Still under the quit, the sounds of the early morning woke me. Before the sun showed its face over the mountains to the east, the birds started their songs. A dog started baring off to the south of our house as the sun broke the horizon. It wasn’t too long afterwards, I heard a neighbor start-up a lawn mower. A bit later the smell of freshly cut grass over powered the aroma of the spring flowers that had seeped into my windows. The sound and smells of Saturday morning took me back to my childhood.
To those years when I was too young to help with the outdoor chores. When the mowing and other yard chores were left to my father and brother. Back to the days when I couldn’t wait to get out of bed, tending to what women’s chore I was assigned, mostly the dusting. Then get myself outdoors to play in the warm Michigan sunshine. Days spent running barefooted through the fresh-cut grass, which gave the me freedom from stepping on a honey bee working on a Dandelion, as the yellow blossoms had all just been mowed down.
I knew there would be hell to pay from the grass stains on my clothes and body. I remember night-time baths with mom scrubbing my feet with a brush, trying to get the green off of me. Mowing day always meant wearing old play clothes so not to ruin any more items with fresh grass stains. Mom’s scrubbed the stains between their knuckles with borax because there wasn’t such things as pre-wash sprays.
These were the days of running through the yard water sprinklers to cool off. Hula hoops and roller skates that clamped onto our regular shoes. Jumping rope and playing in the old Navy hammock daddy had hung for us kids. On really hot days we would fill the hammock with cold water from the garden hose as a way to cool off. Summer evenings of hide n’ seek and catching lighting bugs in a jar. Nights of walking with dad through the grass trying to catch night crawlers (worms) for a Sunday fishing trip. Remembering his laugh when I would try to catch the too fast crawler and miss.
If I could go back and relive one day of my childhood, it would be one of those Saturdays. Not only to spend the day with my family but enjoy the sounds and smells through a child’s senses. How blessed I am to have those memories.