Sunday, July 8, 2012

When summer was but a memory

When I was much younger, still living at home, my mother had a routine on most Saturday mornings. She would get the four of us girls up because she said we could not stay in the bed, we had work to do. We had a washer and a dryer and....the infamous clothesline. My mother felt that she was not going to run her dryer in the summer and that after she washed them clothes, the four of us would go and hang them on the line to dry. I hated those days because you couldn't just hang them clothes any kind of way, they had to be hung right or she'd make us re-hang them.

Then my mother had to mop her kitchen. Whenever we saw her filling that bucket up with soap water, we knew what the deal was. We couldn't be inside when she mopped because she said that she did not want us to track water all over the house, so we had to go and sit under the shade tree when she mopped. She always kept a jug of water in the freezer, not to freeze it, but just enough where it would be icy. She sent the four of us outside and told us that when we all drank that jug of water up, then there would be the hydrant we could drink from. She would say that we just had breakfast so we shouldn't be hungry for quite some time. Her main two rules were: Don't run under them clothes on the clothesline and don't go in the front yard.

We couldn't go in the front yard because mainly, that is where all the boys were, the ones who lived across the street from us, down the street and next door. We could see them all in the front yard and they could definitely see us. My mom only had to tell us one time: "If I see that you went in that front yard, I'm gonna whup your tail." My mother didn't just whup us, we had to go and fetch our own switch, so it was just better to stay in the backyard like we were told. Being in the backyard, we played school, as if we didn't get enough of it when we were in school. Now that summer was here, who wanted to think of school? We did! Everybody had their different name in school and each girl took turns being the teacher. When we got tired of playing school, we played cheerleaders and the four of us girls would make up cheers and have fun doing it.

We didn't need cups, we just drank from the same jug as if we were country westerners. We didn't care nothing about no germs. Sometime later, dad would come home cause he worked on some Saturdays and even though we were all girls, he played softball with us and it was so much fun making the willow tree first base. We played games like Red Rover, Red Rover, send Barbara right over; this the way you billy billy all night long; little sally walker sitting in a saucer; mother may I. We found things to do to entertain ourselves. We had been outside playing and enjoyed it. We didn't realize how much the time had passed when our mother would call, "Girls, it's time to come in and have some lunch."

We didn't have a computer or any other electronic device. We could not sit around and watch television all day. Even in the summer, our parents made us go to bed at a certain time. We may not have gone to sleep but we had to go to bed. We were made to get up and go to church every Sunday morning and every Wednesday night for Bible study. We did not have a choice if we wanted to sing or not. My parents thing was if it's a children's choir, then children should be singing in it. We played hopscotch and jumped rope. Children of today know nothing about any of these things. These are the things that linger with memories.

As we got older, this is something we could laugh and talk about when we all went home. My parents no longer have a clothesline, but when we asked our mother why did we have to get up and hang out them clothes when we had a dryer. She said because she wanted us to learn how to do something without something being done for us. She wanted us, as ladies, to know how to do things without relying on somebody to do it for us. We understood her concept as to what she was getting at, which is it is ok to have someone to rely on, but be self-sufficient too.


1 comment:

  1. You took me waaay back with those games. LOL! Yep, I remember the days of summer. I could actually picture you and your sisters sitting under the tree and drinking from the same jug of water. Memories...