You know that its bad when you feel stressed out for not having blogged. But I do! Arrrrrgh! Okay, now that that is out of my system, I can get down to the blog. I must say that summer is not the seemingly idyllic times of my youth. Of course, I look back an realize that my summers were highly structured work fests. There were animals to care for and feed, gardens to plant, weed and pick, educational trips inspire our brains and family to visit. Honestly, summer vacation was more of a “hands-on” home school system.
Let’s see, what were the lessons that I learned. If you don’t feed the cows on their schedule, they will escape and eat the vegetarian neighbors corn and beans. The hotter the weather the more the chicken coop stinks and becomes a greater bio-hazard site. There is absolutely NOTHING cute about raccoons and possums (for the record, they are mean and generally gross). Peaches are the absolute best at the top of the tree were they have been sun ripened, you just have to beat the bees to them. Black snakes love to live in apple trees, I guess the birds were closer then. Yes, turtles really can tell what are the best tomatoes and strawberries. They take one bite out of the best to let us know that they were there. The best place to hide from family was the back of the property, sitting in a tree with a book or two. But even then you couldn’t hide from the Call of the Mom. Well water only gets colder the longer it runs in the hose; of course, ninety degree weather made that a treat. Broccoli is green and so are the broccoli worms (just a little extra protein). Green beans magically regenerate the moment that you pick them, so that when the mom goes and inspects the rows of green beans she find enough to have to go back and pick AGAIN! Catching fire-flys should be an Olympic sport, it really is hard to see the low-hanging branches in the orchard. Flash-light tag is best on warm summer nights. The swing-set really could travel to Mars and bring back a martian or two, even if they do resemble your siblings. Popcicles are sweeter when shared with you neighborhood posse. Gardening, canning and any general labor is best performed before 8am, otherwise it gets too hot. You really do need sunscreen on overcast days. The snapping turtle in the pool in the creek at the back of the property is really more afraid of you than you are of it. Yellow-jackets can actually have underground hives and they DO NOT like to be disturbed. Skunk funk really does go away with enough tomatoe juice, the dog really learned that lesson. Never let the cows see the feed bucket until you are ready, otherwise you get knocked down. Lawn mowing really is a great escape for a few hours. Walking bare-foot through the grass is cool and soothing, except for the stickers. Milk snakes have a round head and copper-heads have a more triangular head. On a family trip, if your baby brother gets a bottle going up a mountain, you’ll see the contents again on the way down. The bookmobile really does have a limit to the number of books it can carry, and too many voracious readers can really stress the bookmobile lady out. Electric fences will really knock you on your can if you don’t pay attention and grab the wrong part. Mom’s fried chicken was best eaten cold on a picnic. Dad could always be counted on to hose you down, whether you felt you needed it or not.
Now that I’m grown-up, I work the 9 to 5 grind in an air-conditioned office. Not a cow, chicken, green bean, turtle or bee to be seen. I only get the sun on days that it’s not too hot outside and I eat my lunch outside. I go home as the sun is making its journey home for the night. Walking the dog lets me at least say good night. I’m not sure that growing up is really a fair trade for having the summer off. The innocence and wonder that I viewed the world was unique to the time. I miss that .