Summer, stretching out before you like a trail waiting to be explored . . .

Remember when June meant school was out and you had long, hot weeks stretching out ahead of you just waiting to be filled? 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 and learned not to complain about it to my mother. “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 woods with moss, carefully transplanting sheets of the stuff and then trusting the Good Lord to work his magic (and He did!). One year we 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. I did nearly drown and broke an arm three different times. There were cuts, bruises, and sibling battles. Bee stings, mosquito bites, and tics. Dirty feet, grass-stained knees, and muddy clothes.

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.