Summer Songs

As Cisco and I walk in the evening, were serenaded by a zillion locusts, signaling the end of summer. I dont know if theyre really locusts, but they are some sort of creepy insect. When I was a kid at my Grandmas in southern Indiana, they were called Katie-dids. Sometimes, they sang out Katie-didnt. Their erie noise reminds me of summers at Grandmas, when we entertained ourselves mostly outdoors with our imaginations. A double roped swing from an enormous oak tree paired with a rickety old ladder became a ship, where we sailed for many hours on lazy summer afternoons. A blanket thrown over the clothes line became a tent, where we insisted on having our lunch. The natural sand pile was the original organic kitchen, where we concocted elaborate cakes and pies for Grandma to admire. The mal carriers arrival became a major event each day. My cousins and I would argue over whose turn it was to go collect the letters and magazines from the mailbox by the gravel road. No Johnny, it was your turn yesterday, Carolyn and I would say, even though he hadnt had a turn in a week. On the days when my Jack and Jill Magazine or The Weekly Reader was delivered, Id flop on the feather bed and lose myself in stories, jokes, and games. As the sun would go down, and the Katie-dids would begin their chorus, Grandma would be in her tiny kitchen, frying meat, peeling potatoes, and slicing plump juicy tomatoes from her garden. She would have picked the vegetables from the garden, early that morning, before we kids were awakened by the songs of a thousand birds in the woods nearby. Then after sunset, and the birds settled down for the night, and the Katie-dids did or didnt for the day, the crickets tuned up their fiddles. Our evenings entertainment was to sit on the front porch with Grandma and listen to her stories or catch lightening bugs in a jar. The last song of the day would be an old hymn that Grandma would lead, Love Lifted Me, The Old Rugged Cross, or I Walked in the Garden Alone. Sometimes she would sing the melody and sometimes alto, and sometimes both in the same song. Thats how Carolyn and I learned to harmonize. I hear all these summer sounds and feel the tenderness and innocence of that time in my life. May it rest in peace.

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2 thoughts on “Summer Songs

  1. No less a writer than Marcel Proust said something very similar about sounds and smells taking us back to a diffrerent time & place.

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