Childhood Memories of Summers Past


With those lazy days of summer soon approaching, I can’t help but think back on the many wonderful memories from my childhood summers.  You know . . . the days when you didn’t have a care in the world, and didn’t know what a “To-do” list was. When the days seemed to last forever, and you didn’t know what “health care costs” were about, nor did you care! Your only concern was what adventures you were going to enjoy that day! My younger brother, Marshall, and I would get up and eat breakfast which usually consisted of our favorite cereal, and then head outside, where we would spend most of the day, until mom called us in for lunch and then later on for supper. The day usually started with climbing a tree, as we loved climbing trees! When we were way up high in a tree, the world seemed smaller in some way and any problem could be solved from up there. It was like our own little universe, in which we were in charge. Higher and higher we would climb, strategically looking for the perfect limb to help us achieve great heights. I did this one time until I realized just how high up I was, and got scared and couldn’t get down until my dad the rescuer, came home from work and talked me down the tree!

tree climber
Why is a tree there . . . but to climb of course!
photo of a tea party
A tea party with my friends . . . Notice even Miss Bunny is dressed for the occasion!

There were other important things to be done as well, like swinging, which my brother and I usually pushed to the limits. We would soar back and forth through the air until we achieved enough height to put a good amount of slack into the chains. When this no longer satisfied our thirst for adventure, we would head to the tire swing, where we would fly round and round, while spinning and spinning, until we couldn’t stand up after dismounting our rubber flying machine! And then we’d laugh and laugh, quite happy and content with our adventurous flight! There were also tree houses and forts to be built, and one of the best forts we ever built, we made by cutting through thick hanging bunches of kudzu vine with machetes. To us, it was our palace in the jungle, where we would make things like kudzu soup and mud pies. Of course there always had to be flowers, usually in an old tin can, which would serve as my silver-plated vase, and I would fill it with Lantana or Spanish Needles. True, neither was the most pleasantly fragrant flower of choice, but nonetheless, it was pretty . . . to me anyway. Numerous hours would pass while we played in and made additions to these forts. At other times there were camping trips as a family, visits to the beach and the rare visits to Walt Disney World. One of our favorite pastimes was riding around the cow pasture while sitting on the lowered tailgate of dad’s truck. This always thrilled us and we were content to ride for long periods of time while bouncing all around and watching the beautiful herd of cows and sometimes feeding them bread, with nothing but the vast expanse of the blue skies above. Usually time spent riding around in the cow pasture ended with a Barbeque, which my grandpa was a true master of and we all greatly enjoyed!

rachelle siegrist
Once a little girl loves flowers . . . she loves them all of her life!
Walt Disney World
Mom, Marshall and I at Walt Disney World . . . Dad’s taking the photo

I must admit one of my all time favorite pastimes was swimming in my grandparent’s pool. I was blessed to have my grandparents live a mere 10-minute drive from where we lived, so we saw them often, especially in the summer months! Many summer days for my brother and me would be spent at granny’s house, swimming. We would get into the pool early in the morning, and while usually being serenaded by a Mockingbird somewhere nearby , we would swim our hearts out. Of course we’d have to get out to eat lunch, and granny would make us hot dogs which we ate on a piece of Roman Meal whole wheat bread, that was accompanied by Fritos . . . what else! The drink of choice of course was a Coke, back when it was in the little glass bottles, which made it icy cold. With a snap of a bottle opener, you could hear the ssssss . . . and within seconds you were drinking that delicious liquid refreshment! After lunch it was back into the pool until time for a snack that afternoon, consisting of chocolate Moonpies and another icy bottle of Coke. With tummies content, back into the pool we went again where we swam the afternoon away.  Some days grandpa would join us when he got home from work, and mom would join us as well. Dad would join us too after leaving work, and on a very rare occasion, my granny would even come swim with all of us. That really thrilled my brother and I, to have the entire family swimming in the pool with us! Supper usually consisted of barbequed hamburgers, granny’s delicious baked beans and homemade potato salad, and of course a scrumptious dessert, which would sometimes be homemade vanilla ice cream . . . yummy! By the time my brother and I were made to get out of the pool later that evening, our fingers and toes resembled raisins from being in the water all day long. Ah . . . those days were truly some of the best! Even though I still occasionally get to swim or climb trees, somehow it’s a bit different now.  Perhaps it’s because I now have a “To-do list” and now know what health insurance is all about, but nonetheless, I still have the memories!

Helping Grandpa Barbeque!

It’s pretty much been the same ole . . . same ole . . . thing here this past week. We did enjoy spending a couple of evenings with our friends Fred and Barb. We felt like “Meals on Wheels” as we drove over to their house with a pan of my homemade baked ziti, tossed salad, rolls and my heavenly banana pudding to share together for the evening meal. There was leftovers for all too, which made it even better! Afterwards we all enjoyed watching a DVD of one of my favorite artists, Richard Schmid, painting a landscape. Another evening we drove over with my lemon pasta with grilled zucchini, and rolls. That evening we enjoyed watching a DVD of artist David Dunlop painting plein aire. Other than that, we’ve been working on our newsletter, which was sent out this past week, painting and enjoying our daily walks or bike rides. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed watching my feathered and furry friends, while I’m eating breakfast on the backporch. They put on one of the best shows on earth, especially when the yard is full of squawking baby birds, and the Mulberry tree is full of berries, which all of them love to eat!

baked ziti
Eating Ziti at Fred and Barb’s house
cardinal photo
One of my newest little buddies, a baby Cardinal
photo of a squirrel
Chestnut enjoys eating her millet on a stick

~ This week’s featured show info ~

~ 7th Annual Miniature Fine Art Show July 13 – August 10, 2013: Artistic Designs Gallery, Brownsburg, IN – We will be attending the opening reception on July 12th with Wes giving a talk on miniature art that evening. We will be teaching a workshop on miniature painting on Saturday, July 13th (9AM-4PM)

~ We’ll also be conducting a workshop at the Kenosha Public Museum in October.

To view all our upcoming exhibits:

Have a loved one or a beloved pet you would like captured in miniature? Contact and commission us!
Don’t forget to “Sign Up” to receive an email each time I update the blog!

Until next time ~ Rachelle

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