Friday, April 08, 2005

Summer Memories
One summer when I was a child, I was allowed to spend a couple of weeks with my great-aunt and her family in Florida. What a treat! I loved Florida. It was the main destination for our family vacations. I loved the smell of Florida. You could smell the salt in the air, knowing that the ocean wasn't too far away.

My aunt's house was in central Florida, amidst groves of orange trees, beautiful flowers and snakes...lots of snakes.

Once, my great-uncle yelled at us to come outside and see what he had found near the barn. It was a huge, very dead snake. Dead because he had killed it. Must have wrestled it like Johnny Weismuller, it was so danged huge! Probably could have barbecued it and fed a whole town, if we'd had been the kind to eat snake meat. I have no idea what kind it was, didn't matter. All that mattered was that it was almost as long as my uncle and he is rather tall!

My aunt was always worried that one of us would run into a snake like that and be eaten or worse. It was my worry as well. I stayed away from the horse barn after that, no matter how much I wanted to see Kim's horse. Maybe it had had anaconda-sized babies in there.

That summer, my uncle had a pool put in next to the house. The hole was dug down in the sandy soil and the pool's frame (it was a aboveground pool buried like an inground pool) was partially put in. Now my cousin, Kim, and I didn't care so much that the pool wasn't complete...we had the leftovers: a humungous mountain of dirt to play on.

We sat on that mountain like queens, well, more like little dirty princesses who snuck away from their servants and proudly rebeled against their royal heritage. We dug and dug, made little roads and tunnels for the matchbox cars we snuck from Kim's brother, dared each other to jump off the mountain and pretty much had a blast. That is until my aunt saw us and refused to let us in for lunch.

We were drrrrrrrteeeee!

She actually hosed us off before we were allowed to come in, all the while muttering about ring worm and other parasites that had likely invaded our bodies from all that sandy dirt.

Poor Aunt Yvonne. She put up with a lot from us while I was there.

One night, Kim and I decided to spy on Greg, her brother. He was a teenager, you see, and worthy of our pestering. We dressed carefully that night, choosing our spy costumes. What would a spy wear? Black! So in the heat of a Florida summer night, we ventured forth dressed all in black; black long-sleeved shirt, black pants and even black winter headgear to cover our blonde heads. Inever did ask why they had tobaggan hats in Florida.

Greg and some of his friends had built a bonfire across the road in a field and were happily doing teenager things, or so we guessed. We didn't actually get close enough to see.

We snuck across the road and belly-crawled through some grass until we could slightly hear what they were saying. To this day, I can't remember what that was, but I do remember the bonfire exploding (something thrown in the fire possibly) and an evil red light on a light pole that we were sure was an evil spirit or something. We figured that our souls were in mortal danger so we skedaddled out of that place fast!

Greg must have heard us or seen us as we were running back to the house and looking for a place to hide. We jumped into the hole where the pool was being laid to rest and hid between the pool's wall and the dirt. Greg passed right by us..then, but eventually he found us and gave us a what for. Silly little girls shouldn't spy on teenage boys, didn't we know that?

Another thing about that summer I will never forget is the movie, Grease. Kim had the soundtrack and we listened to that thing on the record player for hours on end. We actually fought on who would sing Olivia's part and who would sing Travolta's part in Summer Lovin'. We eagerly lip-synched our hearts out, dancing about the livingroom with it's soft, cobalt, shag carpet. ABBA also grabbed our attention and saw us gyrating about the room as well. Ahhh, those were the days and the best summer of my life. That was the summer I was on my way to seventh grade and the last one where I had long, Marcia Brady hair.
Copyright Dana 2005
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Name: Dana
Location: Chicago, and if y'all call me a Yankee, I'll have to cyber-smack ya'!

I'm just a mom of two, a crafter of jewelry, and to keep my sanity among the Yankees (kidding)I write southern-themed poetry, short stories and memoirs. I have been published on the web on sites such as USA Deep South, Southern Humorists, Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal, Mosaic Minds and Long Story Short. I am also a contributor in Dew on the Kudzu and Weight-Loss Articles.com where I write dieting humor.

And this is my blog... Kudzu, funny family stories, poems, family ghosts, snakes, sun-kissed southern memories all inside! Plus some travel reviews, recipes and more! I also make handcrafted jewelry! Check out my jewelry blog - Colors of the Woods

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Copyright  2005 Dana Sieben - All Rights Reserved

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