was a front porch where we played a lot--my brother and sister who are twins and I. We also played Wild West with toy cap guns. We had a wooden wagon that we put a sturdy box in the front end of and one of us sat on it holding reins attached to another one of us who was the horse and played "stage coach". Of course, the third person usually rode an imaginary horse and attacked the stage coach. My sister remembers doing that pretend game with mixed feelings because she says we always made her be the "horse" pulling the stage coach!

    Another memory I have of summers in that house is lying in bed at night in my upstairs bedroom with my windows open and listening to the sounds of dogs and people and cars going by in our little town. Sometimes I would look out the window which faced the street to see who was going by. I always looked for a certain boy that I had a crush on who sometimes rode by on his bicycle. Our street was only one block from the village park and our back yard faced the backs of the houses on the street the park was on. We had a village carnival in the summer in the park and I remember the smell of the DDT they sprayed before the carnival to kill the mosquitos! It wasn't a bad smell particularly, and it wafted right over to my yard and street when they sprayed it! Then the carnival came and we kids went but couldn't stay until it closed down at night so after coming home I would lie in bed and listen to the music and voices of the people still there. Most nights I would hear the crowd watching the softball games that were always scheduled during that week. All friendly sounds to me.

    Another memory of those days is getting to walk "over town" as we called it to see my mom who worked as the clerk in the little two-person post office on Main St. Then we might go to the grocery store across the street to get a popsicle. My favorite was the creamsicle with the orange coating and the milky insides. Then if it was near quitting time we'd walk home with my mom. Looking back it is an idyllic time in my memory. Summertime was magic, but then the Fall came and school again which I wasn't thrilled about at all. Anyway, those are some of my "good old summertime" memories. Oh, one last one is going to the free movies that were shown on a big canvas on the side of the fire barn where the fire engines were kept. We saw Abbbot and Costello, Fred Astaire and lots of the old movies from the fifties. Probably some even older. Now you know just how ancient I am! I'm glad I got to be a kid during that time, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your descriptions of your memories! You remember so much!

      Delete
  29. I love when you reminisce. I have a lot of the same memories you do including no air conditioning. I lived in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, where houses were close together, and the moms would sit out on the front stoops while we kids played until the sun was almost down which was usually around 10 p.m. We collected lightning bugs in mayo jars, played tag, rode bikes, etc. Such wonderful memories. I hope you are feeling better and your pups are doing well. Thank you for your wonderful blog. I've enjoyed reading your other followers' comments as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am feeling much better, thank you. The comments are not to be missed on this post!

      Delete
  30. Love your memories of childhood Brenda... I think some of those like the feeling of freedom, riding bikes, eating ice cream, and having the days creep by are universal to those of us who grew up in America during similar times. Two of my boys and I rode bikes to an ice cream shop not far from our house last night and it struck me what a simple memory we were creating, but one they will hopefully remember. In an age of electronics and video games, I long for those simple and sweet memories for them. And, I even want them to experience some summer boredom. In our fast-paced world, slower days can be healthy - like we're stepping off the hamster wheel. ;)Thanks of the memories... I enjoyed it! ~julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's wonderful that you can give them these simple memories. Kids need to get out and about instead of being on electronic games all the time.

      Delete
  31. Tennessee summers circa 1970s.

    Sitting on he porch swing with mammaw snapping green beans.
    The sweetest purple grapes off the vine.
    Riding bikes for miles.
    Climbing banks, pretending to be great explorers.
    Listening to the katydids while going to sleep.
    Running around the yard trying to catch lightning bugs.
    Playing dolls with my sister on the front porch on rainy days.
    Vacation Bible school.
    Grandma canning corn.
    Stars.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish a movie could be made of all these wonderful memories you folks are describing.

      Delete
  32. What a wonderful post / brings lots of memories but especially the root beer floats that my grandfather made sometimes!

    ReplyDelete

I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time.

Please be kind with your comments. We all need kindness in this world. That's not to say you can't state your opinion! Everyone should be able to state their own opinion in a kind and thoughtful manner.

I appreciate each and every one of you!