Monday, June 17, 2013

Rainy Days of Childhood ...

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” ~Elizabeth Lawrence

I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder and heavy rain. As I poured my first cup of coffee and sat down at my computer, I could hear the wind playing my wind chimes.

I marveled at the comfort it brought, so contrary to the dreary mood usually associated with waking to a rainy day.

Now, an hour later, the peaceful feeling is still there and it takes me back ...

There were six children in my house. My cousin, Bill, who was like a brother, lived with us and he and I were the oldest.

There was never a dull moment at our house. I can't say we were ever bored. If anything, we all had such over-active imaginations, there simply were never enough hours in a day to fill with adventures and pretending.

In the summer, after our chores, the days were ours to do what we wanted. On most, we could be found outside playing games, riding bikes, roller skating, or up in the old apple tree building a tree house from old boards we found in the woodshed.

Today brought the memory of another rainy day at our house long ago. It also began with a thunder storm -- how we kids loved watching storms! At the first rumble of thunder, we all headed out to our wide front porch to watch Mother Nature work her audio-visual magic.

Eventually, the storm wound down to a steady rain. Someone, I don't really remember who, came up with the idea to go down to the basement and build a fort.

All for one, and one for all, we raided the linen closet and with our arms loaded with blankets and sheets, we headed down the basement stairs.

We tied string and ropes from one wall to the one across from it and we draped our sheets and blankets over them. Each of us had our own living quarters that way.

Then we borrowed Mama's vacuum cleaner hose to use as a telephone -- that was always funny, because it left a perfect dirt-circle around our mouths. Every time we looked at each other, we laughed until our sides ached.

What fun we had that day. And, like with almost all the creative projects of childhood, most of the fun was in the actual creation of it. I remember it took almost the whole day to finish our blanket fort.

Those are the days I treasure most -- those seemingly insignificant times we took for granted, thinking they would last forever. But those years bonded all of us and they've served to keep us bonded, even now.

Maybe it's why I'm still not ready to grow up ... especially when it rains.

“Our whole life is but a greater and longer childhood.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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