Tomorrow is my last day off this summer. I find "summer" an interesting season. I never really liked it. Not a fan of heat, even as a young'un, I lamented that summer was a license to frolic outside. Summer is usually associated with no school, but I liked school as a kid. It was a bummer not to go to school every day. Suffice it to say, I've never bonded with the summer season.
I was raised by my mother, and as I stated in a previous blog, I had some questionable babysitters as a kid. In the summer of '86 (so I was 8 years old), I made a deal with my mother that I'd stay home by myself during the summer. She'd save money since she wouldn't have to pay a babysitter, and I wouldn't have to deal with a babysitter. Honestly, it was a pretty groovy deal given the crazy folks she'd leave me with. The downside to this arrangement was that I would be home by myself all day. I love to read (even to this day), so I'd read tons of books and go to the library at least once a week. I had a TI-99 (one of the first video game systems, kind of like an Atari but more "educational"), and I'd play that frequently. So my summers as a kid were spent reading and playing video games. Bor-ing. But it certainly was better than crazy babysitters, so I was fine with it.
The real highlight of every summer was visiting my dad, uncle, and grandparents in Pennsylvania. Two weeks of bliss! I got to be a kid and do fun stuff, like riding bikes and playing board games and playing badminton and playing with my friends and eating a box of popsicles a day and going to the best amusement park ever: Kennywood. Every summer there was at least one huge thunderstorm while I was there, and I would love the thunder, lightning, and sheets of rain. There were some bad parts to each visit: grandma going in and out of the hospital, family fights between my dad and any of the other family members, that kind of stuff. Overall, though, spending two weeks in Pennsylvania every summer was the highlight of the summer every year.
Since three of the four members of my family in Pennsylvania are dead now, there's really no reason to go back in the summer anymore. I have gone back to see my uncle a couple of times, but that doesn't necessarily have to be in the summer.
What shall I do on my last day off for the summer? Deliver my present for the baby shower where I don't know the guest of honor, clean, a few errands. If I could blink and transport myself to Kennywood, I certainly would like to go there. Ride all the rides and get me some french fries at Potato Patch!