Summertime in the Country

In a way, summer was my favorite season, and in a way it wasn’t. I’ll explain. I don’t like to use negative language, but except for Christmas and snowfall, I don’t like winter. Summer is my best season, because I can pack away all my heavy winter gear and pull out my pretty, lightweight summer clothing. Plus, summer wear is usually much more beautiful than the dull, dark, drab colors of winter.

Additionally, and this is my most favorite part. Summer meant school was out. … Yippee! No more teachers, books, assignments, homework, and daily treks to the not-so-fun classroom. At least for a while, we had a reprieve. I’ll just be down right honest. I really didn’t like school except for recess, meeting and playing with my classmates, and lunchtime (if we had money for soda pop or a bottle of milk). Our school did have electricity and a pop and milk machine. Well, that’s another story, but I threw that in to tell you what I liked about being away from school and what I also missed.

With school out, we had some free time. Cotton wasn’t ready for picking nor were pecans ready for harvesting. But, and that’s a big “BUT.” There was a “down” side to these three months of freedom. For some strange reason, farmers would ask Daddy to have us come and harvest their cucumbers. I couldn’t understand why their lazy grand-kids didn’t pick them, but I guess my daddy thought we would do a better job. I don’t think we picked those little, nutritious green “pimple-sticks” more than two summers, but I do know for sure that we went at least one hot summer.

Peaches are also harvested during summer. And I also remember going with my dad to pick peas too. The only good part that I remember about that stint was the cheese sandwiches we had for lunch. Other than that, blah! And of course, plums and blackberries are summer fruits. We had no problem whatsoever going to gather these delicious treats. After all, we weren’t forced to go, and we did it mostly for fun. My Mother did use some of the berries for blackberry pies, but for the most part, we were free to eat the berries and plums that we picked.

My grandmother did most of the canning for my Mom and her brother’s family, so the sweet bounty we collected was ours for the eatin’.

Of course, there was a little light work, but for the most part, summer did afford us more leisure time than any other season. That’s usually when we’d go visit Cousin Callie, roam the woods, or visit our neighbors back in the woods to watch their TV. I remember those months as the “fun” months.

On the “up” side of the season, we had time for our favorite games like jack and ball, tic tac toe, hop scotch, hide and seek, bicycling, playing “house” and “church” and any other “lazy” activities that we could do in the coolest part of the house or under the largest shade tree we could find.

Obviously days are longer during summer than winter, but it seemed as though “Country” days then were longer than they are today. So many times, we just didn’t have anything to do, and as kids, I don’t remember taking daytime naps. So with so much daylight, we had to invent ways to occupy our time – but not with work. But regardless to how long days are and how slowly they seem to pass, eventually they will pass and another season looms on the horizon. Regardless to how much fun we had, we finally had to bid summer good-bye … until it rolled back around the next year!

Published on Sep 18, 2013

Grit Magazine

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