Right before the street lights come on
when the sun is a deep orange and you still want to play.
When the cicadas are playing the soundtrack of summer.
When the 4th of July is 2 weeks away
and mid August is an eternity.
When every day feels like a blank canvas.
You wake up with no intentions,
When Sycamore Creek is your office
and the traffic on the trails is light.
When the early summer crawdads are jumping
and the tadpoles are sprouting legs.
The rock bridge needs rebuilding from last week’s thunderstorms
and the yard needs mowing.
$5 more in your pocket,
or in the savings account for fireworks.
When downtown feels so far away
and riding your bike down there makes you feel grownup.
Saturday mornings at the pawn shop.
Talking/trading baseball cards with Steve and Fish.
Buying The Punisher and a few Rickey Hendersons.
This was my childhood.
Filled with every small town cliché you can think of:
Grandparents living close
Having some of the same teachers in high school that taught your parents
A creek or forest to escape to
Massive amount of time on bikes
Not worrying about strangers and riding my bike wherever I wanted
Coming back home for lunch or getting a slice of pizza from Casey’s along with some 5¢ gum
And I love those clichés.