Childhood Summers

Today, for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, I chose this prompt:

4). List your top 10 favorite things about summer –  growing up.

Here’s my list, in no particular order:

1.) NO SCHOOL for what felt like forever!  I’ve mentioned before how much I disliked school. Since time passes much more slowly when you’re a child, summers seemed to go on and on.

2.) Weekly Reader newspapers.  Do you remember those? It was so exciting to go to the mailbox and discover that I had mail. Just the words “Weekly Reader” bring back memories of reading the stories and working the puzzles.

3.) Visiting the dairy barn for afternoon milking.  I’ve written before about the dairy barn directly across the highway from our house. During the summer, I’d ride on the tractor with the dairy worker when he went out to round up the cows for the afternoon milking.  Inside the barn, I’d watch as the milking machines were hooked up to the cows.

4.) The front porch.  Summer days were spent playing dolls on the front porch. Summer nights we’d sit on the porch until bedtime. (These were the days before air conditioning.)

Mama and me by the front porch. We spent many hours in that swing.

5.) Lime sherbert floats. Actually, my first memory of floats were those made with vanilla ice cream and Coke. Then we discovered lime sherbert and Seven Up or Sprite.  These were a treat on those really hot days.

6.) Playing in the old shed with my nieces and nephews. They were brave enough to go up in the “loft”, but I never was. I’d just climb high enough to look up there.

My brother-in-law, Ed, and me; the old shed in the background

 7.) Watching Dark Shadows in the afternoon. I was actually 13 when it first aired, but that still qualifies as being during my “growing up” years. Mom and I would ride to my sister’s house almost every afternoon, so I could watch with my nephews, who were near my age. I was too scared to watch it by myself. (Although I did have a crush on Quentin.)

8.) Watching Andy Griffith in the morning. No, I didn’t spend all day watching tv, but I recall a time when the Andy Griffith show was airing right around lunchtime. I’d eat my sandwich while watching the antics of Andy, Aunt Bee, Opie and Goober. (I don’t recall having a crush on any of the Mayberry men.)

9.) Vacation Bible School.  Such fond memories of “Preparation  Day”, and learning new songs, scriptures and crafts. The following Sunday evening, we’d have a “Commencement” ceremony, where we’d proudly show our church family what we learned that week.

10.) Mama’s vegetable garden. She grew peas, corn, green beans, lima beans and squash in her garden.  Why was this one of my favorite things about summer? Because, unlike many children, I loved vegetables. Especially Mama’s homegrown ones.

I so enjoyed my summers growing up in the country. Sometimes now, when I hear children (and teachers!) counting down the days left in the school year, I smile at the memory.

Linking up to Mama Kat’s.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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20 responses to “Childhood Summers

  1. You took us right back to the childhoods of our youth; you sure were a cuties in your little bonnet!

    And my love for vegetables started in Mom’s garden, too (although I still despise weeding!)

    May happiness be yours today! MJ

  2. Wonderful memories, Dianna! I have so many of the same fond memories, of VBS, Weekly Reader (how long since I even thought about that!?), sitting outside on a summer evening…you managed to capture the memories so clearly! Beautiful post today!

  3. I’m loving all of your memories – it’s so good to look back sometimes isn’t it. The picture of you and your mum is priceless.
    I remember the coke floats we called them brown cows – I’ve no idea why lol.

  4. Hmmm! Isn’t it coincidental that we have almost the same summer memories?!! LOL!! Except I was a tomboy and remember playing baseball with the neighborhood boys. Wonderful memories. You forgot to mention that drive to watch Dark Shadows was 10 miles!!!

  5. Great memories Dianna! #3 and 4 would have made me happy too. And I remember rootbeer floats with my Mom in the evenings of summer or all of us going to the DQ. Love your pictures and your childhood special memories of summer this morning. Makes me smile too.

  6. I took a walk down my summer memory lane and did this prompt too. I’m so going to have to try the lime sherbert float! That sounds do good!

  7. I loved #1 and 2, also. With 4 kids in the house, my mother had to patrol the TV allowing us only 1/2 hour of TV a day, and if brothers or sister were watching we couldn’t sneak in on their time, too.

  8. Oh Dianna I have similar memories – especially of VBS, Weekly Reader (yay!), and Dark Shadows…..We never lived anywhere long enough to have a veggie garden (Dad being in the Air Force) but I made up for that when I had my OWN space in later years – love homegrown veggies! Lovely memories….they last us for a lifetime and we just keep making MORE of them!

    Pam (with Sam watching)

  9. These were my memories exactly. We grew up just alike!

  10. Great list ~ I think of chicken on the hibachi, creamsicles, honeysuckle and trips to the shore. But my memories of summers with my own kids are much more vivid…and that sense of counting down I remember with them. I LOVED their school vacations when they were “all mine” for a while!!

  11. Dianna, I enjoyed this so much. These would be memories much like my girls would have.

  12. Great post !! “No particular order”, huh?? I notice that “NO SCHOOL” happens to be no. 1 ;) I’d have to agree on that .. but every entry here is awesome!!

  13. How I loved our porch!

  14. Fantastic list! The Weekly Reader! My all time favorite. Would you believe that I still have a recipe from one of mine? Peanut butter ice cream made in the old-fashioned metal ice cube trays. Wow.

  15. Sounds like wonderful memories!

    Stopping by from Mama Kat’s.

  16. Summer vacation did seem to last forever then. I forgot about Weekly Readers, yes! I loved swaying on those old front porch swings. We didn’t have one, but both grandmas and some neighbors did. Dark Shadows came on early in the morning–too early, maybe that’s why I don’t remember much about it…

  17. Wow, your summers growing up were almost identical to mine…with the exception of milking the cows! I too grew up in the country, so everything else that you mentioned was a big part of my summer too, even watching Dark Shadows! Did you see where it’s a movie now with Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins?

  18. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    I loved summer vacation from school too. I agree with you time did go alot slower when we were in school and younger. I do remember the weekly readers, they were great fun for us country girls who didn’t have anyone living close to play with. We had to come up with things to play. I also loved VBS at our church Oak Grove Methodist, right off of Rt. 10 on top of the hill not to far from our home. Those were the days!

  19. Dark Shadows..too funny. I remember that with Barnabas Collins and now it’s with Johnny Depp. And I hadn’t thought of the Weekly Reader since elementary school. Those were fun days when they arrived.

  20. This was an amazing post! It sure brought back a lot of memories, too. The things I loved the most about summer were the times in Alabama at my grandmother’s house. There’s nothing so wonderful as having childhood summers in the country!

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