Summer as a kid

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.

img_0755  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?

 

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20 thoughts on “Summer as a kid

  1. Mom raised me as a single parent and during the summer, when school was out, there were no options for babysitters or camps or anything else but driving 600kms to grandma’s house or be locked in the apartment until she came home from work. I am sooooo grateful that she sacrificed and took me to be into the countryside and “leave” me there for months! I got to experience everything you just described here and I am hoping to offer that to my kids and grandkids – I made the step to move back to the countryside and start a farm and “force” the outdoorsy attitude back into our lives 🙂 great post that brings most of us down memory line (I was born in ’85 and my memories don’t start until the early 90’s and they are just as vivid as if they happened last month!). Scrapes and scars were the conversation starter.

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    1. That’s so awesome. There are so many kids who don’t get to spend much time with their grandparents, I was one of them, and I feel like maybe I missed out on some special times. Glad you decided to incorporate that back into your own life with your children. They’ll probably thank you some day.

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  2. LOVE this! Climbing trees, baling hay, visits with cousins, eating vegetables in the garden, cooling off in the shade, and doing “dangerous” things are what summers should be made of. I keep trying to infuse those same opportunities into my own children’s summer but life (especially for kids) seems so much more complicated.

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  3. Awesome post — and something that most of the children in our country could not associate with today. I’m a city girl (Chicago) and my husband laughs that the only cow I saw growing up was in the zoo. He, on the other hand, milked the cow for his grandparents, etc. Thanks for the memories. While I don’t have the country memories, I certainly have memories of riding bikes, sharing french fries and a malt with my girlfriend (our allowances would not allow 2 orders), reading books in the sun, etc. Summer was always fun and outside!

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    1. What?? They had cows in a zoo, I would have loved to have seen that. Given we had cows roaming our property it would have been strange to me. Don’t ya wish you could go back in time for a bit to relive it all? We didn’t get an allowance but I’ll bet you appreciated what you got. It was probably fun sharing anyway.

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  4. I did not grow up in the country but on the edge of a very small town. We had a gravel road for a street. There were 30 kids on our side of the block from babies to high school. The older kids would always get a ball game together in the alfalfa field across the road. For some reason they stuck my cousin (who lived 2 houses down) and me out in the Catholic Cemetery that bordered the field. I found out later, when they promoted me to pitcher, that is was far better to be in the cemetery. My head was also a ball magnet……..You made me laugh out loud!! Ahhhh the joys of youth.

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    1. Haha, that’s funny and I loved walking barefoot down the gravel roads. Of course my feet aren’t that tough anymore and I’d probably walk a little more gingerly.
      I think I may have permanent knots in my head from those ball games. Great memories though.

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  5. Sounds like you have wonderful memories growing up. I’m mot definitely a city girl, but when I was little my Grandparents had an acreage. We helped pick vegetables from the garden, as well as apples, strawberries, and raspberries. And it was fun having tractor rides with Grandpa as he cut the grass. Thanks for sharing.

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          1. I don’t. I’ve never been very good at cooking and doing stuff like that. I do simple meals and I’m good at baking. But maybe someday. There is really no comparison between store bought and stuff you make yourself 🙂 Good luck with your preserves.

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