Snapshots of Summer

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
There is something magical about summer. It seems that there is a mystical rhythm to it that presents itself in the slight breeze, reminding me of those carefree days of childhood. I never desire to go back in time until these moments. But the gentle wind makes me miss the innocence of looking into the garden without knowing how much work they actually are.

Oh sure, I can recall the countless hours that Grandpa Teal would be out there with his hoe and spade, but it was such a romantic notion back then. Grandpa and the garden—they just went together. I had no idea of the actual work involved. I can still visualize him with his hoe in hand, sun hat on, hacking at the weeds. After a hard day’s work, beaming with pride he would lay his bounty on the kitchen counter (dirt and all) for Grandma Doris to work her magic. And she did work her magic. She could seemingly take any thing and within minutes lay a veritable feast in front of us.
As a child, I had the best view of Grandpa and his garden from an old tire swing he made out of re-purposed tires off some old rig. The tire is still there, shaded by the huge tree in which it has hung for years and years. I love that swing. I spent much of my childhood twisting in the shadows of that tree, daydreaming, processing, while allowing my thoughts go wild.
There was a song that came out a few years ago called “Billy the Kid,” brilliantly sung by Billy Dean. The lyrics remind me of my boys as they belt out the innocence of childhood.
Strapped on my holster low across my hips,
Two Colt .45’s with black plastic grips;
And I’d head west through our neighborhood,
And they’d say,
“Here comes young Billy and he’s up to no good.”
I rode a trail through the neighbor’s backyard,
Shootin’ the Bad Guys through my handlebars.
Known for my bravery both far and near,
Bein’ late for supper was my only fear.
My 12-year-old, who is the youngest of four boys in our family, is the quintessential “Billy the Kid.” He loves the freedom that comes with riding his bike to “worlds unknown” and finding new routes to old, familiar places. I love the sound of him yelling across the house, “Hey, Ma! I am going to ride my bike,” without a care in the world.
Yesterday I found myself in the back yard with laptop in hand and a cell phone attached to my ear. Then, for the briefest of moments, I closed my eyes and heard the rhythm. As I breathed it all in, I couldn’t help but be grateful for these little snapshots of summer.

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  1. suzy says:

    As kids , my sister and I would spend a week at my Grandpa’s farm. during the summer. When Mama And Daddy would come to pick us up (sooner than we wanted) my Mama said we were barely recogizable. We would eat watermelon fresh out of the field and then roll down a sandy hill behind the shelter belt. Well, You can imagine what we looked like.My Grandma would wash us off the best she could for the ride home. My grandparents didn’t have indoor plumbing until the last place they lived before they passed away, so water had to be pumped and heated to bathe.We thought it was a blast! These kind of memories are so clear in my mind (but I probably couldn’t tell you what happened yesterday)That just goes to show you what’s really importent in life.I hope my grandkids remember the great times they’ve spent with us at our country home this summer,I know I will. Love to all, Suzy (Texas)

  2. Charlotte says:

    Rene,

    Again, you have captured the essence of something that we all strive to hold onto! I was just thinking yesterday as I was watching my daughter at her horse riding lessons how there is such a special feel to summer. Maybe it is the warmth of the sun, the feel of the earth when you can just lay in the grass, or the smell of the fruits when the canning is started. Who knows, but I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. Thanks again for the wonderful entry! You make my heart sing every time I read your entries. Enjoy the rest of the summer…..it flies by far too quickly!

  3. Gary says:

    I LOVE your walks down Memory Lane Rene’…!
    Your photo of the wheelbarrow remind me of our tool shed, and I sometimes picture it in my mind… scythe hanging on the wall… old push mower… stuff I had no clue about all around, and the smells… that place had a uniqueness about it… cut grass waifting in the air and the scent of oil from the squeeze can… and earth… the scent of the red dirt floor…
    I understand your Boy’s JOY with his bike… I rode every Country road for miles around… pavement, gravel, dirt. My Mom and Pop were wise, and when the Teacher sent a note Home that I hadn’t learned my multiplication tables, they told me that when I could sit at the Supper table and recite them, they would buy me the 3 speed English Bicycle I had wanted for so long. I was riding that bike the next week… *WINK*…
    Snapshots in our Memories indeed.
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    Gary
    in Tampa

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