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Happy Fourth of July!

Memories of Fourths Past

 

Happy Fourth of July

I want to wish all of my US readers a most happy Fourth of July! I’ll be off celebrating with family when you are reading this. Or waking up to go celebrate with family, since my blogs post in the wee small hours of the morning. 

There is something about having the grandkids here that has sent my mind back in time to Fourths of the past. 

My dad used to let this guy set up a fireworks stand on his property just outside of town and when I was old enough, I got to work there with my big brothers. One summer I earned enough to buy myself a bicycle. And I had lots of adventures.

Back then, fireworks had a lot more bang for your buck—and I do mean bang, but I think one of my favorite memories was of being about ten? I might have been eleven, but not much older than that—and “carding” people who wanted to buy cherry bombs or M-80’s. Lol

And the guy who brought the fireworks would trade us fireworks for our final payday. I had my own box of cherry bombs and M-80s, but I think my brothers must have “winkled” them away from me because I don’t remember setting them off. 

This was back when playgrounds were more dangerous—and so much more fun—and the summers were long and hot and magical. Back then, we could wander at will, sometimes on bikes, others on horses (borrowed then) and play from sunup to sundown—which was around ten at night. 

I look so solemn in the photo but I had what you’d call now an untrammeled childhood. I was one of six, so supervision varied, but was usually pretty light. As long as we showed up for meals and baths—and we got our chores done—few questions were asked. (In later years, when my mom found out what we were doing…)

Everything around us was grist for our imagination wheels. The trees, the bleachers in the park, the swings, even the flower boxes were our castles and space ships. 

I know how lucky I was to grow up in a small town in a time of relative innocence (for me at least. My parents had passed through two wars…). What a gift it was to have scabs on my knees and elbows, deep tanned skin and bleached-by-the-sun hair. What a gift it was to be free to fly where ever my imagination could take me. And it went a lot of places. 

As I look at my grandkids, they don’t have quite as much freedom as I did, but their minds still soar while they play and I’m grateful for that. 

I hope today is fun and magical for you, where ever you are!

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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