I have crossed the Deleware River a time or two in my life, and a beautiful thing it is. I really have to say, I am just guessing, because I can’t remember what it looked like. I just know that, as a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my family and friends and I traveled to Maryland, and D.C, New Jersey and Virginia and even New York on a fairly regular basis. Especially in the Summertime.
Summertime. Does that word evoke beautiful memories for you? I feel the warmth of a summer breeze, and the bright sunlight making me squint up into the tree tops. Lying on blankets in the State Park, watching the funny-shaped clouds roll gently by.
It reminds me of cookouts in our backyard, where Dad and Frank Simcik would grill the most excellent burgers and chicken
ever known to humankind. And you ate the burgers with our own gardens ripe tomatoes-the juices running down your chin, mixed in with all the other condiments you piled on. It reminds me of children’s laughter, mine included, and sprinklers. Of fireflies blinking in the night, and fireworks.
Childhood games of tag, hide and seek, indian ball, softball and kick the can, and how we would laugh when the grown ups tried to play. Summertime trips to Lampman’s on the Potomac River, sleeping in little white cabins with lino floors, the windows open, white sheer curtains blowing in the breeze.
Going out in little motor boats with Grandpa, my idol, and the best fisherman in the whole wide world, him letting me bait his hooks and growling, “Stick it right in there Suzie! Right behind his eyes, he won’t feel anything!” Me, all queasy, but pushing that hook right thru the little minnows, eyes squeezed as shut as I could get ’em.
Summertime sleepovers, and sleeping out in tents- waking up freezing in the morning mist- running inside to climb into my heavenly real bed. The one that was all dressed up with flowered covers, under the slanted attic roof. The cicadas and the crickets chirping all through the night , the sound wafting in (with the sound of old movies playing downstairs barely audible under the din.)
Oh yes, Summertime.
Bug bites and bee stings, running through fields and woods, riding horses as fast as in the movies. Giggling girl chatter in the summer air, let’s play spin the bottle, first kisses, first hand holds, first swear words and beer.
I have so many memories of the good times, it’s nice when I can reflect with such peace and wistfulness. The healing is still in progress!