April 4, 2018

Spring Break Memories


It's Spring Break for the grands this week. Without fail, every time one of my children or grandchildren celebrates a week off of school in the spring, I find myself recalling my favorite break as a child. It happened the year I was in sixth grade.

You would think we'd ordered the weather that week. Temperatures in the 70s, clear blue skies, not too hot, not too cold. We spent every day at the creek which ran behind our neighborhood.

We lived in a small subdivision on the edge of the county. The creek created the boundary to the next county and town. To get to the creek, we rode our bikes to the end of the cul de sac at the back of the neighborhood and followed the path through the woods and undergrowth to a small stretch of sand by the creek. A fallen tree provided a bridge to the other side if you were brave enough to cross it.

We brought sandwiches and spent the entire day there. No worries. No troubles. Just fun in the peace and quiet of the creek. We imagined we were shipwrecked or exploring the jungles of South America or the Congo in Africa. We went everywhere that Spring Break and never left the cul de sac.

Today, parents can't let their children wander like we did. That makes me sad. My best memories come from those carefree days. We were safe, then, and allowed to be children one more year. Too bad things had to change.

That was my last Spring Break in that neighborhood. We moved closer to downtown the following November. As a junior high student, my explorations took different paths. Without the creek to guide me, I wandered downtown to buy candy or to the nearby college campus to check out the boys.

Yet, every time the air begins to smell of spring, I find myself drawn back to the beach next to the creek. A child once again.

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