Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot summer days...

It's HOT here in Chicago today.  It's going to be even hotter tomorrow.  These hot summer days have got me thinking about summers I spent as a kid, growing up in southern Illinois. 

Here are some things I remember...
  • riding my bike all over town
  • running crazily through sprinklers, either our own or the one belonging to whichever neighbor was watering his lawn at that particular moment
  • swimming at my grandmother's country club and signing my aunt's name to the charges
  • camping with my dad's parents and family at Clearwater Lake in Piedmont, Missouri, and taking the boat on long rides up the river to a spot where the water was so clear I could see all the way to the bottom and so cold it almost hurt to swim in it
  • "camping" with my mom's parents and family at Anthony Acres Resort in Effingham, Illinois, and playing shuffleboard on the playground
  • waterskiing until my hands hurt so badly I could no longer hold on to the rope
  • playing with my friends until the sun went down, whatever time that was
  • catching fireflies
  • reading under a tree
  • hanging out at a different small-town homecoming every weekend while my dad worked at the beer stand (my grandfather owned a beer and liquor distributorship, and my dad was one of his managers).  My mom would hand me a handful of ride tickets and off my brother and I would run.  We would only return to get MORE ride tickets, or perhaps fifty cents for a corn dog or some cotton candy.
I DON'T remember...
  • sitting inside watching TV
  • being bored
  • having my days planned out for me
  • feeling hot!
I think about how my childhood summers are so different from those of my own daughters.  I know times have changed, and I'm sure I was bored AND hot quite a bit during the summers (nostalgia makes even summer look perfect).  I hope that while the experiences are different, my kids will look back and think "Wow.  Those were the days."


  1. I don't remember being as hot then as I know it is now. Probably is nostalgia on both of our parts, but that's okay.

  2. I think we remember just the good times, mostly. I liked your list, though, especially about playing outside so much. We stayed under bushes when it was hot, telling stories, creating clubs... You brought back some good memories with your post.

  3. Your post brought back thoughts of my own childhood summers. Things weren't as programed back then for sure. Nostalgic days filled with fun.

  4. Great lists, particularly the things you didn't do. Times have changed. Sigh . . .

  5. I love lists and your list is no exception. What a cool connection at the end between your summers and your daughters' summers.

  6. You bring back a flood of childhood summer memories in the big city - playing with neighbourhood kids, riding my bike, trips to library for a new stack . . .. I think you're right, though, when you talk about how nostalgia can affect how we remember things. I wonder what your kids - and mine - will remember of their childhood summers?

  7. Memories came flooding back as I read your list. Wonderful memories. And you are right--I don't remember being hot either! Great post.