Posted tagged ‘summer vacation’

“How strange it is to view a town you grew up in, not in wonderment through the eyes of youth, but with the eyes of a historian on the way things were.”

June 19, 2015

Gracie is having her morning nap on the couch. She’s snoring. Maddie is under the lamp staying warm and Fern is sleeping on the couch cushion in the other room. Our routine is back.

I awoke to the sound of raindrops, but they lasted only a little while. The day, though, is still dark, overcast with light grey clouds. The weatherman says it will be warm, even hot.

The first few days of summer vacation when I was a kid were joyous days lacking routine, wide open days when I could do whatever I wanted. A long, wonderful summer stretched out in front of me. My bike never got put away. It stayed against the fence in the backyard. I used it to go to the library or to take a leisurely ride with no purpose or destination. I knew every corner of my town, every street. I knew all the places of interest. Some days I walked my bike on the sidewalk uptown while I looked in the store windows. Most times I hadn’t a cent, but I didn’t care. Looking was fun. In those days the square was filled with stores where you could watch the proprietors work. The shoe repair man always wore a leather apron. In the bakery you couldn’t watch the baking, just the wrapping and boxing of all the baked goods people bought. Meat hung in the window of one store and lobsters swam in a tank in the window of another. Cheese, huge round cheeses, filled the window of the buttery. The men’s store window had half mannequins wearing suit coats, shirts and ties. I always wondered why they didn’t have legs, but I guessed maybe the window was too small. The gas and electric appliance store had ranges in the windows. They were all white. People also went there to pay their electric bills. It was on the corner so half of the big door was really on two streets.

I’d get my fill of the square and bike home. I used different routes to vary the ride. I had a favorite house on one route which had a huge front porch and was painted red, my favorite color. On another route I went by the empty school. Sometimes I even rode on the dirt beside the railroad tracks as that was the shortest way home.

I never got tired of biking around town. When I go back, I drive on some of those same routes. The red house is still there, but the railroad tracks are gone. The square now has very few stores, and the remaining stores lack the character and individuality they had when I was young. I miss the lobsters the most though I do like the restaurant which has taken their place. When I go uptown now, I always think of what was and can name where all the stores once were. That restaurant was the Gloucester Fish Market.

“How sweet I roamed from field to field, and tasted all the summer’s pride.”

June 20, 2011

The day is warm at  71°. My birds have been busy at the feeders all morning. The chickadees, my stalwarts, have been replaced by a catbird, goldfinches, cardinals, titmice, Baltimore orioles and nuthatches. A blue jay drops by and scares away the smaller birds so I shoo him off once he’s had his fill. Sometimes I think I must be watching a Disney cartoon. Yesterday I saw a nuthatch fill up on seed then he flew to a nearby branch and fed another nuthatch, just as large so probably not a baby. The cardinal pair are the same. He feeds her the seed. I keep expecting music and ribbons and the sounds of tweeting birds and fluttering wings.

IGNORE THIS (EXCEPT FOR THE NEW PICTURE PART)! Coffee has a new look because the other theme was too difficult to work with when saving pages. The old posts didn’t appear in their entirety. This header space is too short for the other picture so I used a another one, also sent to me by Morphy. He was kind enough to do three or four different pictures for Coffee when I moved to WordPress. All that’s new is the picture, but I’m still looking for a theme which allows me to copy the posts without spending hours.

This morning has already been far too busy for me. Usually I loll around with coffee and the papers then I switch to coffee and a book. This morning I have already changed my bed, done a wash, put the trash in the car and swept the kitchen floor. I’m exhausted.

School is finished here for the summer on Wednesday, and I don’t have to imagine how those kids will feel as I still remember celebrating my last days of school. They always filled me with a sense of freedom, with an I can do anything I want feeling. The whole summer was mine, at least it was until the summer after I graduated from high school when I got my first job, and I would have one every summer after that until I graduated from college.

I spent those kid summers sweaty and dirty and loved every minute of them. I rode my bike everywhere. I was gone from early morning until near dinner time. The uniform of the day was always shorts, a sleeveless blouse and sneakers. Gas stations were pit stops and so were the woods. The town had lots of woods back then, and we’d ride on the pine needle covered paths with trees shading us on each side. I remember a spring in the woods where people brought bottles to fill. We’d put our sweaty heads under the running water to cool down then we’d jump back on our bikes. We still had much more world left to discover.


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