Janet Perreault

The Promise of Summer

Posted on June 1, 2012 | in Uncategorized | by

Of all the seasons, summer is by far my favorite.  As a little girl, part of my summer was spent with my grandparents who lived about a hundred miles away from my home in St. Louis.  They would come to visit and I would beg to go home with them until finally my mother relented and I was free for as many days as I could extend my visit with grandma and grandpa.  Free from school, free from the ever-watchful eyes of my mother, and free to do the things that kids ought to do in the summer.  I helped my grandma harvest vegetables from the garden for our dinner, helped her do the laundry and gave myself permission to run through the wet sheets hanging on the line when it got too hot.  There was always a fair of some kind going on in their little town and we would go and see the animals and check out the homemade jellies and jams and baked goods.  Grandpa always gave me a couple of quarters because he said we should never go anywhere without a little change in our pocket.  I rarely spent the quarters, I just liked to hear them jingle and feel them, knowing I could buy a cotton candy if I really wanted it.  I spent almost as much time with my grandpa as I did my grandma.  He took me fishing with him (I probably had more fun catching the minnows we used for bait); I could put a worm on a hook as well as he could.  He had a little metal boat we used when we went out on the pond, and sometimes we went hunting for mushrooms that grandma would cook up when we got back.  I could sit under their pear tree and smell the ripening pears just above me and listen to the birds.  In the evenings, we would sit on the porch swing and rock back and forth, enjoying the sound of the crickets, sometimes visiting with a neighbor who stopped by.  My grandmother made my favorite foods and braided my hair and let me sleep with her when grandpa was gone on a trip (he was a truck driver).  Special times with special people…and now I get to be the grandmother and create some of those memories for my own grandchildren.

For the past four years, we’ve had a sandbox on our deck which the grandchildren love to play in.  They’ve put tents on the porch and eaten s’mores in them; they’ve run through the sprinklers and played in a plastic wading pool – sat under blankets on our own front porch swing during a rainstorm and begged me for stories of when I was a little girl.  They, too, seem to long for simpler times, when school doesn’t demand an early bedtime and there’s no place to be at a particular time.  Popsicles taste almost as good as they used to when I was a little girl (of course, the grandkids don’t know that everything tasted better back in the day); wet bathing suits still feel delicious on a hot day, and grandparents somehow seem just a bit more lenient and laid back than mom and dad. 

These years go by so fast.  Before long, they will be the teens that will remind me of my own teenage summer that I spent reading teen magazines, sunbathing, hoping the phone would ring to invite me to a party somewhere – nothing fancy or troublesome, maybe just some kids getting together to hang out at someone’s house and maybe share a Coke and chips.  I can’t really imagine their teen years – don’t really want to, if truth be told.  I like them at the age they are – sweet and innocent and happy most of the time.  Although I realize it isn’t up to me and what I want, time will march on and so will they.

So, until that happens, I’ll continue to enjoy my summer this year.  I love spending time on the deck, hovering over my little potted plants that bring such brilliant color to the scrub oak trees behind them.  No flowers in the front – the deer come to graze on them like a salad bar, so I don’t even bother putting them out.  I can watch for wildlife from the deck and it rarely disappoints – almost always the mule deer trek through the side of the house at just about the same time each evening.  I halfway expect them to have lunch buckets with them, having completed their day’s foraging and on their way home for dinner now.  Occasionally we are treated to bigger fare – a bear, a bobcat, once a mountain lion.  For some reason the foxes haven’t been around the last couple of years – perhaps the bigger animals have moved them out.  But the summer still holds promise – perhaps a phone call to a party, perhaps company coming to spend a few days, maybe just a chance to lie in the sun on a lounge and soak up the rays – remembering that it’s the same sun that shone on me 50 plus years ago. 

Memorial Day is behind us and the summer stretches ahead – full of things to look forward to – a little excursion here and there, the 4th of July, concerts in the park, dinners on the deck.  Time marches on, but some things never change.  At least that’s my hope. 

Wishing you all a child-like summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Janet Perreault

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Janet Perreault
Speaking from Experience
P.O. Box 49787
Colorado Springs,CO 80949-9038
Cell: (719) 339-8991
Office (719) 531-0190
janet@janetspeaking.com

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