Sunday, March 13, 2011
Summer Time...is AMAZING
I think it's the sunshine. Sunshine just does something to you, for you. There is a reason why people in states up North and Alaska have to take medications for depression. Sunshine is THE best healer for sad souls, broken hearts, and physical sickness. That is a medical fact. Think about the rainy, dreary, cloudy days. And how your mental state changes the minute you open your eyes and see what the day holds in store. It is SO much easier to get out of bed when the sun is shining. You open your eyes, see the darkness, hear the rain, and every fiber of your being wants to pull the covers back over your head and disappear.
But the best part of Spring Forward, when I was growing up, was school was almost over. Summer time. This morning, I had some kind of flashbacks. Old memories washing over me. Smells of early morning in the sunshine taking me back to places I haven't been in years and years.
Halter tops. Short shorts. Walking to the store a mile up the road. On the dirt trail. For an Icee. A Coca Cola Icee. Talking about boys. Who's cute. Who's not. Who's silly. Who's goofy. Who I really wish liked me. Who I really wish wouldn't talk to me at all.
Laying out in the sun with my girlfriends. Skin still white as snow. Slathering on baby oil mixed with iodine. Cause it tans faster. BURNS faster. Because as a teenager. You're always in a hurry for something. To have a tan, to have a boyfriend, to wear make-up. Running combs wet with peroxide, through your hair to 'sun streak' it. Cause Mama says no hair color. But this you can do when you're laying out in the sun. And maybe she won't notice.
Picking out the perfect bathing suit. The one that doesn't make you feel fat. Or look fat. And if you were like me, the one that helped make you look like you had boobs. But not too much boobs..says your Mama. That bathing suit shows too much hip, says Mama. Which is a nice way of saying too much of your behind was showing. Trips to Panama City. You're too young to go alone. But you can still have fun with your friends. Looking at boys. Boys looking at you.
Staying outside talking to your friends til after 9pm. Walking around the block with your girlfriends. Your best friend. Talking. About everything and nothing. Then when it's time to go home. You walk each other half way. Halfway between your house and hers. So each of you only have to go half way back alone. Debbie Dally was my best friend in Jr High and part of High School. I cannot tell you the times we said, "Come on, I have to go home, walk me half way."
Crystal Lake. THE place for teenagers to go where I was from, Albany, Georgia. Close enough that you're folks would let you pile up and go with friends. But not as far as the beach. White sand, cool water, slides and paddle boats.
The closest piece of heaven...Radium Springs. A mile from my house. Ice cold water. Music blasting. All the old 70's music. And when I hear those songs now, they can take me right back there. The high dive that I was always terrified to jump from. Underwater, it seemed to go into this deep dark hole with no bottom. Kids screaming at the top of their lungs when they would jump. Teeth chattering. Until you got used to the freezing water. Which was almost never. If you ever got out, you had to go through the whole teeth-chattering process again. And when you came out of that ice cold water, there was never any warmer feeling in the world, than the sun shining on your purple, goose-bumped body.
I'm not young enough anymore to enjoy half of the things I talked about this morning. But summer does bring plenty of different joys for me now. Flowers blooming. Early morning fishing, watching the sun come up. Standing in my yard, in the early evenings with Mims. Holding a water hose. Watering flowers, and talking about our day. Filling bird feeders every week. Putting fresh water in the bird bathes. Standing in the yard, talking to neighbors you feel like you haven't seen in months. From being cooped up inside. Breaking out the grill. Smoke rolling from grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken.
And summer night music jams. Coming live, from the man shed. Watching this generation, of girls and boys. Having fun. Going and doing all the things I used to do. Watching as they decide, who likes who. Who is cute. And who is not. Watch them as they discover what summer is...and watch them as they develop their own memories. Memories they have no idea they are making. And may never think about again. Until 30 years from now. When they wake up. On Spring Forward day, and have flash backs from another time and another place. And they will lay there for a few minutes. Smiling. Drifting back in time. To the days of longer sunlight and summer.