Summer: In Response to

I remember the summer before I entered the fourth grade. It was hot, as always-I mean, it was summer after all! This was long before the days of air conditioning. {Every window in the house had a fan in it blowing constantly the hot, humid air into the house.) Still, all the kids in the neighborhood-and  most parents-loved summer.

Most days, me and my best friend would walk the two blocks to the neighborhood pool and spend the day there. Occasionally, someone on our street would have one of their granddaughters or nieces for a visit and they would be close in age to us, so we would spend time playing games or swimming with them.

On our street, there were two older ladies-sisters-who had never married. They lived in a large, two story brick home built in the 1920s. Everyone loved that house, but few had ever been inside. The sisters were pleasant when seen by others, but they stayed to themselves most of the time. This particular summer, their brother’s grandchild visited, and she was the age of me and my best friend. We were invited over to the house of the sisters to play.

Anna opened the door for us. The sisters made a brief appearance to welcome us. One of the sisters asked if we would like something to drink and Debbie, my best friend, and replied, “No mam. Thank you.” As we were taught by our parents to reply.

We ascended a flight of stairs and ended on the second story. Anna was staying in one of the bedrooms on this floor. So, we played with our dolls for a while and talked about school for about an hour when Anna said, “Let’s go into the attic! There is so much neat stuff up there!”

We asked if we needed permission to go there and Anna said the sisters-her aunts-allowed her full use of the attic. Well, okay then! Off on an adventure! Anna showed us a door in the hallway that went up into the attic. It was extremely hot and dusty,  but we were the right age to not mind this at all when an adventure was at stake., but full of clothes and hats and, in the corner of the attic, was an organ! Debbie and I looked agog at the organ. “How,” I asked Anna, “did anyone get this organ up the stairs into this attic. Anna said she thinks they brought it into the attic through the double windows at the front of the attic, but she was not certain. She went over to it and pressed a few keys, but the organ did not make a sound. Then we decided the attic was haunted and perhaps a ghost had transported the organ to this final resting place!

After scaring ourselves silly, we descended the stairs onto the second floor to hear one of the sisters call up to us. “Girls come downstairs! Sister and I have made lemonade and we have watermelon to eat.” There was nothing better then lemonade and watermelon on a hot summer’s day! Our day ended perfectly as we finished our playtime thanking our hostesses and saying a fond farewell to a new friend, Anna.

On the walk back to our houses, my friend and I wondered how in the world we were going to eat dinner after eating all of that watermelon….yet we managed and lived to swim and play another day. I miss those much simpler days!


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