it’s hot. it’s sunny. it’s muggy. it’s summer.
I lived in blissful ignorance for many years believing that Costa Rica was the land of eternal spring, because, until now I’ve only ever been here during their “winter” (70’s and sunny, breezy with afternoon rainfall and cool wet nights…paradise). But, unfortunately, as most ignorance must, it came to an end. Someone warned me about the heat of February and March and I laughed. It doesn’t get hot in Costa Rica, ever! I responded. Boy was I wrong.
The mornings feel just like summer mornings in Kentucky. At 8 a.m. it’s warm…too warm for 8 a.m., but nice. The kind of nice I’d like it to stay all day. The kind of nice that let’s me know that by 10 a.m. I’ll be sweating and wishing for air conditioning or the beach. The kind of nice that brings back all kinds of nostalgic childhood memories of summertime. Memories of summer camps, horseback riding, flashlight tag, dripping lime popsicles, bicycles, swimming pools, sugar-snap peas out of mom’s garden, sunburns and wiffleball (or woofaball as we called it).
I grew up in the most picturesque, Pleasantville-like neighborhood. It was just one long street in the shape of a horseshoe settled comfortably between city and country life, near the Jessamine/Fayette county border. There was an abundance of kids, and open space to play. Most houses had at least a 1 acre yard, and few had fences. The neighborhood was ours, and we loved it. Kids and pets flowed freely in and out of neighbors houses, and bikes ruled the streets. We played in the creek that ran through our backyard, dug up hidden treasures, snuck into the junkyard two fields over and played long games of late night tag. But the best of all? Wiffleball at Ronny’s house.
Ronny was a middle-aged retired athlete and he loved to play ball. Of all sorts. He had played basketball but he also had a love for baseball. He also had a magical way of telling time by just looking at the sun…he was never more than 5 minutes off.
So each and every one of those balmy summer evenings when daylight stayed late and bedtime was postponed, sometime just after dinner, kids of all ages would migrate to Ronny’s lush green backyard. And we played wiffleball. Kids ages 4 to 18. 2 teams. Ronny was the all-time pitcher. Some parents would set up lawn chairs under the tall walnut trees and watch. Others would enjoy a few hours of silence at home, then take a leisurely walk over to retrieve their kids as dark began to fall. Often times Ronny would give me 5 strikes instead of 3 because I wore glasses with a patch, and had such bad sight (and depth-perception) that I once mistook a dog for a horse. And those summer nights were the highlight of summertime, the stuff they make movies about. But all too soon fall would come, school would start, and wiffleball season would close until the next summer.
Life was so beautifully simple then. The smallest things could bring a smile to my face, and the biggest worries I had were whether or not I could eat two lime popsicles.
What is your favorite summertime memory? Did you eat lime popsicles too? What’s your favorite summer food? What is it that takes you back to your childhood? Balmy mornings? Hot afternoons? Thuderstorms? Hammocks? I want to know!