In keeping with my fond memories of what our home was like, I move on to the next season.
Summers were filled with running amok. Dad was one of those “real dad” type guys. When it came to my baby sister, maybe too much so. He tried very hard to make sure we had all that we needed and more.
We had horses, eighty acres to ride them on, and very wild imaginations. Dad also got to know our neighbor with fantastic woods, so we could ride their lane when we needed a different scene for our imaginations.
We played at a pretend secluded cabin in the woods. The horses were placed in a make-shift corral we made from downed logs. The fact that they were downed, to begin with, should have been a hint to us. On more than one occasion the beasties got lose. They, of course, were intelligent enough to head straight back to the farm where they are well fed. We, of course, never learned not to do that. Grumbling and walking all the way back to the farm became a, several times a week, task. The best part is we would do the same stupid stuff every summer. Ride the horses into the woods, slap them into a make-shift coral, and expect them to just stay in the rickety thing – duh.
While in the woods, we would dream of hunting and fishing for our meals. A branch of the Milwaukee River broke through our back fourty and again at the end of the neighbor’s woods. There were turtles, frogs, and great eating fish in that stream. Sometimes we would actually go fishing, but most times we just caught turtles and frogs to play with.
This reminds me of our pond. It was only there in the first part of summer as it was created from winter snowmelt. No fish, no turtles, some frogs, but lots of blood-suckers. The first couple of years we didn’t think about it. If the day was hot and we were not riding the horses, we would chase them into the pond and grab onto their tales. I still remember the feeling of being dragged through the cool water.
If we were riding, my younger sister had to make sure to stay AWAY from the pond. If she allowed the horse to get into the water up to its knees, the darn thing would drop and roll on her. At first, I thought it was just the one horse. But she had a couple of others after that one, and they did the same thing. Now, I know it was just their way of getting rid of her. Don’t worry; she never got hurt when they flipped. I felt sorrier for the horses, as she would catch up with them and punch them in the nose (ya, like that would hurt the horse?) for dumping her.
One exceptionally warm summer the pond was still up in July. The only reason I remember this is because of the blood-suckers (leeches). We (our cousins and my younger sister) all decided to go for a dip because of the heat. It started out fun, then my sister came up out of the water in her bikini and had blood-suckers all over her belly. We freaked out and started whacking her stomach to get them off. Eventually, it worked, but her belly was red for the rest of the day. Mom banned us from the pond the rest of that summer.
As the summer waned, mom would get the Aldens Catalog (a mail-order Sears-type catalog) in the mail. We would all gather together to go through it and pick out our school clothes for the upcoming school year. A few weeks later we would come home from riding horses all day to find several large packages piled on the dining room table. It was like an early Christmas! We couldn’t wait to rip them open and try them all on. Then the hard part was trying to decide what to wear on the first day of school.
This also marked the end of all our summer fun and the start of fall school year – bummer.
Tis the season for reminding siblings that revenge is sweet.
You can also check me out on: www.lifelessonslived.com for all the fun things I have learned in life.