Summer Memories in Chicago

*** This post was selected as one of ChicagoNow's 20 Best Posts June 2018... ***

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SUMMER MEMORY FROM YOUR SCHOOL YEARS?

The question above was presented to us ChicagoNow bloggers at 8:00 p.m. this evening.  It was our monthly Blogapalooz-Hour, wherein we authors have one hour to comprise an answer and write accordingly on the topic.

So I’ll keep this simple.  Because it was the simple pleasures of summer that still have a place in my happy memories.  It’s the remembrance of waiting until after dinner, when the heavy summer air cooled down a bit.

HAPPY SUMMER NIGHTS

We’d rush through our evening chores of clearing the dinner table and washing the dishes.  We hurried since we knew all of our friends did the same – anxious to be back outside for a game of Cops and Robbers, throwing a Frisbee around, or just enjoying the night air without worries of school on our plate.

In the Beverly neighborhood on Chicago’s far southwest side, we had homes full of kids our own age. My friend across the street had 5 children, while others down the block beat everyone out with 7 kids under the same roof.

As I mentioned, the air was cooler; we could breathe better, which helped with running across neighbors’ lawns attempting to tag our opponents.

There was something about the dark that brought us all together. During the day, it seemed the girls played with the girls, while the boys tended to their own games.  But in the early evening, our differences were set aside and we became one lively, friendly group of kids.

It may have been the dim streetlights that masked our reluctance to bond in the bright daylight.  Does it really matter why?  This post isn’t meant to be profound or philosophical.  It’s merely to recall the happy times of letting our guards down, running, panting and laughing as we tried to keep points night after night.

Afterwards, as our parents called us in, one by one, we slowly and unwillingly retreated to our homes.

We marched upstairs, complaining about having to brush our teeth, and dreading the hot air upstairs in our bedrooms.

And we slept with the windows wide open, waiting for a slight breeze.  Happy in our thoughts and exhausted from the day, while knowing that another repeat was in store for our tomorrow.

Those are my Blissful. Summer. Memories.

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