Reflecting on the many things I loved about being a kid, the one that remained a constant, was how slowly time moved. We had all the time in the world, for everything.
What I liked most was the freedom to play, learning how things worked, learning how to paint, draw, play instruments, making papier mache animals, playing with our two Boston Terriers, Trick or Treating; half the fun there was planning and assembling our costumes; running from house to house in the dark and then eating all that candy!
As far as learning how to do all those things, well, it was Baltimore, and there were many rainy, sleeting, and snowy days. Lots of time indoors and we occupied that time with tons of stuff that was fun, including endless hours at board games like Monopoly or Clue.
Experiencing each season and all the special sights, smells and sensations, even the foods that went with each one was exciting. Flowers and rain in spring, green grass and warm days in summer, Autumn's falling leaves and the smell of woodsmoke in the air. Winter nights were so quiet walking outdoors I could swear I was hearing the snow flakes fall.
There were a few times we had a “beach” vacation. The pure joy of waves on the shore and digging in the sand was hard to beat. We never tired of building sand castles.
Let’s start with waking up in bed to the clock radio playing Christmas carols, only to be interrupted by the news calling out the all the counties, one by one, closing schools because of a blizzard. SNOW DAY! We leapt out of bed, pulled out all of our snow gear; layers of wool jackets, beanies, face masks, mittens, galoshes, while Mom made us hot chocolate to have with breakfast. We’d grab our sleds and hike down to Woodbourne Junior High’s campus, just 5 blocks away, because it had a super big hill. We’d sled for hours, come home for lunch, put all our wet gear over the heater vents to dry, and grab dry back ups, and take off again until it was almost dark. Wandering deserted streets too deep to plow, and marveling at how snow transformed everything into a majestic wonderland was exciting in itself. After Christmas we collected Christmas trees and made Christmas tree forts in the woods behind our house. Celebrating holidays, special meals, making cookies, listening to fire crackle in the fireplace while the wind or rain pounded on our windows; all these things were treasures.
In spring it was fun going to Chinquapin Park nearby to go kite flying, lying on my back finding animal shapes in clouds overhead when it was windy.
I remember a visual and senational collage of warm summer thunder showers, running around in the rain, jumping in puddles. Having the time to climb trees, building tree forts, and mostly staying in motion. There was sandlot baseball, tennis, shooting hoops, playing 3 flies in in the alley after dark by streetlight, or hide and go seek. Some summer days me and my three sibs used to pack a picnic lunch, grab tackle boxes and fishing rods, then ride our bikes a few miles over to Lake Roland. We’d fish all day, come home with stringers of perch, blue gills and crappies; scale and clean them and have them for dinner; Mom dredged them in flour then fried them in butter. Fish always tasted better if you caught them yourself. We’d be dropped off at the public swimming pool, Meadowbrook, and swim all day; eating hot dogs, ice cream and snacks like pretzels.
We were allowed much more physical freedom in those days than I think parents are comfortable with now. That freedom to explore our world was full of the freshness of "firsts". So many things to be experienced for the first time; whether it was a food or a first jump off the high dive could be exhilirating.
Dr. Karen J. Krahl, D.C. owner/doctor Synergy Health Group. The link to one of my blogs is www.synergyhealthgroup.com, click on "Health News" on the banner at the top of my home page and pick a topic.
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