I don't know about you but when I was a young whipper-snapper summer vacation to me was simple. By simple I mean we finally would get to sleep in and I don't think that task has changed much over the past few generations. Sleep, that glorious sleep. It's funny that as you get older you seem to require less and now I love to get up before the chickens. It's hard for me to sleep in now, but when I was a young'n, I could sleep well till past noon.
Summer meant swimming, lots and lots of swimming. Swimming lessons, swimming pools, friends, lake swimming. We camped a lot when I was young too. In fact our summer vacations were camping for an entire week. We really couldn't afford much more than that and we loved it. Cooking on a campfire (mother hated it because of cooking and cleaning up), swimming, fishing, swimming, sleeping, swimming. Yes we swam a lot and were in the sun constantly which will probably come back in my old age to bite me in the butt with my dermatologist. From sunburn to tan to crispy we lived outdoors. Today we slather our kids with so much sunscreen that they have vitamin D deficiencies. My hair would sometimes turn green we were in so much chlorine from swimming pools.
There was also the annual trip to the zoo with Granny that started our summer off.
We so looked forward to seeing the lions, tigers and bears, OH MY. Granny would either pack a lunch or we would take Harden's Country Fried Chicken with us to eat when we got there. The one and only time we had an actual picnic. It was a very long drive to the zoo, because Granny ALWAYS drove and she drove at least 15 miles under the speed limit, but we loved it. It was tradition.
Sometime during the summer we would go to Jay (Oklahoma) to our great-grandparents for a week. Momma would stay because she loved to being there too. It was hot, hot, hot. They lived in Rattlesnake Hollow and the house was not air-conditioned but we survived with daily trips to the cold, COLD creek to cool off. That meant a ride in the back of the pick-up which was a highlight.
(See the patch on my swimsuit...it was for Junior Lifesaving)
There was homemade ice cream, cookouts on the creek bank and loads of time wondering around the yard and house. We iced cookies and graham crackers and when those ran out, saltine crackers. Greatgranny was awesome showing us flowers and bugs and how to milk a cow. Great-granddaddy let us help pick vegetables from his huge garden and trips to pick up eggs, which was harrowing in his old pickup truck. He was a speed demon!
Summers were just too short. We hardly spent time inside at all. We rode our bicycles around and around and around the block. We probably put at least 20 miles on those bikes just in our neighborhood alone. We were lucky to have lots of neighborhood kids living close and our backyard was large for playing softball. There were three trees that served as our 1st, 2nd and 3rd base and the outfield was the neighbors yard, that was huge. We could hit the ball clear over that yard and to the side street if we were lucky enough. Our children now are never ever left unsupervised for years. Gosh, we would go out in the morning and come back in to grab a bite of lunch and then out again. We were on the go constantly and if we complained about being bored, well, mother would find something for us to do, CHORES!
Summer was laughter with friends, exercise, play time, sunshine and carefree. We weren't constantly put into summer camps, like I did for my girls. We were honestly kind of free to enjoy time off from the halls of school. I think we spend too much time trying to occupy our children's time so they don't get bored. The only thing we were scheduled for in the summer were the mandatory (Mom's) swimming lessons.
I miss MY childhood summers. I miss those innocent and free times in my life.
Thanks Kat from Mama's Losin' It for the suggestion of blog prompts. Took me down memory lane.