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Hot weather, good company on a summer day

KATHRYN YARBRO
Guest columnist

Is it the hottest weather yet?
Most likely not, but it sure feels that way. I remember when fans and air conditioners were what a few other people had.
The 5-and-10-cent store had paddle fans at its entrance and when we came to town we raced to stand under them. At home we raised the windows hoping for a breeze. We filled a tub with water and by sundown it was warm enough for the evening bath and to wash all the day’s accumulated dust from our feet.
We either ate lunch leftovers or biscuit sandwiches for supper as it was too hot to fire up the kitchen stove.
Monday’s washday efforts dried fast on the clothesline strung between two large oak trees.
I used to say that when I got rich I would always sleep on line-dried sheets that someone else changed each day. I never found the pot of gold and clothes dryers changed my way of thinking.
My on-line sheets and towels seemed to be the place that fly-over birds chose for their droppings.
Fresh sheets from the dryer stretched tight across the mattress feel good enough to make you forget line drying.
On idle days we would spread a quilt in the shade of the oak trees and read and reread comic books and all other books that we could trade with friends in the neighborhood. No library books when school was closed for the summer. Then we had never heard nor dreamed of a bookmobile that would cruise the area dispensing books.
When we tired of reading we looked at clouds and used our imagination to find pictures of favorite animals.
No one had to find something for us to do. It would not have worked to tell mother that we were bored. Chores were always waiting.
Last week we had a five-year-old girl visit for the day. I was kept busy trying to find different things to keep her occupied. After she had washed the sidewalk chalk, she found the Kindle and then she seemed to be happy.
She immediately found the fireworks on Facebook eager to show them because she had been there. Then as she poked around looking for other pictures she found music. She lost it and wanted me to find it again. I was the one who was lost so we hurriedly found something else to do.
Keeping company with a small girl is a good way to spend a summer day.
There’s a lot to learn from them. Who else would have thought to wash the sidewalk chalk?
Kathryn Yarbro is former managing editor of the Lincoln Times-News.

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