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?