Black Feet, Lilacs, and Ashland Summers

 

I remember when summer was not even a time but a smell in the air. You knew it was coming when the lilacs started to bloom in the valley, and the air had this soft sweet scent wafting through almost every thought you had summersummersummersummersummersummer. It would build in the last few weeks of school until you were going to burst. Plans of all the days that you would throw back the covers at first light not even taking the time for shoes and run downtown. Not having to call or text your friends to find them because you knew you would find someone. That was part of the thrill, not knowing what your day had in store for you. You never even notices the heat and your feet were so tough and calloused that the heat from the sidewalks did not cause you to wince. Down at the creek in the park you knew ice-cold snow water that ran through would cool you down, you could sit on the rocks and let it run over you. When you got hungry you could go get an ice-cold bottled Pepsi and pepperoni from Papa Terrelle at the Log Cabin, or a bowl of rice from Mikies parents at the Dahlia, or a sandwich from Tommy’s where your mom was working. If you lucky enough to could find enough change so that you could buy a chocolate dipped cone and sit in your favorite tree, in front of the park trying to eat it before it melted down your arm. There wasn’t a check in time; there wasn’t a care in the world. Your day was your own until the sun started to set, and it was time to meander home with your dirty black feet. But it never seemed to matter because you could start it all again tomorrow…and the next day..and the next. Never once was the phone used, television turned on, the need for air conditioning, a thought of video games.

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