New York Years - Playing Outside in the Summer


Our place in Hoags Corner was not very big. It probably wasn't even two acres, but we made the most of it.

Our house was about 24'x24' (counting the closed-in porch). We also had a mud room (in which we put a concrete floor and a huge "ice cream" freezer) and a garage, which held everything, but our car. We had a little vegetable garden, of course! There was a little building on the other side of the yard. (which we used mostly for a storage shed, but also for a spare bedroom) Also, my favorite place was our lean-to, back against the woodsy-hill. It was a great place to have "camp-out" slumber parties. We had a pop-up camper and picnic table in our yard, too.

We didn't have much money, but we had lots of fun. I remember Daddy making stilts for us, and we got pretty good on them. We still had our "merry-go-round" (described here) and our bicycles and a wagon. My father set up an archery target for us. I got pretty good at it. (I didn't know until later that my name, Yvonne, means "archer.")

One Christmas, our parents got us a "trampoline." It was really a huge inner tube, with the hole covered with canvas. We had more fun with that! One of our favorite tricks was to stand on the picnic table and turn the trampoline on its edge. Then we'd ride over it, balancing while rolling down to the other side.

In the middle of the lawn was a tamarack tree. (It has needles like a pine tree, but they turn yellow and fall in autumn.) That tree was the place to count when we played hide n'seek or to tie up any captured "Indians."

We had lemonade stands and badminton games, but my favorite memory is the tiger-lily war. In late summer, the back of our hillside lot was covered with tiger lilies. If you got hit with one, the orange color stayed on your skin or clothes. We'd run around whacking each other (and trying to avoid each other) with handfuls of "ammunition." It was a primitive paintball game. By suppertime, we'd be marked on our arms and back and heads with orange "war paint." I'm sure my mother LOVED doing laundry during that time.

Summer days were glorious! They just didn't last long enough. It was during those years, that I noticed twilight. We were allowed to play outside until 9:00, when it wasn't day anymore, but it wasn't night either. The fireflies came out, and if you waited a bit longer, you could watch the stars come out, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading about your childhood!


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