Summertime was great back home on the shores of Lake Sakajwea. The family – the whole family – sometimes fifty or more at a time would gather down on South Pointe of Parshall Bay, spending the day fishing, swimming, grilling, and roasting marshmallows over campfires when the sun went down.
Time rolled forward and Summer would turn to Fall. It was my favorite time of the year. The town would swarm with kids who had been here or there throughout the summer. The fall evenings would fill the air with the shouts and laughter of children, playing kickball, or a game that the title is no longer politically correct to name, hide and seek in the dark, and so many other games, until the streetlights sent us home. As we got older we would sit wrapped in blankets, star gazing and talking about boys – the ones we liked and the ones we didn’t. We would tell our secrets and pinky swear to never tell a single soul, take it to our graves.
The world turned one day at a time, and the winds of change would bring Old Man Winter across the plains. It was time for sledding on the Rock Museum hill, or snowmobiling on the streets to make the old people mad, trick-or-treating in homemade costumes, and building igloos in the backyard. Halloween would slip quietly away and usher in the Christmas season, requiring our best behavior for the simple gifts we received. The windows of Main Street would become laden with all the finest gifts the stores had to offer. The streetlights would be decked with boughs of holly, stars, or jingle bells. Santa Saturday would come and go, and soon Auld Lang Syne would be on the lips of the older folks as the ball would drop in New York City.
Love would be shared in the classrooms and between lovers at the Redwood Mixer as Valentine’s Day came and went. Shades of pastels would replace the rose red, again requiring our best behavior to entice the favors of a benevolent bunny that came and went each year. Spring arrived with the first sprout of the crocuses on the prairie. Pomp and Circumstance would become the theme, accompanied by the cheers of the graduating class as caps were tossed in the air in celebration of the close of childhood.
Every now and again, we all travel down the familiar roads we traveled as children. For me, as a writer, it’s an integral part of what I do. My memoirs are contained in every story and novel that I write. And yes, sometimes I miss Donna the Kid, those are the days I want to say, “I can’t adult today.”
Have a great week everyone!