Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Fun Starts...

There is something decidedly sick and wrong with that statement.

We've been with US Bank for almost 20 years, but this almost makes me want to change banks...except that probably every other bank in the nation has the same philosophy. "You need more toys!!!" Anyone seen the Veggie Tales movie "The Toy that Saved Christmas"?

For the record, I can remember MANY summers that were a LOT of fun in which I did NOT take out an RV, boat or auto loan. I remember one summer, for example, when my cousin and I made it a point to climb every tree we could find. We managed to destroy more than one pair of jeans in the process. Another year I remember picking blackberries all along the rail-road right-of-way with the "Nutrition Lady" from school. She just happened to be out walking near our house. It was the first time I'd ever seen a teacher from school in shorts and a tank-top...and smoking a ciggarette! ;^)

That was the same summer my cousin and I learned that we could squash pennies on the train tracks. I forget how many pennies we squished, but I'm sure I didn't need a loan! I do remember squishing a couple of quarters, and then we decided that quarters were too valuable...although they did look really cool when flattened. The train engineers got so used to Liz and I hanging out by the tracks, that they began tossing stuff out to us. The first time they tossed out little boxes of water, we had no idea what we'd found! Who ever heard of water in a box?! But the water was cold and the weather was hot, so we drank it. Yum! Actually, it tasted a little bit like cardboard, if I remember correctly, but during a midwestern July afternoon, it tasted like really good, cold cardboard!

When the newness ran out of the penny-squishing, Liz and I built a dam under a railroad trestle. We thought we'd make a swimming hole. The pool ended up only being about 8 feet across and maybe 2 feet deep, but hey, we weren't that tall! It was fine for us! Since we weren't squishing our pennies anymore, we decided to spend them on some goldfish to put in our pond. At 10 cents each, it was a good investment! Would you believe that all 20 of them lived? Unheard of! We rode our bikes for miles and then splashed in our private pool -- with the fishes. They grew and as they grew the "pond" shrank. It doesn't rain much in Kansas in August -- only during the week of the county fair, but that's another story. By the end of August, our pond was just a puddle, and our little fishies were doing a little bit of flopping around. I rescued them with an old kitchen strainer, and Mom and I drove them to the strip pits. They grew to be very happy goldfish...about the size of small bass.

So August ended and September began and with it school started. We found ourselves caught in the cycle again -- get up go to school, come home do chores, get up go to school, come home do chores. No time for penny-squshing, berry-picking, dam-building, tree-climbing.

But that is why we had summer breaks. And our summer fun did NOT begin with a loan. I seem to remember that it began with the phrase, "If you're bored, I'll find you something you can do."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy this. I, too, though way older than you remember the sweetness of summers as a child. the absolute great times of imagining. Freedom to roam the neighborhood on bikes and explore construction of new homes, they used bullets (or something like it) in new homes then, though I don't know why. Just found the casings interesting.
Thank you so much. May the Lord continue to bless your sweet family.
Great news about your kids doing well in homeschool. Good for you..
and them.