The Daily Bongo


Every May I start to feel a feverish anticipation for the coming summer. The flowers are blooming with more vibrant colors than the April tulips. Bees are buzzing industriously from plant to plant. The trees don't just have buds; they have full-blown leaves that hang down over the grass providing plenty of shade from the sun. We don't need the shade now, but soon the sun will be beating down on us, baking the earth and radiating the heat back at us from the sidewalks and streets. How I long for a nice shady tree! No, I long for two with a nice hammock strung between them, with a pitcher of ice cold home brewed tea, a bowl of peaches, grapes, and watermelon, and a good mystery book with lots of chills.

There is something about summertime that fills me with joy and excitement. I suppose the reason for this is that I have many happy and fond memories of summer. As a child, I didn't do anything in the summer. That was the joy of summer. Summer gave you the ability to just sleep in, spend the day playing outside and not coming in until it was too dark to see your hand in front of your face. Sometimes I would be lucky and my parents would decide that it was time for a trip to the local Tasty Freeze. I would get the chocolate cone, and slowly lick the cone as I people watched. My goal was to prolong the ecstasy of the ice cream and the outing, while my parents were looking for a quick refreshment and then home. On normal summer nights, after I was dragged inside, I would beg for some watermelon and eat it at the Formica kitchen table, and then head off to watch old black and white horror movies or beach blanket/surfer movies from the 60s.

There was a laziness about the days. I would just wander outside, find a shady spot, and sit there for hours on end reading. I had a solitary childhood, and most of my "friends" were characters from the books that I read. I floated down the great Mississippi with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I had magical adventures with the kids from the Edward Eager books. Best of all were the comic books which were quick, entertaining reads. My preference ran to the lighter, more childlike comics like Casper, Disney, and Archie. If I felt like doing something active, I would harass my older brother to let me play baseball with him and his friends. This usually didn't go over well because the much bigger boys did not want a small, skinny, uncoordinated girl playing with them. It is understandable to me now, but at the time it caused alot of tears, and ended with my brother dragging me home, complaining to my mom about how I was ruining his life. Other times I would entertain myself by attempting to dig a hole to China. I was sure that it could be done if I could only get a hole that was deep enough. That was the difficulty because my mom made me fill my hole at the end of the day. She didn't understand the dream of seeing the Chinese.

When I think of summers past, I remember the good times. Any tears that were shed are forgotten in the contemplation of a life with no worries and no time schedule. I long for those days, and pledge to recreate them to the best of my abilities. No, I won't attempt to dig my way to China, but I will slow down, and leave the worries of the work world behind me when I come home. I promise myself to read the books that I never seem to find time for during the winter months, and to just get outside to enjoy the glories of summer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006