Summer’s a time to rejuvenate minds and bodies s

Published 12:28 am Sunday, May 26, 2013

Almost all children and many teachers are looking forward to next week. For most, it will be the close of school for another year.  All are tired and looking forward to a summer hopefully filled with vacations and other relaxations… and no classes.

While many children will be attending day camps, vacation Bible schools, going on vacations and other fun and educational events… there are others who will be attending summer school.  

My opinion here is that wonderful summers should not be wasted by studying for whatever reason, either required or not required. Summer should be enjoyed as a time to rejuvenate the minds and bodies of young people.

I don’t recall anybody going to summer school when I was a child. Our summers were as carefree as life could possibly be. We didn’t know about any earth-shaking events taking place in the home or anywhere else in the world because our parents didn’t talk about problems in our hearing.

Everything was rosy as far as we were concerned. The world was ours for the taking… as far as mama would let us! She had some rules that kept us from some of our more dangerous ideas of fun!

Summer was warm and open for enjoyment and we sucked it in with all the energy we could muster.

Mornings were for entertaining ourselves outside in the yard where our play took us to wonderful places.

“Play like” were big words in our vocabulary and meant “pretend like” and we could take on any role and become anything from a mother to a schoolteacher… or anything that fit our role play on that particular day.

Afternoons were more fun, as after lunch we loaded up in either our car or that of our neighbor to cool off in the creek. Bogue Lusa Creek was as icy as could be even in summer. It was a great place to cool off from the extreme heat of summer afternoons.

Since it was a favorite place for boys to go swimming in their birthday suits, before we ran down the embankment to the creek, we yelled a warning: “girls coming!” There would be scurrying sounds as they made a beeline to their clothes.

Hurrying to the cool of the water, our bare feet felt the heat of the sand just before we plunged in!

One summer a couple of the older girls at the creek were going to teach me to swim. I was afraid of the water, although it wasn’t very deep. An empty gallon syrup can with lids were placed in each end of a tied sack making an excellent float for little bodies. They assured me I was safe and they would also hold on to me as they carried me out to deeper water.

Just as they turned me loose (breaking their promise) the sack came untied and one of the cans slipped out, sinking me under the deeper water. I was terrified! They grabbed me instantly, but the swimming lesson was over! There was no way this little girl was going to try that again.

My mom was an excellent swimmer and she was right there, so I wasn’t in a lot of danger, but that little experience in the water scared me so that it was several years before I even turned loose enough to learn to “dog paddle.”

Those afternoons at the creek were wonderful experiences with the neighborhood kids as just about everybody came there to swim.

It was also the place churches in the area held baptisms and on Sunday afternoons our fun at the creek could be interrupted as we all came out of the creek in respect for the service.

If we had a watermelon, the icy creek was the perfect place to chill it until we took a break later on for “cutting the watermelon.”

I suppose the waters of the creek are still as icy as they were on those hot summer days that really don’t seem so very long ago. With so many pools, I doubt the squeals and laughter of children are heard very much anymore as they encounter the icy creek water.

The weather has finally rounded the bend from cold to heat as summer is once again announcing its arrival, even before the official start.

Maybe a few classes won’t completely ruin the summer for some kids, but make sure there is time for fun as well. On down the road I’d like to think one of these children will be writing a column in the newspaper about the wonderful fun summers they enjoyed as children.

Retired Lifestyle Editor Bob Ann Breland, a resident of Pine, writes a weekly column and may be contacted at bobann_b@yahoo. com.