Appalachian Thursday–Summertime Fun in the Yard

BarefootOn June 21 I sat out on the front steps and watched the daylight linger. As the fireflies rose and Thistle nibbled grass I got to thinking about what a fabulous playground the front yard supplied when I was a kid.

There were endless yard games with siblings and cousins–all kinds of tag, Simon Says, and made up games with balls. We generally played barefoot and would get all sweaty and breathless then there would be that prickling feeling as the sweat dried and the cool of the evening settled in. Mom sometimes only washed our nearly black feet before bed. I think the prospect of bathing three tired children helped her prioritize.

Of course, we also caught fireflies and stowed them in Mason jars with holes punched in the lids. We were occasionally allowed to bring these in to flicker in our rooms as we drifted off to sleep. When the June bugs came, we’d sometimes tie a thread to a leg (a tricky job) and have a bug on a leash.

Then there were all the things you could do with what grew in the yard. Pinch a blade of grass between your thumbs and blow on it to make a wonderful, honking sound. Tie flowers together to make chains for your hair and neck. Chew on sweet clover.

It was easier in those days to be drawn outside. There were only two or three channels on TV, no video games or electronics, and even our toys paled in comparison to the wide world of summer outside the front door. I sometimes see neighbor children outside on summer days and it makes me glad. Maybe I’ll stop by and show them how to tie flowers together, how to blow on a blade of grass–these are skills worthy of being passed on.

8 thoughts on “Appalachian Thursday–Summertime Fun in the Yard

  1. mom

    Thanks for the stirring of memories (even if they didn’t include a horse!)
    The foot only bath was an exchange for 15 extra minutes outside!

  2. Wonderful post!

    Sarah, I’m going to be leaving the blogosphere…health issues are really limiting my effective hours, and I’ll need to try to get my writing projects done while I can.

    I’ve enjoyed your corner of Appalachia, and will drop in occasionally, but probably uncommented.

    Godspeed. You’re a blessing to all.

  3. Sarah, what fun memories you bring back. We used to play hide and seek in the back yard until dusk. Or, we’d pull out a ball and play kick ball. Half the time the ball landed in a neighbor’s yard, and we’d have to go ask for it back. I loved blowing on grass and making clover crowns. 😉 What a great visual of summer!

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