Day 17: Sweet, Slow Summertime

 

will and cat FB
William and me, circa 1965

 

It may seem an impossible thing to name your favorite photograph of all time. But not so for me. This shot is hands down the one I choose, a single Polaroid moment that represents so many days I spent with my little brother, William, when our family lived in a simple little house in Gay Dawn Acres, plastic on the lampshades and Country Squire in the driveway. Glass bottles of milk were left at the front door by the milkman, and if Mom wanted a loaf fresh white bread, we simply needed flag the Bunny Bread truck as it passed down our quiet street. On special occasion afternoons we’d walk to Spradlin’s store for penny candy–a distance of, it seemed, a thousand miles. And we road bikes. For hours and hours and hours, we rode our bikes.

They are memories of summer slow and sweet, nothing but time on our hands and the invention of fun our greatest obligation.

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Just last night my dear friend, Teresa, came over for an emergency viewing of the movie that happens to be her all-time favorite, To Kill A Mockingbird. The previous night she’d discovered I’ve never seen it (at least not since the 1960s) and she rightfully insisted we correct that wrong swiftly and decisively. I’m sure I don’t even have to mention how much I loved the film, I mean, Gregory Peck. But of all that moved me in this gorgeous Harper Lee story, there was a line that laid out right over my heart and has reclined there since, hanging on like the smell of oleander in the summertime:

A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.

 

Watching Scout swing from a tree in the big round tire and Jen lounge like a lazy lizard on the fence railing and Dill pass the time making up superlatives to add height to his small stature–all of these reminded me of the long ago summer days my brother and I did little more than hang around, making fun from nothing, sporting our bathing suits as if any minute we planned to head to the back yard for a swim in a cool, wet pool that never, ever existed.

It was such a happy childhood.

How lucky we were.

 

30 Days Of Fun III

Did you have some summer fun today? Leave details in the comments below, or better yet, send a photo to cathy@thedailygrace.com. You can also post to instagram with hashtag #30DaysOfFunTDG or to my TheDailyGraceBlog Facebook page. I’d love to share it here!

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11 thoughts on “Day 17: Sweet, Slow Summertime

  1. How simple were those hazy days of summer. I have stored up so many memories but your picture and blog helped unlock relive and re-love them.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite movies and certainly my favorite book. Wish I’d had the pleasure of watching it with you as you became reacquainted. Nothing as satisfying as watching someone else discover something anew and finding the same joy in it as I’d hoped.

    Our long ago summers sound so similar. No cell phones or laptops. No cable TV or video games. Just the freedom of outdoors and where our bikes could take us. We were out as soon as we woke up and didn’t come inside until Mom yelled out the door. Building forts and tree houses. Playing house and making soup from acorns and water. Fishing in a mud hole. And barefoot all summer long. Ah! Those wonderful, long youthful summers. To go back again!

    Thanks for the memories you evoke. I’m taken back so many times and I love you for giving me that.

    I must hear more about your book!

    1. I love your own pretty essay here, Vicki. Reminds me of playing “Annie Over” with my best friend, Suzann, and whatever brothers/neighbors we could rally. We played until it got so dark we couldn’t see the ball any more. Happy, happy times.

  3. Here I am sitting in a rocking chair on this wonderful porch at Edisto! As I am building memories and enjoying Gods wonderful blessings your blog brings back lots of precious youthful moments. Thank you once again “dear Friend” for sharing “YOU” with us!

  4. Your words remind me so much of my childhood too! Those were the days of existing in our safe haven without a care in the world. We could be gone from home for hours with no worries from our folks. Thanks for rekindling those memories for me. And I see so much of Eliza in this picture!!

  5. We could all use an emergency viewing of that movie. Harper Lee took years to perfect the placement of adjectives and simplicity. And she perfected the technique.

    I grew up and again live on a block like yours. Our fun included running behind the city mosquito truck. A red, 1950’s converted pickup. It spewed DDT type mist and we would ride our bikes behind it, squealing with joy. It is then I began my love of summer.

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