The Suprising Sounds of Summer

The sound caught me by surprise. Wood against wood with a familiar thwack.

It unearthed a long forgotten sweet memory of hot summer days, in and out of the screen door, melting popsicles, cousins, the coolness of the stone basement and unending hours of exploring my grandparents farm.

No worries, no computers, no responsibilities.

Just writing that made me smile.

Our new house has a screen porch with 2 doors.  Not the best doors.  Just simple wooden screen doors that at first I thought we might replace but now, probably not.

Despite all the advances made in the world the simple screen porch door has stayed the same.  I am so thankful.

It was the familiar sound of wood hitting wood that caught me by surprise.  I’m sure many a parent and grandparent have winced at that repeated sound pleading for the kids to close the door gently because they were going to wake the baby or just because it was the one millionth time it had happened in the last hour.

To me, though,it was such a sweet sound I stood there and made it thwack several times.  So much so Paul came out and wondered what in the world I was doing.

My grandparents had that same door in their mud room.  It was the door everyone used.  It was the sound that woke me up on sticky summer mornings when my grandfather would let the dog out and go get the paper.  The room I slept in had a window near the mud room and that sound was my signal to jump out of bed to start a new adventure.

I did not mind there was no air conditioning, or even a freezer for popsicles.  Ice cream was a treat and it was usually handmade from a custard my grandmother made and then put in the ice cream freezer and hand cranked with rock salt around the exterior.  Once served you ate it quickly otherwise it became ice cream soup.  There were no seconds and I tried to savor it while trying to eat it before it melted.

Making ice cream (in the fall???)              The only photo I have of making ice cream at the farm.  I have no idea why we are making it in cold weather!   

Then I would run into the mudroom, let the screen door make it familiar thwack and rush to get the stickiness off my hands in preparation for the next adventure.  Of course if the hose was out I would just run the cold water over my hands and get a drink as well. 🙂

That mud room.  HGTV lovers would die.  A short set of cement stairs led up to a cement room complete with a crude cement sink  next to a wringer washing machine that crushed any buttons that got in its way.

                                                       Just in case you have no idea what a wringer washing machine looks like!

I spent at least once a week helping my grandmother run wet clothes through the wringer and then hanging them up on the clothes line. We also hand washed the dishes and dried them every evening.

Child labor at its best.

Neither one of these chores were my favorite but the conversations I had with my grandmother were the best 🙂

The short trip through the mud room led me to another screen door into the kitchen.  My grandmother had the big heavy door open with hopes of bringing in a breeze and  a little respite from the summer heat.  It actually didn’t work that way.  The farmhouse in the summer was a rectangular brick oven that held onto every bit of heat it could until winter when it let out a huge breath of hot humid air and held onto every cold molecule it could so you could see your breath on cold winter mornings.

I spent most of the summers at the farm with dirty bare feet, no T.V., my siblings or cousins, tractor rides, avoiding cow pies, shucking corn, down home cooking, my imagination and  one unfortunate incident where I tried to to pee in the horses stall so I didn’t have to walk back to the house.  It ended with a change of clothes and my grandmother mad at me.  Now it is one of my favorite stories.  Back then, not so much.

It only took one thwack of our new screen door to remind me I had some magical summers.

                                                                        Cute me at 4 yrs old in front of the farm house.

The sounds, the smells, the taste of that ice cream…one sound brought it all back.

I just might make some ice cream from my grandmothers recipe.  And maybe a drink from the hose.  🙂

As always keep triing.


Hey I made it on a Tuesday.  Go me.  All grammatical and spelling error are my gift to you and may you have a magical day or several 🙂

If you are new here, welcome.  I try to post every Tuesday except when life gets away from me and then who knows.  I was recently published in the book ” So God Made a Mother” and I am working on a yet to be named novel.  My six grandchildren keep me young and my very organized hubby Paul tolerates my very unorganized self.  Opposites do attract 🙂

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