I grew up on a farm in southern Indiana and there was a definite rhythm to the year. We attended school for nine months then, as happens in any gestation period, we were born into the freedom of living that could be found during June, July, and August, at least back in those days. Now, children get two months, if they are fortunate, to experience the freedom we once took for granted.
Of course, things began on Memorial Day at the end of May. We would stay tuned to the nearby radio to listen to the Indianapolis 500 Race. It was not televised, nor was ESPN a twinkle in anyone’s eye. It was a day of relaxation and racing. I would later find myself hosting Race Day parties until the draw of television was greater than the need to gather with friends.
During summer, there were corn fields all around us. My sister and I lived about a mile from a small country store. There were several sharp corners on the road that led to “Gaston’s Store.” When it was early in the summer, and the height of the corn still enabled us to see around those corners, we would ride our bikes the distance, keeping our eyes open for glass pop bottles that were worth a two cent deposit at Gaston’s. We would brave the chiggers and poison ivy in order to lay claim to one to put in our bicycle basket. About 3⁄4 of the way there, we would stop and pick up another friend and finish the journey. The owner of the store would count up our treasure and we would be able to use that credit to purchase some “Lik-M-Ade” which was a bit like a package of sweetened Kool-ade. We would take those packs back to our friend’s house and sit under their two massive maple trees and
enjoy the treat. We would wave at cars as they passed because we knew who everyone was back in that little corner of the world.
Not too long ago, there was a picture posted on Facebook that had our friend’s four grandchildren sitting under those same trees that gave us so much pleasure. Thinking of that, I smile. Maybe, just maybe, the memories we have give birth to the desire in all of us to create memories for the next generations so that they, too, will have something to tell their children about “the good ole days.”
Something To Ponder