Summer of Yesteryears

(L-R) Cousin Luke, me, sister Mackenzie pose in our pioneer get-up.

(L-R) cousin Luke, me, and sister Mackenzie pose in our pioneer get-up (circa 2008)

I started my first summer job last week.

Now, don’t misunderstand – this isn’t my first job. I started working when I was 16, tutoring elementary and middle school students. Then I worked as a news reporter. Even at college, I get paid to broadcast the basketball games.

But I’ve always had the summer off.

In yesteryears, I would wake up, put on my bathing suit, and float in the pool, a book in one hand and a frosted lemonade in the other.

If I didn’t take off my bathing suit until bedtime, it was a good day.

My cousins would come over. We’d ride bikes with broken brakes and seats that were too high, exploring the neighborhood, and searching for adventure (because, eventually, stopping my mom’s bike without brakes wasn’t adventure enough.)

We didn’t need to drive because we didn’t need to go anywhere. All the magic we needed was at home.

We dressed like pioneers and frontiersman and paraded about in broad daylight, much to the amusement of our neighbors. We built bonfires and do-si-do’ed, sing-yelling:

OLD DAN TUCKER WAS A FINE OLD MAN!
WASHED HIS FACE IN A FRYING PAN!
COMBED HIS HAIR WITH A WAGON WHEEL!
DIED OF A TOOTHACHE IN HIS HEEL!

It’s funny now, to think of our longing for the adventures of a dangerous past we had never known.

As I sit in a leather desk chair, watching the seconds slowly tick by on a security monitor, all I can think about is the summers of yesteryears.

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