Today is a perfect summer day. It is warm and sunny with a light breeze blowing. The pool water is warm and we are hanging out on the patio. Lee and Jake are playing RISK, Lily the dog is laying stretched out asleep and I am just hangin. This reminds me of growing up. I have mentioned before that I grew up in Bright Indiana. When I lived there, it was really country. Many of the roads were gravel, the town consisted of three churches, a grave yard, two general stores, a gas station, firehouse and the grade school. Most of the land was farmed, and "sub divisions" didn't exist. Bright is very different today. Once Hidden Valley was developed in the 70's, there was a building boom in Bright. The roads are all paved, they have home pizza delivery and a Chinese place. There are many more businesses and restaurants than I ever imagined. However, the farmland is a thing of the past, and sub divisions are the norm.
When I was young there wasn't really anything to do in the summer. There weren't that many organized club sports, especially for girls. There weren't any malls to hang out at and no air conditioning. That left us to hang outside. You could look out and see the heat rise off the corn fields across the street. There was a small groove of trees with a creek across the road. I would spend hours over there, walking through the woods, imagining, and playing in the creek. That is where I found the frog eggs and brought them home. We put them in a container and watched them hatch. The sounds and smells of summers past was very different. There would be the singing of birds, the rumble of a hay wagon, the crunch of the gravel on the road as the milk tank truck went back to pick up the Grubbs milk. Once every couple weeks the "grader" would come down the road and smooth out the gravel. This would cause a large dust cloud to settle all over the place. Mom would yell for us to shut the windows so the dust wouldn't get inside. The smells would vary from Spring to Fall. There was the sweet, clean smell of rain in the Spring. There was also the stinky smell of manure being spread to fertilize the fields. The summer would bring honey suckle and a yellow dusting of pollen from the tassels of the corn as we ran through the rows. At night we could hear the frogs and crickets and chased lighting bugs that seemed to be everywhere. We could see brown bats diving for bugs at our light outside. Greg and I would put a cloth over a rock and throw it up in the air to watch the bats dive for it. I have no idea what we thought we were doing. It just seemed right at the time. There would be the soft ground from the turned dirt in the garden. I loved running barefoot outside, I still do today. In the Fall, there was the smell of cut hay, and a crispness in the air. The garden was turned and put to bed for the winter and we would prepare for ice, snow and electric outages. We raised hogs, so we would have litters of piglets over the summer. Sometimes there would be a couple that were rejected by the sows and we would end up hand feeding them. We would ride our bikes up to Rencks store and buy ice cream, or go down to the grade school and play on the playground. It was a very different time. Today, as I sit in my backyard, watching my teenage son. There is a TV attached to the wall, a iPad on the table and his cell phone. I can hear the hum of the air conditioners and smell the grills being warmed up. I can still hear the birds and later on my yard will glow with fireflies. We will grill out and have a grand time. These are the memories Jake will have when he is older. Playing games on the patio, a sleeping dog, grilling out, warm pool water and he might even remember the birds and fireflies. Everyone remembers things differently. It's your own personal past. I hope that you have wonderful memories of summers past, and that you are making new memories this summer. Take care!