Hot July Summer

I could have just called this July, and everyone in the state of Oklahoma would already know that meant hot summer.  We’re enjoying (I say that with just the tiniest bit of sarcasm) triple digit heat.  Ugh, and thank God for whoever invented air conditioning because it was non-existent when I was a kid.  I remember the first water-cooler my family bought.  We thought it was a miracle, but it did get a little crowded standing right in front of it where the air was the coolest.

Bedtime during those years meant plenty of hot sleepless nights.  We used to pray for a breeze, or an unexpected thunderstorm just to cool things off.  My sister and I would lie motionless on our backs, our arms out-flung, hoping to catch even the tiniest wisp of stirring air.  When our parents finally bought an old circulating fan, we took turns lying on the side of the bed closest to it, and we made a rule that no one slept on their side, because that would block the air.  It was either on your tummy or your back.

When the days got hot, it meant playing in the shade instead of out in the yard.  We still played, regardless of weather.  Where does that wonderful abandon go as we get older?  Do we trade creature comforts for joy?  I hope not.  I still remember what it feels like to run barefoot through hot sand, and the utter bliss of flying down the hillside toward the creek, knowing what that cool water was going to feel like on my hot bare feet.  Life was so simple then.  The sun came up.  We did our chores and played.  The sun went down.  We did our chores and went to bed.  The orchestrated ‘play dates’ parents make for their children now often leave me speechless.  Play should not be on a schedule for anyone under the age of ten.  It should be an inalienable right and batteries are not included.

But those days are nothing but fond memories.  All I would wish back from those times are my father and my sister.  They’ve been gone for far too many years.  Still, sometimes when the air is so hot that it burns the inside of my nose just to take a breath, I can almost hear my sister laughing as she would beat me to the creek; watching the water splashing up on the back of her legs and the joy on her face as she turned around and yelled.  “I won!”

Yes, she beat me at just about everything.  I imagine her now – never still – never quiet – and that clear, perfect laugh, ringing out all over heaven.




19 thoughts on “Hot July Summer

    • That’s usually all it takes, right? Someone mentions one thing about their childhood and it brings back a memory for yet another.

  1. I sure do miss those days! My summers were spent riding my friends horses up and down the creeks. I think the horses enjoyed it as much as we did! Stay cool an keep a blankie for little momma!

  2. It sounds like you had wonderful summers. Although we lived in a house that had 12″ walls, and it was 20 degrees cooler, we had air conditioners in our bedrooms. We lived with all of the necessities, but except for my father, it was devoid of any emotional backing. I think that is why I was drawn to your work, and to you. Your relationship with your mom might be fraught with frustration, but the love you have for each other shows through!

    • Sara, I can’t imagine such a family dynamic. Our family was and still is very demonstrative, and even though Mother is losing her grip on reality, we still have a great and loving connection.

  3. I too remember hot summer days when me and my sister would play paper dolls for hours on end. We created whole worlds around our paper dolls. Now, we just write books instead, but the memories of those hot summer days by the water cooler are forever emblazoned in my mind! My sister always used to beat me at everything too, and she still does. 🙂

  4. What a wonderful memory. Brings back many summer days I had in Ohio as a child. We used to run the neighborhood in the summer, going from one cool spot to another. If we were lucky, someone would invite us to the pool. It wasn’t public at the time and you had to have a membership. My cousin did but they were only allowed to take us one day a month. We planned those days to take the best advantage of the number of friends there. Nothing like the times of eating watermelon and just watching the grass grow.

    Thanks for bringing it all back.

    • Totally MY pleasure, Lynn, I can assure you. I miss the simpler life, but I do appreciate the conveniences of air conditioning, etc.. As a country kid, we didn’t have a neighborhood to play in, but we had the 160 acres of pasture, bottom land and trees to play in, plus a pond and a creek. good times.

  5. I always love when you reminisce. There may be almost 17 years age difference between you and I, but our childhoods saw a lot in common. I remember swinging…Lord, I loved to swing. Swing and daydream. For years, my grandparents and my mother planted and harvested a huge garden. We shelled all kinds of peas and beans, and then Momma brought them to a boil; iced them down (blanching ?), and froze them in those little bags you stuffed inside this little box you wrote on what was in there! The freezer would be so full you could hardly shut the door!! Made homemade ice cream…yum! Chewed sugar cane, and much, much more. Oh, the memories. Thank you, Sharon. You are loved.

    • Linda, we sure did grow up in similar situations. All that freezing and the little plastic bags stuffed in neat little waxed boxes, and yes, we wrote the content on the boxes, too. I always wanted the job of icing and draining because the kitchen was hot and having my hands in the ice water felt good. LOL Never had sugar cane. That wasn’t grown where I lived. Thank YOU for the love. It’s much appreciated.

  6. At this time it appears like BlogEngine is the preferred blogging platform out there right now.

    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

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