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home : opinion : opinion October 18, 2019

7/2/2019 3:09:00 PM
Summertime is . . .

Tammy Wilson
Guest Columnist


Ah summer! There’s something about this overheated time of year that makes us shift gears and relish the season and remember good stuff when we were kids.

I’m no exception. For me, summer is:

  1. Fresh-squeezed lemonade.
  2. Snacks in a picnic cooler.
  3. Reading a paperback novel under a beach umbrella.
  4. The aroma of coconut oil.
  5. Carnival rides and cotton candy.
  6. Pulling a cold drink bottle from the vending machine in a neighborhood grocery store with a wooden floor. You know it’s wooden because you’re barefoot and the storekeeper lets you in anyway because the storekeeper knows your folks and nobody cares about shoes anyhow because it’s summertime.
  7. Kool-Aid and sugar cookies at Bible School.
  8. Picking up treats from the outside window at the Dairy Queen. You can still do this in Hickory, I’m happy to say.
  9. The smell of baked vinyl in a vehicle.
  10. Water balloon fights and lawn sprinklers.
  11. The hum of a window air conditioner.
  12. Drapes pulled to keep out the heat.
  13. Cutting dress fabric on the kitchen table. Too hot to do anything outside; time to sew.
  14. Seersucker, straw hats and white shoes before Labor Day.
  15. The snap of a screen door.
  16. Smoke from a backyard grill.
  17. Watching the gauge of a pressure canner.
  18. Packing woodsy stuff for camp.
  19. The scent of timothy hay on a drive through the country.
  20. The buzz of cicadas at sunset and the silent twinkle of lightning bugs after dark.
  21. The clatter of katydids. Record this noise and play it to someone from outside the South; they’ll think this is the Twilight Zone.
  22. A drive-in theatre lit up at night, especially the neon sign by the highway. (Kings Mountain, Shelby and Albemarle still have such theatres.)
  23. Lying flat on the ground to spot satellites and falling stars.
  24. The distant rumble from the speedway.
  25. Inviting friends over to shoot off Bottle Rockets, Spinners and Roman Candles.
  26. Remembering the July 4 when the whole bag of fireworks ignited at once. (Everyone dove for cover. It was an early night.)

---Tammy Wilson is a writer from Newton. She co-edited Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives, in 2018. Message her at

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