Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A chill in the air?

Well, not quite yet. But there's always that first instant each year, usually on some evening in late August or early September, when I feel that very first chill, signifying that summer will soon be coming to an end. The cooler days of fall are not far away, offering just a hint of the not-so-distant winter. That change in the air always gives me a familiar, nostalgic feeling. There's just something about the changing of the seasons.

Something Kerry posted awhile back brought to mind some of my fondest summertime memories. Childhood memories like helping my grandma shell peas, chasing lightning bugs in the backyard, catching them and putting them in a jar and punching holes in the lid so they could breathe, catching junebugs and tying a string to them, riding around in the back of a truck. Back then, if someone had a truck and you were a kid, you always wanted to ride in the back. And the adults would always stick their head out the window and tell you to sit down. Like we were really gonna fall out. Well, there was that one time. But I digress.

Then memories turn to family vacations when I was a little older. Long-time readers (both of you) will recall my Opryland fascination, as evidenced by my Opryland tribute, my pseudo Opyland historical tours, and my reconaissance mission to the site of the Grizzly River Rampage. This is what comes from going to Opryland on your family vacation seemingly every year for like ten years straight. Later memories turn to beach trips. Three-day weekends of sand and sun, and the ocean breeze clearing my head. Nothing like it.

Another of my favorite summertime memories occurred over two or three summers when I was in my late teens. One of my friends (Ben from the LaGrange story) had a job operating the scoreboard and keeping the scorebook at the local softball fields. From April thru July for two or three years, several of us guys would hang out up there almost every weeknight. We talked about nothing, laughed about everything, sometimes even watched TV in the pressbox ('92 NBA Finals: Bulls/Blazers). The games would get over around 9:30 or 10:00 every night and often we'd go out to eat afterwards. It was the closest thing to a true hangout that I ever experienced. You never had to call anyone to ask if they were going to be there. You just showed up and someone was always there. There were always lots of girls my age there, too. I met several girls there over the span of those two or three summers. Some I called. Some I dated. Some I only smiled at. Then Ben had to get a real job and that part of my life was over, although it didn't seem like a big deal at the time.

Anyway, I hope maybe this brought to mind some fond memories for you. When and if you have time, I hope you'll read some of the previous posts I have linked to, I rather like a couple of them.

Farewell, Summer. Thanks for the memories. See ya in a few months.

"Purple hulls and pintos, I've shelled more than my share, as lightnin' bugs and crickets danced in the evenin' air..."


  1. Oooh! I love skee ball. Sad, secret fact about me? Whenever I take my kids to the pizza places that have games, I always buy myself a set of coins just for skee ball. And I whack the kids that try to steal my tickets. Well, I don't really whack them. But I don't let them take my tickets!

    Our big family vacations were ski trips to Colorado. Otherwise we were going down to Houston to visit family. Oh, and then there was the year we drove to Florida to go to Disney World. Family of six, destination hell please...

  2. We were total beach bums, well my dad and I were. My mom hated the beach. She stayed indoors and watched soap operas in the air conditioning. Dad and I jumped waves and slowly destroyed our healthy skin. But God it was fun. There was a park I insisted on going to every time we were at the beach...The Jolly Roger! It's still there with the big guy out front holding his sword like he did a million years ago.

    And, because it's just right down the street, my friends and I or my dad and I would go to Hersheypark. I used to think the Superdooperlooper was the greatest! Now it seems small in comparison.

    Ahh, summer!

  3. Lass: I love, love, LOVE skeeball. I challenge you to a game ;-)

    DROVE to Disney World?! What was that, like 24 hours one way?

    Carnealian: Hersheypark. Sounds fun. Chocolate. Mmmm.

    I remember being afraid to ride the Wabash Cannonball the first time at Opryland. Kids are funny like that.

  4. "'92 NBA Finals: Bulls/Blazers"

    I remember that FAR to well, growing up in Ptown...

    I think we all have those things, smell sight sound that remind us of a special time...

    I LOVE the beginning in fall in Portland... pre Birthday the Salmon are spawning at my family's cabin....


    Thanks bone for reminding me that I'm missing it...


  5. We had a couple of days that started to feel a bit like fall, but we are back to summer again currently. The difference though is that at night it feels like fall even if it heats up a lot during the day. Your post actually made me think of an old friend of mine named Diane. She was from Alabama. Huntsville, I think...I used to tease her about being a hick. She was talking about a trip to DC and how they made you pay every few miles on the interstate there, I was like "welcome to the real world Diane." She was the greatest and always so much fun.
    Anyway, I did want to say that living next to your cousin doesn't make you a hick. Just don't marry here ok? Kidding! Hugs.

  6. I, too, LOVE skee ball! Actually played it for over an hour in Tahoe, of all places!!!

    You did conjure up some fun memories for me, mostly of when I lived in the snow, and the month or so before I knew it was coming...the anticipation I would feel. I love the snow, and I miss living in Oregon, where we'd get a nice amount of snow in the winter :-)

    I'll check out your linked posts after I put the boy to bed...nite!

  7. Yer on! I mean, you'll win. I didn't say I was good, I just said I love to play. ;)

  8. I loved going to Opryland! (I'm going to have to check out your links when I have the time.)
    And Dollywood. I loved Dollywood.

    Oddly enough, my family never did any big family vacations or anything that was a yearly occurence. Moving every 3 years to a new place was enough for us.

  9. OCG: Da Bulls! I miss those days.

    JC: Huntsville is right close to here. And no worries, I'd never marry anything closer than a second cousin ;-)

    Brunette: Yeah, we rarely get any snow here. Flurries a couple of times a year usually.

    Lass: Oh, don't try to soften me up now. All your running won't help you in skeeball ;-)

    Xinh: I've only been to Dollywood once, when it first opened. Need to go back.

  10. Awwwww, you make me feel so sad to say good-bye to the warm days.

    Well, no, not really. I will miss the sunshine. But I will absolutely, without a doubt NOT MISS commuting for an hour in the evenings in my UN-AIR CONDITIONED truck. Not at all. Skin seered and stuck to the leather seats. Seriously... summer, GOOD RIDANCE! PEACE OUT! heh.

    Love your post, Bone, Bone, Bone, Bone, Bone... as always.


  11. Ok, I can quit worrying about the nuptials then. I am much relieved. Sucks that all my comments have so many typos though. Anyway, my good friend was Mary Diane Johnson, but I am not sure what her maiden name was. Hell, you may be related. She married Barry Johnson who is in the Marine Corps. If you ever run across her, tell her that her legend lives on....:)

  12. Summer can't end; it just can't. Our weather is perfect summer weather now but somehow responsiblities come first

    Would have loved to have gone to Opryland. We always went to Miami Beach because my father's sister lived there, but my cousins sister and I all got to stay in a hotel room together.

  13. Blonde: I'll take sweating over freezing any day :-)

    JC: Well, I have 27 first cousins, give or take. Doesn't ring a bell though.

    Pia: Our weather has been gorgeous post-Katrina. But I have been too busy to get out and enjoy it much.

  14. Oh, you and I are VERY different!