Monday, July 12, 2010


This post is part of The One Word Blog Carnival hosted by my friend Bridget Chumbley. Swing by and read all of the great contributions at...

One Word At A Time Blog Carnival...Summer

The summer I was 9 years old,  we moved to a magical place.  We rented a house which was part of a defunct Ohio river Lock complex. The property covered many acres and included 2 houses used by the lock keepers and the powerhouse which contained the lock operating machinery.

My brother and I were in our glory... my sister ... not so much. There were 3 places forbidden to us by our parents, the 3 we gravitated to the most.  My brother and I explored the power house, endlessly climbing on the huge rusty machines. We climbed the water tower and almost sent our pregnant mother into premature labor.  The one place we stayed away from was the large, very deep pond.

I imagined myself as the Princess of all I surveyed.  I spent endless hours reading in the crook of branches of a massive oak tree.  Gone With The Wind and Wuthering Heights were 2 of my choices.  I would climb up to my perch with a cheese sandwich,  some fruit,  a Mason jar full of ice water and a book to arrange myself in a princessy pose. Drama Queen then and now.

Because of the old lock,  there were 3 sets of concrete steps leading down to the river. We cleared away the overgrown honeysuckle vines to get access to the concrete area which extended into the river.
We waded and paddled around to our hearts' content.

Sunburned evenings were spent eating dinner and watching the sunset over the river from the swing on the back porch while smelling the fragrance of honeysuckle.

I grew tomatoes and radishes and ate them fresh from the garden. Wiped the dirt off the radishes on my shorts. The tomatoes were eaten warm from their vines with a salt shaker in my other hand.  Wild blackberries were dessert.

Lightning bug hunts, chases through an adjacent corn field. Exploration of a very old small cemetery on the property.  It could not possibly have gotten any better...but it did !

On August 9th Grandma came to visit.  Daddy came home from work early.  Just after dinner Grandma interrupted our game of Scrabble by yelling out the door for us to " go to the pond and catch frogs ". If Grandma told you to do something,  you did it...forbidden or not !

Within a few minutes, daddy and mother raced past us in our old ' 49 Ford leaving a cloud of dust as far as we could see along the mile long gravel lane to the "hard road". We hightailed it for home, and learned mother had gone into labor.

Five days later I held my baby sister Martha for the first time. The rest of my perfect summer was spent meeting her every need.

 We have a bond that has remained strong and has only deepened throughout our shared troubles and triumphs these past 57 years.  I thank God for the memories and the special gift of...

THE "BESTEST" SUMMER EVER.......1953.......

I still have that porch swing. Now I do my reading there. It is a lot more comfortable than the oak tree and I drink sweet tea from my Mason jar.  I am 66... the porch swing is 110...


  1. What a wonderful story and not unlike the childhood I remember. I hope my children also had similar memories as we took our kids out of the suburbs and moved to the country.

    So much rang true to me. The tomatoes made me smile, for me it was turnips and not radishes and there were always apples near by

  2. What a fabulous childhood story! I could feel it : )

  3. Thanks for sharing a great memory. It's amazing how the things we do as children mean so much later on.

  4. I found myself reveling in your summer memory...and you still have that swing. Priceless.

  5. I want to be there with you. And now I'm gonna add this to my bucket list.

    "Sit on Marni's porch swing."

    I hope that doesn't creep you out. It looks so comfy.

  6. I think it's so wonderful that you still have the porch swing. Isn't it grand to have such wonderful memories, and even grander to be able to share them online with so many people.


  7. Today, far too few children have experiences like these. These make for special memories.

    Thank you for visiting my site today.

  8. What a special time and great memory. I felt like I was there with you... thanks, Kristi.

  9. Hi Kristi, I was intrigued by the date in your title. I was conceived in Oct. of 1953. Your great descriptions made me feel as the reader like I was right there with you savoring the memories. I kept thinking what it would been like to have sat still in a tree and read a book, instead of trying to climb up to the highest branch. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Wonderful memories, great story.

  11. I love this, thanks for sharing! It took me back too. It also makes me just a little sad, I fear the generation that's being raised now will never know these simple joys. Unless they play it on a play station.
    Keep writing, I'll keep reading! ♥

  12. Your blog is so classy, and aesthetically pleasing -- pretty pictures.

    And, hadn't read (or heard) the phrase "...and away we go" in quite a while: it should make a comeback. I have this theory, Everything worthwhile can come back -- like in fashion, even good manners...!


Don't be shy . Let me know what you think. Thank you