Entropy of a Good Girl- Summertime Pt 1

I’d wake with the sun We didn't have air conditioning in our house so my window would be open letting in the fresh morning smells and the sounds of birds chirping. I remember next being outside. My Mama would send me outside in the mornings and latch the screendoor behind me. She would not be opening the door again until lunchtime but I didn't care, I had plans!

I ran down the front stops through the still wet dew yard. I wore flip flops because it was summertime and I liked to feel the wet grass kiss my toes in the mornings when running toward my storm drain. I would run to the edge of the yard and down into the gully beside my house that headed down into the storm drain that ran beneath the street.

Each morning I would race to see this large spider who had the night before spread her web across the opening of this large storm drain. She would carefully but with amazing speed wrap up her meal that had been caught in her web overnight. I have no idea why I was not scared of her. It was quite the opposite in fact. I would greet her each morning watching her do her housekeeping I would talk to her and tell her about things. She was my spider friend.
Once my little spider friend had finished her housekeeping she scurried off and it was now time for me to sing! I entered the storm drain beneath the street and made my way up to the curb opening. There beneath the street was a little concrete opening just big enough for me to sit in and the acoustics were that of a concert hall and I took full advantage. I wold sing to the top of my lungs. Each song I had ever heard took its turn as I just sang and sang.

Once I had sang everything I could think of in my own personal concert hall, I went to the door to ask for a snack. Mama usually would give me some crackers, fruit and some juice. I always insisted turning this into a picnic, weather permitting.

One day, I had set up my little picnic in the driveway and I remember choosing that particular spot because an army of little ants were crossing from one side of the driveway to the other marching toward their new home in the grass. I was fully fascinated at their teamwork and watching them carrying crumbs from the cracker I sprinkled nearby.Usually after I finished my little picnic, it was time for me to visit my friends in the tree.

In the middle of the front yard was a large oak tree that shaded the house most of the day. The bark on this tree had large cracks between the bark large enough for me to stick in my fingers and my toes to climb up the tree. The tree had a branch shaped like an “L” and I would settle in and talk to the birds and the squirrels. I tried to convince them that they needed Jesus mimicking what I heard Mama and Daddy say all the time.

I was a very prissy girl. My Mama was very proper and was raised pentecostal holiness. That is a denomination of christianity that believed that women were to be submissive and they dressed very modestly. Women never wore pants. That was not at all why I wore skirts and dresses. I wore them because “girls wear dresses”.

I finished chatting up the birds and butterflies and all those creatures in my imagination were listening to every word. I regularly hung by my knees from the tree, skirt falling down over my head. Good thing that when I insisted to wear dresses my Mama insisted that I wear shorts beneath.

It was usually about this time that one of the other kids in the neighborhood would come and ask me to play.

Terry lived across the street in the yellow house. His Mama was very strict so I did not see him very often, but I do remember one day in particular. Terry had a chicken shed in his back yard. This particular day I was in the chicken shed with Terry and the twins.

The twins lived next door to Terry and they were 12 or 13 years old. This was around 1977 so I had to be about 5 or 6 years old. The twins were big on playing the dare game. This day, the twins dared Terry to kiss me and I remember being extremely uncomfortable. I heard Mama calling me for lunch and I ran home.

After lunch, Mama would make me rest for naptime. I didn't have to go to sleep, but I did have to rest. This just changed the venue of my imagination and did not stop me from continuing on with my playtime. My bed became a boat and I was a pirate. The floor became the ocean and the dressers and other furniture were the docks. I would climb over the furniture and land on the bed. Many times, Mama would come to the room to tell me to keep it down and to remind me that this was time to rest.

On the day that I paid a visit to Terry’s chicken coup, during my rest time, I could hear Terry, the twins and the kid who lived on the other side of the gully from me, Jason. They were standing in the gully beneath my window. I heard the twins suggest that they all pee into a bucket and pour it into a glass. They suggested to tell me that it was orange juice and dare me to drink it. Later when they tried, I double dared them to drink it first. I do not recall what happened next.

The afternoon was not dissimilar to the mornings. I was ushered back outside but this time to the backyard. My backyard was probably a ¼ acre rectangle that had a giant clover patch instead pf grass. I would lay down in it and roll around, picking and blowing the dandelions, chattin’ up the bugs and worms and of course, singing to them./ I made every creature I came in contact with, my friend.

At the very back of the backyard Daddy had bought and installed a swingset. I am not sure if Daddy didn't want to anchor the posts or didnt know how to but they were not anchored. I would swing as high as I could swing to see if I could walk the swingset forward. It worked kinda. It would go forward when I went forward and back when I swung back. It is a wonder I am still alive.