Good Ol' Summertime

From the Farm:


Published in the Casper Journal July 7, 2010

It’s summer time!  And my house will never be clean again…at least, not until school starts on August 18th.  Muddy feet through the living room, wet swimsuits on the banister, and Legos…everywhere!  But, despite the chaos that will now engulf my life, I love the glory of summertime—lazy, relaxing, fun.
            I’m sure that no one was more excited for school to end than I was.  With four school-aged children, I’ve had my fill of helping with book reports, signing homework, listening to recitations, driving to early morning band practices and packing lunches.  I’m also tired of bedtimes (especially with the sun shining so late now), and waking children up in time to eat breakfast and catch the bus.  I’m ready for a break!  Sleeping in, eating meals off schedule, and just doing nothing.  That’s summer time to me. 
            At 11:30am on the last day of school, I picked up the kids and we sang and chatted all the way home, “No more pencils, no more books!” To celebrate, we decided to have a hot dog roast in our backyard.  The boys dug a fire pit near our garden.  My three year old watched in awe as his two, older, Boy Scout brothers arranged the wood, built the fire, and lit the match…  Or, should I say “matches?”  I think it took seven with the wind blowing. 
            My girls, already in their swimsuits and wet from the sprinklers, quickly gathered around the picnic table where we laid out hot dogs, buns, salad, beans and condiments.  Soon everyone was crouched around the little, smoldering fire, watching their hot dogs sizzle.  You can easily tell a child’s maturity level by their hot dog cooking skills.  When the youngest children’s hot dogs had touched the ash enough to dust them black, they declared their meat “cooked” and ran to put it on a bun.  My older children were more careful, turning their sticks until the dogs were sizzling and brown…now that’s a hot dog worth eating.  We rarely eat hot dogs at my house (something about nutritional value…), but when we cook them over the open fire, they are delicious enough to want two, or three, or four. 
            After everyone had eaten enough wieners to last a lifetime, we broke open the marshmallows, and soon the children were all back by the fire.  By now the smoldering wood had disintegrated into perfect coals.  Back and forth the kids ran, cooking marshmallows, pressing them between graham crackers with chocolate, eating every last bit with their sticky fingers, and then cooking another one.  The roasting seemed to go on and on and on (I want s’more!).  But soon their tummies were full and they went back to playing in the sprinklers and swinging on our rope swing.  The sky was blue, the sun was warm, and time was ours!!!
            The afternoon hours stretched lazily on.  Once everyone was duly sunburned and dirty, we put on our pajamas, popped popcorn, and spread out in the basement for a
movie night.  We didn’t watch the clock, we didn’t answer the phone.  We just sat and did NOTHING!  It was wonderful.  We went to bed way past bedtime.
When we woke up the next morning, the sun was high in the sky, and school would have been well into session on a school day.  But there was no school!!! Let me just repeat that:  NO MORE SCHOOL!  I’m sure that in 2 ½ months, we will all be ready for school again.  But for now, summer time is here.  Hooray!

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