How did you spend your summers growing up? I have mentioned in past posts about summer camp and amusement parks, but what about a typical, normal, “boring” day in the summer. What did you do with your time?
We were not allowed to spend all summer inside. If you wanted to stay inside and read a good book…forget about it, you had to go sit outside and get some freah air and read. The words “Go outside and play” were heard in just about every house on every block back when we were kids. We only stayed home if we were sick, and even then, I am sure our moms wanted us out of the house.
We downed our breakfast, maybe did a quick chore or two and then it was out the door to meet our friends. There were never really any major plans and there were never any calls to coordinate times and meetup places. We just all knew where to be and when we all gathered it was go time. What did we do? Absolutely nothing special, but we had a blast.
We would go exploring in places our parents would probably not appreciate. We would play games on the street, and hopscotch on the sidewalk. You have seen this in movies like “The Sandlot”, and “Now and Then”, just kids doing nothing and everything all at once. If you got thirsty you just drank water from the garden hose, none of this carrying around water bottles for us. A big bulky water bottle would only slow us down.
When lunchtime came it was a quick stop at home to check in and down a quick sandwich or some mom would see the bunch of us, take pity and feed us all. It was easier back then. In a pack, we were safe, so our parents didn’t really worry about us. They knew we were fine as long as we all stayed together. Afternoon brought more games and maybe a trip to the arcade. When we were young, we couldn’t wait to hear the ice cream truck on the street. As we got older we would all walk down to the local 7-11 or neighborhood store for a soda and snacks. We all pulled our money and shared.
Until the age of 5 we lived with my grandmother in her row home in Southwest Philadelphia. At the end of the block there was a fire hydrant. When it got to be too hot, some dad would grab some big tool and open it up for us to play in and cool off. My brother and sister were always told to watch out for the baby (me) to make sure I only stayed on the edge or in the back, otherwise I would get hurt. Whenever I see kids playing in a hydrant in a movie I get wistful…man, I miss those days.
We would be outside all day playing and hanging out. No matter where we lived, it was always the same. We knew we had to be home when the street lights came on. So as day turned to dusk we would be out there playing kick the can and freeze tag. Everybody was exhausted and ready for a good night sleep, but there we were, still laughing and carrying on until the first street light turned on. Then it was a scramble to get home, everyone yelling and saying good night and knowing that at first light, we would be getting up to do it all over again.
***Question for the comments…What was a normal stay at home summer like for you? What was your favorite part of a summer day?
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