I was born in 1967, so my childhood was during the ’70’s, what a great time to be a kid! What I remember most about the first 11 years of my life was bein’ outdoors all summer.
We got up early and had breakfast and did our chores. Then we got to spend the day doin’ what kids do best, yep, we played outside…all day. We even took toys outside to play with. I, of course, had my barbies and my brothers would have army men and BB guns. Our skin would turn brown from the sun and if we got to hot we’d find a big shade tree to cool off.
We’d play tag and hide-n-seek in and around the barn. We rode our horses through the trails around our house, well my brothers did, me and my sisters had a little white pony to share. My brothers had a half built tree house that us girls weren’t allowed in, of course that just meant we would sneak up there when they were off on their dirt bikes. Then my dad would yell at us because it wasn’t safe, we didn’t care about safe, we were indestructible. We drank from the garden hose and picked vege’s straight outta the garden and wiped the dirt off on our shirts before eatin’ ’em.
Lunch happened at a regular time out on the picnic table in the back yard and we ate what/when we were served or we didn’t eat til dinner. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips and Kool-Aid. I liked the red but it didn’t really matter cause my mom would usually mix two packets together and come up with her own flavor. We’d ride our bikes all over the place and we lived out in the country so there wasn’t a lot of places to go other than just to ride. It was the best way to create a breeze to help cool off. Man, summer seemed like it lasted an eternity.
If we wanted other kids to play with we’d have to go down the road, it was a minimum half mile to any neighbors house, to see if they could come out and play. Ya know, actually knock on the door to their house and ask their parents for permission. My brothers would always try to get a baseball game together and I always hated being the last one picked but honestly, I’m not sure why they even let me play. I was a danger to myself and others, talk about athletically challenged, I had no coordination or balance. I couldn’t hit a ball even if it was on a T-stand and my head was a magnet for the damn ball. I can’t even count how many times I got hit in the head but at some point helmets became necessary.
I was much happier making mud pies and playing hop scotch. Me and Sheila (the closest neighbor) would play barbies for hours on end and she had them all. We had so many different animals around that there was always one tagging along. We had horses, cows, chickens, multiple dogs and cats. We ran around barefoot and watched the clouds while laying in the grass. We’d chase butterflies and snakes and try catching lightin’ bugs. We didn’t come back in the house until it got dark out and you couldn’t have paid us to come in earlier. We even played out in the rain as long as there wasn’t any thunder or lightin’.
My favorite times were when my cousins would come up from Indiana for a visit. We would pile into the back of a pickup and head to the beach for a picnic. Eleven of us kids in total running all over the beach, playin in the water. Those were some of the best times of my life. I have such great memories of being a kid and spendin the summer outside like it was never gonna end. I’m so glad I grew up like that and I actually miss all of it. I hope that today’s generation of kids will have memories of something other than video games, snapchat or the walls on their bedroom. How’d you spend your summers? Anyone else grow up in the country?