Memories of childhood.
|A wonderful highlight of my childhood was going to visit my grandfather. While I was always glad to see him (he told wonderful stories and always gave me money), I really loved his yard. This wonderful playground was the size of two double lots with the house at the back of the property near the alley. A sidewalk down the middle divided the yard in half.
To me his yard was a virtual farm in the city; all that was missing were the animals. To the right of the sidewalk were the flower beds. They extended from the front fence down the side of the yard to the back fence. Each year the flowers would stay in bloom from spring until autumn. Their fragrance was always a welcoming change from other odors of the city. The variety of colors reminded a person of a painter's palette. With each change of season, the flowers deepened in color from pale in the spring to bold in the fall.
To the left of the sidewalk was the vegetable garden. Its layout resembled the flower beds. Every year we were able to choose from beans, cabbage, carrots, peas, and tomatoes. Though forbidden to enter the garden, we did so anyway, the ripe red tomatoes being too much of a temptation for us to resist.
Positioned throughout the yard were apple, pear, and plum trees. There was even a grape arbor; good for playing hide and seek in at dusk. The fruit trees we liked during the summer because we could eat the fruit. During the fall we hated them because we had to rake up all the rotten fruit that fell to the ground.
To me the crowning glory of the yard was the wooden swing. I spent many a summer's day feeling the fragrant breeze caressing my thin legs as I tried to pump them as fast as I could. Higher and higher I would swing until my feet would almost touch the beckoning blue sky. Each time I almost touched that blanket of blue, I would hear my mother telling me not to swing so high.
Since I was such a daredevil on the swing, they decided a safer model should be built. At first I considered the new swing to be an insult; it was for old people. It had a set of seats facing each other so that two people could sit on each side. With the cunning eye I possessed, I saw that this new swing had definite possibilities. I could stand between the seats on the platform bottom and swing standing up.
"Look Ma, no hands!"
My new "rocket' could only go so high, but at least it wasn't as safe as they thought. Of course I performed my amazing feats when no one was looking or who knows what type of swing they would install next. In fact, horror of horrors, what if they decided on no swing at all? Then my visits would be like those of other children, a pleasant, but not exciting way to spend a summer day.