My cool blog-friend Amir has posted about his summer activities, which include gardening. This has caused much reminiscing from yours truly... I spent a great deal of time as a child planting gardens each summer. Whenever my Mum placed an order from Burpee or a similar catalogue, she would order three or four of the 1 penny packets of mixed seeds, and my brothers and sister and I would plant our little gardens. They would produce a strange variety of things - turnips, coreopsis, daisies, beets, carrots, and much more - but we had a wonderful time.
Another strong memory of childhood summers is reading. Our library did a summer reading program, with prizes for reading a certain number of books. Us Palmer kids always won the biggest prizes. We'd go to the library and check out hundreds of books, and I can remember lying on my parents' bed under the ceiling fan, reading book after book. That's one way to anesthetize the post-novel-reading letdown, you know: start another book immediately. (You know the letdown I'm talking about? "Oh NO... it can't be OVER... oh but I love the characters... there must be a sequel... oh please let there be a sequel...") So I would read series like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (fabulous), The Happy Hollisters (not so fabulous, but I guess I thought they were fabulous at the time), Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective, Betsy, Tacey, and Tibb, the Shoes books, and many more...
Speaking of the Shoes books... There is a wonderful scene in You've Got Mail about those books. Kathleen's shop has gone out of business, and she ventures into Fox Books one night, near tears. She sits down on a tiny chair in the children's section. Joe is nearby, watching her from the other side of the room. A woman comes in and asks a salesman a question.
Woman: Do you have the Shoe books?
Salesman: Shoe books... Who's the author?
Woman: I don't know. My friend told me my daughter has to read the Shoe books, so here I am.
Kathleen: Noel Streatfeild. Noel Streatfeild wrote Ballet Shoes, and Skating Shoes, and Theater Shoes, and Dancing Shoes, and... I'd start with Ballet Shoes first, it's my favorite. Although Skating Shoes is completely wonderful... *near tears* but it's out of print!
Salesman: (to woman) Streatfield. (to Kathleen) How do you spell that?
Woman: Thank you.
I like that movie a lot.
While I am reminiscing, I'd like to invite you all to join me. Post and comment and tell me things, memories you have... how did each of you spend your summers as a kid? What are some of your strongest memories?