We were in a serious discussion about when school would be starting. I remembered that we always started in September and would go through the last of May but never later than June 4 or 5. Of course, we didn’t have weeks off during the year and longer breaks at Christmas and Easter.
The early beginning of school in August was met with a frown and a grumble. Explaining that summer would last about 45 more days didn’t make any difference for Jacob, for whom it was over as soon as school started back.
Summer vacation was always an exciting time once the demands of spring planting were over. The mad dash of getting plants ready in the greenhouse my parents operated was daylight-until-dark work.
The fact that the greenhouse was in the back yard of our house meant that people continued to stop by for “just a few plants” while we were trying to fix supper.
Summertime memories always included visits to relatives. Mother would take what we had left over from the night before and we would put it together with what Aunt Frances had to make a meal. As the grownups sat around in the shade of the porch the children would chase each other or lightening bugs. Of course, we always had the June bugs we tied with a piece of thread so they would zoom around our heads.
I recall that our hands would always stink from the bugs, worms or just plain old dirt. We didn’t worry too much about germs and antibacterial soap. A good hand washing before a meal was all that was expected. Washing under a garden hose was just as good as in the bathroom since there was always a scuffle among the cousins to be finished first.
Seems children aren’t in such a hurry anymore to get to the table first for a meal. We were not to start filling our plates until after the blessing, but we tried to line ourselves up close to the fried chicken plate with the “pulley bone.”
There was always a homemade desert and biscuits and/or cornbread, and cholesterol was the last thing on our minds.
Life seemed so simple in my childhood. Mother was home, Daddy was at work and children had chores. We had sit-down meals and summer fun that was free to everyone.
Oh yes, I know that life in our memories is much grander than it really was at the time. I know that I hated having to help in the greenhouse, but now I wish I had paid closer attention to instructions.
Growing up was fun and I’m sure it is for children today, however, it sure does cost more than a June bug on a string.
Cumming resident Julianne Boling’s column appears each Sunday.