Saturday, May 11, 2024

My Childhood Summers


From the McCarter Elementary School website
It looks similar to how it did in the 1970's.

As a child, I remember the long, sweltering, never-ending days of May—back before elementary schools were air conditioned. It felt like we'd never make it to Memorial Day—then, suddenly...


It's the most blissful time of childhood. Who cares if it's hot? There's always a hose or a sprinkler or a kiddy pool or a trip to the town pool to cool off. The days just idle away when you're young and don't have many responsibilities. Oh yes, I had chores that I was responsible for— especially after my parents divorced, and my mom went to work. But still, it was wonderful. 

Here are some of the things that I remember from my childhood summers:

  • Trips to visit Grandma Mamie and Grandpa Frank
  • Rides in Grandpa's airplane
  • New games, sandles, and short sets from Grandma Mamie
  • Leaning over the edge of an old car as Grandpa Frank worked on it
  • Going with Grandma to sell ads for the The Kirksville Shopper and for the covers of restaurant menus
  • Drive-in movies
  • Flying over fireworks
  • Going to the carnival, getting cotton candy all over my face, and watching the demolition derby
  • Firecrackers and sparklers
  • Playing at the dry creek ~ Daniel Boone, cowboys and indians, cops and robbers
  • Bike riding - Bluebelle was my bike and my horse!
  • Roller skating
  • Digging in our sand pile 
  • Playing at the park
  • Going to the pool ~ Mom would leave me and my little brother there all afternoon and come back for us
  • Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prairie books ~ I saved my allowance for these and asked for them for my birthday and Christmas. I bought them at a bookstore called The Town Crier in Topeka, Kansas.
  • Trips to the library
  • Walking carefully over a fallen log that spanned a dry creek bed in a local park. We were probably four or five feet off the ground, and the part spanning the creek was probably six or eight feet. It felt very dangerous and daring! I was very frightened and started by straddling it and scooting. Lots of kids must have done it over the years, because I remember it being smooth not covered in bark.
  • Digging to China and finding a Hong Kong dollar. No doubt planted by Mr. Newman, the old man across the street who fixed our bike tires and who told me where to dig in his yard!
  • Watermelon
  • Homegrown tomatoes
  • Tag and hide and seek in the neighborhood
  • Catching grasshoppers and fireflies
  • Saving worms from puddles after a rain
  • Wishing on a star
  • Coming home when mom yelled for us to come to dinner
  • Watching the sunset
  • Hotdogs on the grill
  • Playing with Barbie dolls and GI Joe with my brother, John
  • Trips to Baskin Robin's for ice cream cones—I loved chocolate chip and mint chocolate chip
  • Picnics in the park
  • Putt putt games
  • Lots of Kool-Aid
  • Collecting pop bottles for pocket money
  • Running to catch the ice cream truck
  • Playing catch with my Dad and my brother
  • Walking up to the grocery store for a pop or candy bar
  • Helping Dad wash the car on Saturday mornings
  • Being outside a lot!


  1. Those were the carefree days - weren't they. Childhood was so fun, and it seemed like not a care in the world. I am thankful for the gift of memory!

    1. Compared to now, Cheryl, they were glorious days. My father visited me today, and we shared many wonderful memories.

  2. My husband and I both grew up in Florida without air conditioning in our homes. Some how neither of us remember it being unbearably hot but I am sure it was. My favorite from childhood were the road trips and eating at those old roadside tables. My grandparents house was the best place in the world even though the bathroom was in the very creepy basement. Oh to be a kid again!

    1. I remember those old roadside tables! In fact, my husband proposed to me at a roadside table in Oklahoma on the way home from college!

  3. Oh such nice memories...I sure enjoyed the read here. : )

    God bless you! ~Amelia

  4. This was such a sweet post, I enjoyed it! I too remember this similar to this.

    I'm not sure if my first comment went through, so I'm trying again. Please oblige if I posted twice! : )

    God bless, ~Amelia

  5. Hi Laura, the anonymous is me, I thought for sure I had signed in, sorry to be a bug. God bless you always. Amelia at My Forest Cathedral blog.

    1. You silly girl! You're not a bug. ~smile~ Thank you for commenting. I'll be by for a visit at your blog today. Blessings, Laura


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5 Year Cancer Survivor