In April, when I wrote My 50th Post, I offered one lucky commenter a chance to guest post on my blog. Now, I am please to present that commenter and our guest blogger, Michelle Joyce Bond. She is a fellow writer and WordPress blogger, who hails from the Garden State. Click here to check out her blog, sleeps with notebooks. Without further ado, Michelle Joyce Bond, everybody:
My father is a well-meaning, incredibly accident-prone man. He would come home from work a with lobster-grade sunburns and splinters in his legs that he didn’t even know about. My mother would pick the splinters out, asking him always to be “more careful” to which he would laugh and leave the kitchen still bleeding, eager to start the grill.
This is the man who made our summers.
He built us a lopsided tree house that, though structurally sound, was a breeding ground for imaginative mischief. My sister and I would take turns jumping from its “balcony” down onto a pile of sand we brought over in buckets from the sandbox, destroying the grass. The two of us were riddled with splinters and bruises, but that didn’t stop us from bare-foot races up and down the ladder. My mother would complain, but thankfully, my dad would burst in with the refrain, “Ah, let ‘em play.”
He’d blast classic rock in the backyard and give us sparklers to play with well before the 4th of July. Once, he once built us a cheap swing set that rocked whenever we played on it, its feet rising inches above the ground. His solution was to plant the feet in cement, which worked…until the cement started rising too, creating an almost soothing thud, thud in the background every time we swung.
One of our best memories is of a homemade Slip-and-Slide my father constructed out of a clear plastic paint tarp. He rolled it across the yard and left it there for days, killing much of the grass (most of what we did wound up killing grass). My sister and I quickly figured out where the rocks and divots were, and we’d take the path of least resistance, skimming on our stomach across the plastic while my father sprayed us with the hose. He later set up a rotating sprinkler so our ghetto version would match the updated Slip-and-Slide playing on a loop on commercials. Most of the neighborhood kids took turns and, miraculously, no one was injured. That is, except my dad, whose momentum sent him flying off the plastic and into the shed.
My sister and I would make our own games, jumping for leaves in the tree that hung above the pool and seeing who could throw the most rocks over the highest power line, but it was always better when my father got one of his “wild ideas.”
I’m curious, what games did you invent or reinvent in the summer to entertain yourself as a child? What games were constructed by well-meaning though possibly accident-prone adults? Can’t wait to hear from you!
Also, thank you to Susannah for graciously inviting me to make a guest post on her blog!