No More School, No More Books . . .

Remember when June meant school was out and you had long, hot weeks stretching out ahead of you before you had to think about learning anything again? Of course, I grew up on a farm, so there was plenty to DO with gardening and haying and general choring. But even so, summer seemed like such a FREE time.

I can remember being–are you ready for this?? Bored. Yes, I got bored on occasion and soon learned not to complain to my mother about it. “Bored? I can give you something to do . . .”

And boredom bred creativity. Out of boredom came the idea to transform a rotted out chestnut tree stump (American chestnut–HUGE stump) into a playhouse. We also had the idea to carpet a clearing in the wood with moss, carefully transplanting sheets of the stuff and then trusting the Good Lord to work his magic (and He did!). We also decided to gather and dry May Apples. Of course, it’s the root you dry and sell, but we were well occupied for an afternoon gathering the umbrellas and laying them out in the hayloft.

Mom and Dad probably remember some of the less innocent fun. Where did we find that girlie picture we tacked up in the corncrib to use as a target for poke berry bombs? And then there was the time my older brother taught me to use matches–in the middle of the forest. Honestly, it’s good to burn off the leaf litter every so often. And although chicken feed makes excellent little cakes when mixed with water and baked in the sun on a rock, Dad would really rather feed it to the chickens. Oh, and the milk cow’s grain bin is NOT (in Dad’s opinion) a good place to hide (though it smelled so sweet).

But the upshot is we survived and I think we were the better for having summers to fill with our own schemes and plans. We worked hard when we had to and played harder when we didn’t. It was wonderful and it gave me such wonderful material for my writing.

Oh, to be bored. Oh, to cure boredom with the creativity of a child.

Q4U- What’s one of your fondest summer memories from childhood?

7 thoughts on “No More School, No More Books . . .

  1. Mom

    Walking to Spring Hill to go swimming at Rock Lake Pool or to take in a movie (Roy Rogers was my fav.) Getting to spend a few days at my Granny Wolfe’s house in Eleanor WV (which was rural farm country then) and tying june bugs to a long piece of thread and following where ever they led us… and when that was through Granny’s clean white sheets hanging on the clothes line in the balmy sunshine, did we ever get in trouble! After bath time, we would sit on the front porch and watch the stars come out and count the occasional cars that went by; #5 meant bedtime…

  2. Mom

    I was afraid you were going to quote that much repeated phrase from your Mom that “boredom is a state of mind.” 🙂

  3. What’s AMAZING to me is that kids today don’t seem to know how to creatively entertain themselves like that. Maybe it’s just the kids in my life, but they get bored and instead of going outside and making a playhouse out of a tree stump, they sit inside and whine about it and wait for you to entertain them. Or they flip on the TV and watch Disney Channel for seven hours straight. I’m wondering what will happen when these kids grow up, never having learned to CREATE, only having learned to watch others create.

    1. I know! I love to see the neighborhood kids out playing, but it seems like it’s more and more rare these days. I’m so GLAD we only got three channels on the TV when I was growing up.

  4. Mom

    #5 occasionally only took 15 minutes, but usually was more like an hour of watching lightning bugs come out after sunsets and begging for ghost stories while listening to night sounds.

  5. cynthiaherron

    Oh, Sarah! The picture you painted for us through your words took me back to the fond memories of my own childhood. I loved spending time at my Nana’s, especially during the summer months. Her two-story, native stone home sat high on a hilltop overlooking the old Route 66 in a small corner of beautiful, rural Missouri Ozarks. My cousins and I would play outdoors for hours in the surrounding woods and underneath the old catalpa tree out front. We’d hunt “rolie-polies,” make mud-pies, and play on the ancient swingset that had been our mothers’. Oh, those were the days! Thanks for inviting me to swing by Memory Lane! 🙂

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