I’ve been thinking about the good old summertime, back when I was a child. Whoa, half a century ago??!! As I recall, the summer time of my youth was the time for being outdoors.
We played outdoors a lot. What games we concocted! We would tip over the picnic table and pretend it was our boat. There was a lot of high sea adventures going on under the birch tree in our suburban back yard.
Dad built a playhouse for us one summer. He took a 4×8 sheet of plywood and laid it across the top of the fence corner. We were suppose to play house underneath the sheet of plywood. Instead, we figured how to climb on top and played covered wagon-westward-ho! The driver sat on the top edge of the board, driving the wagon; while the rest of the family ‘camped out’ down below, inside the covered wagon. For some reason, our parents didn’t approve of that game. Something about safety issues.
Of course, riding our bikes was a big part of outdoor summer fun. When we were a bit older, we were allowed to explore our E shaped subdivision on our bikes. Each side street ended in a ditch that was part of the neighboring field’s fence row. What a magical, mysterious place that was! Trees and scrub bushes, tall grass and rocks. A sweet taste of the forbidden. That was as close to the wild outdoors we sheltered, suburbanite children had ever met.
Then, one day, a playmate showed us the woods across the street from her house. She lived on the last street – the ‘unfinished street’. There were houses on only one side. The street wasn’t paved. And there was that big stretch of real woods. One day we daringly began to follow a worn path that led down the hill through the brush and trees. At the bottom of the hill, I was astonished to see a river! The mighty Shiawasee River! How many years had I lived there and not realized I was only a few blocks from the river!??
Oh yes, summertime was a time for games and growing.