Throwback Thursday: Summer Vacation

Remember summer vacations?

What: Summer Vacation

When: July and August

Reason for the throwback: As I write this, I’m sitting in my office, the sun is shining through my window, a gentle breeze is keeping me cool and a hoard of children just finished up a baseball skills camp at the diamond across the street from me… and I hate them for it because I’m sitting in front of a computer with a list of assignments and deadlines to stress over.

It has been a long, long time since July and August were anything more than summer months that meant working when the weather is nice and you’d much rather be doing any number of things.

Like a lot of people with jobs and families and kids and responsibilities, I miss the halcyon days of my youth, when school let out, summer vacation began and I knew there were eight or nine weeks between me and the start of school. My greatest worries centered around what flavour Jumbo Mr. Freeze I was going to get (answer: white) and whether I was going to go play basketball or just cruise around the neighbourhood on my bike all day.

Back then, my weekly assignments involved getting the word out on Monday that we’d be playing baseball in the field behind the school on Saturday morning starting at 9am sharp and then working the phone all week to see who was playing. I’m not talking cell phones either – we’re talking calling someone at their home and having to leave a message with their mother or father if they weren’t around, explaining who you were, why you were calling and asking politely if they could pass the message on to Jamie when he gets home.

Days were broken up by meals – we played sports or rode bikes until lunch, raced home to devour a sandwich, and then regrouped at the designated meeting spot to get started on the afternoon’s adventure before making sure we were home before dinner. Once the plates were cleared and the dishes were done, we were right back out the door, darting to the school to sit around on the playground equipment and hold hands and steal kisses with Jennie or Shannon or Carrie.

There was always a trip or two worked into the rotation too – taking the train to see my grandparents (RIP Nan and Pop), a week at the family cottage, some kind of excursion in support of my brother’s latest venture, be it summer hockey or announcing horse races.

And then it would be back to the routine – the enjoyable day-to-day of youth, filled with trips to the corner store when a couple bucks could net you a bounty and the streetlights didn’t come on until after 9pm.

Those were the days.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have more columns to write as I look out my window, longing to be a kid again.

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