Week #28 – Summer. What was summer like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.
Summers in my youth were all about heading outside to play. Every day, all day long and into the evening hours, I was outside playing with my friends and wandering around the neighborhood. I can’t imagine my kids doing that today; it’s far too dangerous to be wandering by yourself all over the neighborhood. I’m sure it wasn’t safe then either, but that was the norm. I used to play in the ditch next to the house and tromp through the woods and climb random trees. I would ride my dirt bike through the hills trying not to hit a tree.
I spent the entirety of the summer of 1988 playing with Jennifer Strachan. We roller skated all over the neighborhood and lusted after Ray Huber. We wrote him secret love letters and skated by his house to see if we could catch a glimpse of him. Jennie and I attended All Night Skates, where the roller rink was open overnight for a nonstop party. Half of my class of Bridgeport Middle School was there and dozens of relationships were started and ended in the course of one night. It was the summer of fun!
Some of my summers were spent in Mio at my Mom’s house. I spent most of my time at the Mio Saloon because she was a bartender there, so I shot pool and darts and shuffleboard while she was tending the bar. Weeks at a time, every night from 6pm to 2am I was at the bar hustling drunk guys at pool and darts for money. Really. I won, a lot, too. I often wandered around Mio during the daytime while Mom was at home. I would check out Our Lady of the Woods Shrine, a Catholic shrine that my Mom used to attend when she was a little girl. I would take the money I won the previous night and check out the local antique shops for little knick-knacks to buy, or head over to the ice cream stand to buy some mint chocolate chip in a cone.
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