Monday, June 17, 2013

Mother Nature Mondays~ #TigerLilies & Memories #beauty #childhood #friendships

It would seem that the spring flowers are winding down in my yard. My rose bushes are all flowered out, at least for the moment until they start to gain new growth. I know I have day-lilies on their way in and gladiolus, but for now here are my tiger lilies that stand tall and willowy next the front porch and down near the kids' swing set.
Tiger lilies grow quite wild here in Kentucky, often seen on the roadside in the country and always bring a smile to my face cause they remind me of my Mom's we had in the yard when I was growing up. I was always mesmerized by them and I'm not sure why.

Perhaps mostly for the simple fact that they do remind me of my mom, of home and childhood and they announced the end of school and the approach of hot fun-filled summer days of freedom. They remind me of that one-piece bathing suit I had when I was like 9 or 10 that had blocked off colors so it reminded me of the rainbow. It was the bathing suit I wore when we had the banana slide spread out in the backyard and beneath that yellow plastic was a patch of dying grass, flattened and turning yellow itself from lack of sun exposure while my skin reddened beneath the scorching 80-100º temperatures and sometimes upwards of that as well.

They remind me of the tiny rainbows in the spray that arched up from that silly plastic banana water hose nozzle, misting through the air and filling it with a sense of innocence and magic as we took the plunge and dove headfirst down the slippery plastic, zipping so quickly that you bound off the end right into the grass that eventually became like a muddy puddle if you played long enough.
I remember summers when it was sweltering hot- the 1980s in Central Kentucky were full of days like that- days before we had central air in our house in the suburbs- when we only had one window a/c in my parents' bedroom and my mom hung a deep red velvety bedspread up to block off the back bedrooms and the bathroom to keep us cool.
I remember stepping outside onto the the hot concrete porch barefoot and doing the dance of the burning feet. I remember feeling instantly engulfed by the heat as it swallowed you up and enveloped your senses, your body, feeling the chill of the a/c drain from you swiftly as the warmth of the hottest days of summer infused itself into your pores, your muscles and down to the core of your bones.

I always liken it to dragon's breath, so thick it seemed palpable. Thick enough to cut through with a knife and sometimes so tangible it made it hard to breathe. Those were days when a glance up the street gave way to the illusions, the rippling waves of heat rising from the asphalt, the trickery it played on your eyes when it looked as though a streak of black oil lay across the roadway up head but then vanished as you approached.
A while back, one of my best friends and I took our daughters (two oldest are 10 and the youngest is 6) to the park in my hometown so we could walk around the path and they could play at the playground. We'd barely circled a couple of times when the girls decided they'd had enough of the "heat" and wanted to go home.

It's was barely in the 80's that day and there was a decent breeze. Not like the days we recalled from childhood and we told them, "When it's 106º in the shade and there's no breeze and the humidity makes the air so thick you can hardly breath and you're left with little to do but lay inside where the a/c can blow on you, then come talk to us about it being hot."(We must do something about this generation of softies.)
Yes those summers were scorchers, but I remember spending most of my time out there in it, either riding my bike all over the neighborhood or through that very same park to go get a pop from the soda machines next to Wal-Mart or IGA. We embraced the heat, the sticky grime at the bends of our elbows and knees and the trickles of sweat at our hairline. We didn't cry over the blisters on our ankles from wearing sweaty plastic Jellies or strappy sandals. We lay on blankets in the shade, my Magnovox plugged to the porch by the orange lifeline of an electric cord while we listened to the music of our generation~ Madonna and Michael Jackson, Guns N Roses and Debbie Gibson.
Summer days seemed to last forever back then. The days dragged on through the heat while we huddled under makeshift tents my mom showed us how to set up in the backyard with a blanket over a couple of lawn chairs. The bowls of popcorn, plates of cookies and jugs of Kool-Aid she made for us and for those extra hot days, numerous plastic strips of Flavorice Popsicles and running through the sprinkles. As the day wore down, we'd chase the ice cream truck for Rocket Pops and didn't venture indoors until well after the lightning bugs came out, the street lamps flickered on and the stars ground the sleep from their eyes and came out to shine in the black night sky.

Twinkle twinkle little star... make a wish....

I hope someday my daughter has good memories like these of childhood. I hope things I have in my yard conjure up a plethora of memories for her as well.

 Happy Monday Dear Hearts!
Maybe it exceed your expectations, bring you smiles, joy and laughter. 

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