Three Acres of Childhood
The lovely and bodacious Lisa tagged me for a meme, one that's had me thinking. And thinking, and thinking, and....
The rules of this meme are as follows:
Remove the blog at number 1 and bump everyone up one place. Add your blog's name in the number 5 spot. Link to each of the other blogs for the desired mingling.
2) Moments in Time
3) Ringmaster Lily
4) Bored Housewife
5) Mona's Barbaric Yawp
Next, select new friends to add to the fun (no purchase necessary, no obligation, money-back guarantee). Sorry if you've already done this meme and I've forgotten, I'll try not to make you do double-duty:
1) Marcheline of Mental Meatloaf
2) Cynical Girl at HCPR2.0
3) Orange at OrangeTangerine
4) Sergei at Lowland Seed (when you get back to blogging, honey)
Lastly, answer this question: What five things do you miss about your childhood?
I was born on the east coast, lived there a few years, and then my family moved back to Michigan, to the country. Which simply rocked, people, rocked in ways that instills a sort of creativity in those folks willing to get off their asses and DO something, when you're surrounded by fields and trees and afternoons of your own imagination.
1) Summers Off. I realize now, as an adult, that if I'd played my cards right, I could have been a teacher and actually had summers off as an adult. Uh, perhaps in my next life. As a kid, there was nothing more magical than 3 whole months off, sleeping in, staying up late. There were always things to do, ya know, mow the lawn or work in the gardens (my parents were cruel and thought THREE gardens would be good...mmm...yeah....okay). Regardless, there was ample time for making tents in the backyard with blankets strung over the clothesline, and rocks holding down the corners. Making big jugs of kool-aid and pans of chocolate chip cookies (I'd saved enough money to buy a kool-aid canteen, which was the coolest thing a kid could own, back in the day in the country). Squirting my siblings with the hose, and playing hide-and-seek in between the peony bushes. At night, we'd stay up super late, watching the star clusters move across the sky. We'd make real popcorn: big pot on the stove...oil and butter...pour in the popcorn...let it pop...oops!...not too long...then pour it in a bowl...THEN...for the finale...while the pot was still hot, we'd throw half a stick of butter in there to melt, and pour it over the popcorn, with some salt. And sit and watch the night sky, in the warm breeze, and wonder if we could ever touch the moon.
2) Having Tons of Family Nearby. I had sixteen cousins on my dad's side, with 5 aunts and 5 uncles, and a grandma, and everyone lived within 10 miles of each other. There was always something going on, some party or corn roast or 'come-over-'n-play' thing. We loved and tolerated each other, we threw rocks and pledged our eternal love. We were tied by life and death. As adults, when we see each other, even though it's been years and lifetimes, we still hug and kiss and it feels like summer at the lake with them. Vanilla ice cream and styrofoam floats and sandbars and lemonade.
3) Dime Stores. The smell...AH...the smell! Absolutely nothin' in the whole frickin' wide world smells like the inside of a Dime Store. If you're too young to remember, or maybe they called them something different where you grew up, Dime Stores were the local "everything" store, before Walmart invaded the world. They had whatever you needed, and it was all super-cheap. Always with an upstairs and a basement. Always creaking wooden floors. A bit of dust, why not. Doilies and buttons and shirts and glassware. Downstairs...OOH!...the toy department! I cried and whined and finally, for my sixth birthday, got a dress-up set of plastic high-heeled shoes, jewelry, and a crown. I was the proudest girl around! The highlight, though, was the candy counter. My love affair with the sweet stuff was conceived standing in front of the glass cabinets stuffed full of chocolate-covered raisins, Smartees, Maple Nut Goodies, bubble gum, taffy, red hots...more...more...endless supplies of everything I loved. Whenever I went to the Dime Store with my grandma, she'd always get chocolate cream drops. They looked like little chocolate nipples, stuffed with the sweetest, most sublime white confection. I always opted for bridge mix...little o' this...little o'that. We'd walk to the cash register with our white paper sacks of chocolates, plunk down our quarters and dimes, and walk out onto the sun-soaked sidewalk, where we'd sneak bites and nibbles on the way to the park.
4) Fresh Fruits and Veggies...REALLY Fresh. Those endless gardens to be tended yielded the most succulent produce imaginable. We'd go out while dinner was underway and pick fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, tiny green onions, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, string beans, pregnant pods of sweet peas, cucumbers, carrots. The big ones would go in the house. The small things, the beans and peas and carrots and cherry tomatoes, we'd just rub the dirt off on our shirts and stick one o' those warm veggies in our mouths and chew, slowly, tasting the summer. After dinner we might go to the orchard and pick a plum or apple or peach or pear right off the tree. And bite down on the smooth flesh and let the juice run down our chins. Or grab a handful of sour cherries from the tree, pop the swollen red balls in our mouths, and magically produce a pit, clinging piteously to a stem. Strawberries fresh by the handful. Nowadays, as a adult, the only strawberries I have are measly half-rotten things at the grocery store, that last exactly 3 hours before they have to be thrown out.
5) Sleeping Well. I loved staying up late as a child, even if it was just lying quietly in my bed. We had no air conditioning, so in summer we'd have screens in the windows, and the night breezes wafted in and rustled our sweaty bodies, our clinging hair, and the crickets and bullfrogs would sing and keep time with the temperature. In the winter, the frost would build on the windows, and the occasional plane overhead would echo lonely and expectant in the sky above us. The tv antennae tower was right outside my window, and the cord linking it to the television would hum all frozen, and make a sound like an alien baritone, like that instrument called a theremin which is played by moving your hand between two electrodes. I had a big, soft bed, and gentle noises to fall asleep to, and I dreamed a lot (and remembered them the next day!) and had nothing to worry about to keep me awake.
M'kay, now I'm all nostalgic and squeepy and distracted. With a hankerin' for a white paper bag full of maple nut goodies.