These long summer days find us making due in any way we can. Lots of adapting, adopting and refitting our summer this year to accommodate the Pandemic.
One thing all this has done for me is that it has triggered memories of times when I had to make my own fun. The long summer days like these recall my youth playing fast pitch tennis ball, shooting hoops and causing general havoc with my gang of friends. The best make shift diamond for the baseball games was a location we called Sohio Field, so named because it was an empty field that bordered property owned by the Sohio Gas Company. The field was just the right dimensions for a pick up baseball game for the half dozen or so of us, altering the Home Run Derby rules as we needed based on the number of us who made it the that day’s game. By late summer we were experienced at making our own fun. The 10 foot high chain link fence erected by the Sohio company provided the perfect outfield wall. Anyone of us would gladly give up a tennis ball to be able to blast one over that fence. Needless to say, we usually walked back with a full compliment of tennis balls.
On the way to Sohio Field from my friend’s house stood the lawn of Old Man Meese. His yard ran parallel to my friends, a few lawns closer to Sohio Field. On the way to the game we had enough energy to ignore the open green space, which if cut through would eliminate about 30 seconds of the trip to Sohio field and home run hitting glory. On the way back however, tired, thirsty and having to get home for dinner, it was a different story. The trip through Old Man Meese’s sedulously kept lawn was too tempting not consider cutting through.
Yet we knew old man Meese prized his thick green grass, every single blade. He spent so much time out there, we thought it possible he named each and every blade. If we ran across that sacred space we would be at reaching into my friend’s fridge for cold can of Mountain Dew a half minute sooner. So tempting. But Old Man Meese was always vigilant and would surely yell at us, heaping abuse on us as we ran across his property. Yet the lawn was sitting there, an open space to be used for our benefit. Where was the harm? Old man Meese’s blades of grass would recover and life would go on.
As I write this post, attempting to make my own fun on this long summer day, I am listening to a public radio jazz show on low volume. It has no commercials. But a PSA just came on. Now my phone just buzzed. I have received a notification from Facebook that someone somewhere did something. I have to look. Phone now in hand I checked. A FB friend posted that his pet parrot has been taught to ride their golden retriever. Fighting back tears of joy, I now feel that I have to check my email. Since interest rates are historically low, I have been considering the possibility of re- financing the house. My phone knows this and my screen is covered with tiny mortgage rate ads, embedded with even tinier “x-s”, put there to help to eliminate those ads. But I don’t want this. The little x-s are nearly impossible to use for their intended purpose- they are so small! Now pissed, I give up on the rate search. To calm down, I check the weather. I must know if it is 85 or 86 degrees right now. Wait! I catch myself. I’m sitting at my dining room window. I can see, feel and practically touch the weather!
I toss the phone down. Damn kids – stay off my lawn! No, wait. I’m back to the post. My lawn. F***. Where was I? Making my own fun. Summers past. Old Man Meese. Me. I get it now. Old Man Meese spent so much time and effort on his lawn. I’ve done the same with this blog, these posts. His lawn. My Mind. Now I get why he didn’t want us cutting across his lawn. I’ve turned into crabby Old Man Meese. Every blade of grass was sacred to him. Every thought sacred to my mind. I don’t want a stranger stepping on my thoughts. It pisses me off. Where is my intetnt it all of this? I was having such a fine time, making my own fun. Damn kids!
“May I help who’s next?”