Summer Break?

by Jann Gargiulo — I never understood why all the kids at school were so happy when it was time for school to end for the summer break. What break? What did that mean, anyway? Sure the days had more light so after dinner we could go outside and play more, but “break?”
 
Living on a truck farm, summer was particularly hectic. Crops needed picking and divided for selling and canning. Selling was fun, but canning was hot, and hotter! I never made it through an entire season of canning! It was a tough job.
 
I was in the way, so mom sent me outside to play. Oh, ahh, summer “break!!!”
 
We had a creek that ran along side the property. I would wade in with my two younger siblings. We would catch frogs, tadpoles, kissin’ bugs, anything we found interesting. If we got thirsty while playing we just went to the spring and dipped our scoop in where we always found nice fresh crystal clear water to drink. I can still remember how that water tasted and I have never tasted water that good since!
 
We would play in the water for a long time … until we heard daddy’s car coming. See, we weren’t allowed to play in the water … daddy called it “polio water.” I learned when I became an adult it happened to be the way our sewage was delivered to the river.
 
We still played in that water all summer long as did my older brothers and sisters. The creek took a bend at one point and there it was very deep (there were also snakes in there). My brother Larry was the bravest one at that point. There was a big old vine about as thick as a person’s wrist and he would grab hold of it and swing out over the deepest point then let go and drop into the water. Cheers and applause always followed. Then about five of the other siblings would try, not me.
 
So this was a fraction of my summer break!

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