where did summer go_graphicThere is nothing more saddening than riding out these last days of Spring and not be a kid any longer.  I can see the anticipation and excitement in the faces of the kids I see about town… Summer is almost here!!!  There is something magical that happens to kids about this time of year, it’s like a magic spell cascades across those little cherubs as they lay sleeping. All because school is almost out!!!

Growing up I remember how joyful and excited we I was just as school was ending and summer was beginning. I knew my summer would consist of swimming in lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, an occasional mud puddle, and every now and then a swimming pool. I also knew that I would feel grass between my toes, because summer meant the lack of shoes. I also knew that at night I would fall asleep with the swirling sound a box fan and dream such vivid dreams I would believe they were real. Summer meant that I would be able to climb trees, scout out trails, and ride my bike until my legs could no longer push the pedals. I expected tan lines, and chapped lips and ice cream.

Summertime meant we would eat watermelon on the picnic table and drink icy cold sodas. It meant those pants we hated the most we could cut off to shorts and a trip to Piggly Wiggly for flip flops and beach balls! It was the time of year when we celebrated a year’s hard work and looked forward to being a grade older.

Summer meant we only had to dress up on Sunday for church. All other six days that week were like Saturday’s. We would play tag, hide and go seek, baseball, and eat snow cones.  Summer meant my dad would buy Kingsford charcoal and grill hotdogs and when he got home from work and he played in the yard with us. Summer meant picking fresh tomatoes from the vines in the garden and having sliced fresh vegetables with our supper.

Summer also meant we would get to load up and take a vacation. We would explore some new spot in the world, have a our picture made with giant sunflowers in Kansas, or look at bars of gold at Fort Knox, or swim the banks of the mighty Mississippi like Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.  My dad would take us to parks and let us stick our hands out the window to pet giraffe’s running along the car wanting to eat a pork rind with us.

Summer meant something so special. It’s almost hard to capture the feeling and put it into words. Summer meant everything. It felt like we lived a whole year just waiting for summer to arrive! I think I looked more forward to summer than Christmas! I looked more forward to summer than my birthday! It was a time everyone was able to enjoy!

It’s a nice balmy 90 degrees in East Texas as I write out these words today, and I saw some kids with the end of the school year look… you know the one where you don’t have to get a haircut, and you get to wear cut offs and tank tops and that distant faraway look is on their face of plans to build forts and ride bikes and have sleepovers. I sit here at a desk looking out a window at summer almost being here…and I am jealous! I am so jealous I had to grow up, go to work and loose summer!!! I have lost summer!  I lost the smell of chlorine on my hair, and dirt under my toe nails from going shoeless and a tan line where my cutoffs ended! I lost vacations and waiting for the rain to pass to go play outside. Now summer is just a time to go to work in dress clothes and sweat in the heat of my car on the way home.

I believe if I could have one thing back… I would take back my summer! I am not sure what my boss is going to think next week when I arrive to work wearing cut offs, a tank top, flip flops and smelling like fresh cut grass… maybe at lunch we can all have a snow cone!!

Aunt B
About The Author:  Barbie Driskell (Aunt B) was raised in the shade of pine trees of East Texas. “I am very proud of my roots, just like a pine tree, may not be deep but they sure take over when left to their own devices. I smile frequently, laugh genuinely and live simply.”