I have a cousin who writes a column for her hometown newspaper. I try to remember to read it every week, sometimes I even leave a comment. Her column this week had to do with the weather and summer's heat in particular. As her column was winding down she happened to mention how as kids they would try to put ice cubes down each other's backs.
Boy, did that bring back memories. Yep, we used to do that too. In summer after our dinner meal was over, dad would retire to his chair in the corner of the room and bury his nose in his newspaper while the rest of us would sit around the table and play a game we called "hid the salt shaker"-or whatever article a person chose to hide. The object of the game was we would have to guess which article was gone from the table. Sometimes someone got really tricky and it took a while to actually find what was missing. We spent hours playing this game; of course not all at one time because we eventually had to clear the table and do the dishes.
However, during summer mom frequently prepared iced tea for dinner and our “Hide the Salt Shaker” game frequently ended when someone would pretend to take one last sip of their iced tea, slip an ice cube into their hand; nonchalantly rise, walk behind a person and drop the cube down their shirt then...dash...for the nearest exit. Said victim then chased the perpetrator round and round the house in an attempt to put an ice cube down their shirt. Generally the 'perp' was never caught. I remember once in my haste to catch my 'perp' I got my ring caught in the screen door handle which bent the ring and bruised my finger very badly. Such was life.
It was great how we could find fun things to do that didn't cost any money yet filled us with hours of entertainment. We played cards and games on the porch and hide and seek in the yard. At dusk we caught fire-flies in jars and waved sparklers around when it got dark.
Oh, yes, like my cousin said in her article, we too sweltered in the heat at bedtime and prayed for a breeze or ever better an electrical storm that would drop the temperature a good ten degrees, but that's not really what I remember about summer. There were afternoon's lying on a blanket in the back yard in a bathing suit slathered in baby oil, sprinkling ourselves with salt water (okay it wasn't the ocean) we could dream couldn't we? There was hanging laundry in the early morning and retrieving it warm, dry and smelling delicious in the late afternoon. There was the smell of freshly mown grass, and the joy of watching grasshoppers leap out of the way of the mower. And, last but not least there was the fun of being the perpetrator when it came to slipping an ice cube down a sibling's shirt.