The First Day of Summer

The temperature was in concert with this day. Warm! Bright blue sky. Wispy clouds. A slight breeze. Delightful! The summer sounds are present: wind through the trees cause a slight rustle of the leaves, there are some small waves lapping at the lake shore, and you can hear a motor boat afar off on the lake. To my left are 9 boys and girls, maybe 10 to 12 years old playing kickball. They are a gangly group: some in baggy FUBO shorts, one in pajama pants, and one young landy who is blossoming into womanhood and is fully cognizant of that fact, as she flips her shiny blonde ponytail across her bronzed shoulders — but not quite fully there yet as she is observed letting a stream of spit sail confidently into the pine tree behind second base!

How fondly I remember those kinds of summer days and evenings; full of games of half-ball or kickball, waterice, capture the flag or just sitting on the back porch playing long games of 500 rummy. For those who have never heard of half-ball, the basics of the game are the same as baseball except you played with a tennis or rubber ball which had been cut inhalf and a cut off broomhandle for a bat. This made for wild flight paths of the ball! It was always a mixed bag of players and on the occasionaly evening, even some parents would play.

Then the street lights would come on and those of us with strict parents expected us in the house moments later. Those youngun’s who were not faced a paddling. But then there was always a good book waiting to be picked up and read, transporting that child to another world, which was just as much fun.


4 thoughts on “The First Day of Summer

  1. Italian ice!!! YES!!! When it was too hot for even the creamy thickness of ice cream, Italian ice was *just* the thing.

    We spent the week visiting our son in Lansdale, PA. Up a couple of blocks from his apartment building is what looks like a bar, “Rita’s Ices.” This lady sells Italian ice (obviously, “waterice” in the local parlance) and the sidewalk was *packed* every evening. Thanks for bringing it up — now I know what to ask for next time!

  2. Ian,

    Kickball is played basically the same as halfball, except you use a ball the size of a soccer ball but it is softer. You run bases, have 3 outs per inning, etc. “Waterice” is similar to what some call Italian ice. It is flavored ice that has been pulverized to slushy type substance but still has a firm consistency so that it can be scooped into paper cups. It comes is all assorted flavors such as lemon, lime, watermelon, cherry, chocolate to name a few. It is nice to cool one down on a hot summer evening.

  3. I think Oz must be the only country that doesn’t label its seasons the proper way, i.e. via equinoxes and solstices. We do it by months [e.g. Dec-Feb: Summer; Mar-May: Autumn [Fall]…] Who knows why!?!

    Then again, we really only have two seasons here, and further north in Oz it’s even more noticeable [Wet / Dry].

    Anyway, halfball sounds mighty interesting [what are kickball and waterice?]. I remember fondly the thunderstorms of summer from my youth: the smell, the peals of thunder, the hail… And days at the beach. Good memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

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