One of my favorite blogs, Fillyjonk’s Progress, has been talking about summer vacation and her childhood activities. That’s got me to thinking back to those days. What did we do in the summer?
I always joined the Read-A-Way Vacation Reading club at the library. I would check out as many books as the librarian would let me take and read them. I remember one year she made a poster that had little folded pieces of paper on it to represent the books we read. My line was a long one that summer. I think I read over 50 books. I still love to read. Do libraries still have Read-A-Way Vacation clubs?
Another activity we did was play hide and seek with the other children in the neighborhood. This was usually played in the twilight and by the time the streetlights were full on, we had to stop and go home. You were in big trouble if you weren’t home when the streetlights came on.
Some of the children had bicycles and rode them. I didn’t have one. My mother wouldn’t let me get one; she was convinced I’d be hit by a car. So the boy next door taught me to ride his bicycle which was a hand-me-down from his sister. But I didn’t get to ride it very much.
We had a neighborhood playground/park and we spent hours there. They had a sort of wading/swimming pool which was popular with some of the children. There were swings and seesaws and one of those round merry-go-rounds that you had to hang on to the railings while the bigger kids pushed and go it moving. There was a slide which was blistering hot in the afternoons but fun to go down anyway. There were a couple of softball diamonds. Best of all, there were a couple of park employees who taught craft type classes. I remember we made a tea towel and colored a design on it with crayons. We ironed the towel to set the color.
We had chores to do as well. I remember doing the family ironing from about the time I was 10. Because my mother worked, my sister and I were expected to have dinner started by the time she got home. We had music lessons to practice.
In looking back, I don’t think summer was a very lazy time for us. It seems to me that we stayed very busy.