Thursday, July 28, 2011

Playing with Sprinklers

Back in the day, air conditioning was rare in the average home. All we had to combat the summer heat were fans, cool drinks and if you were between the age of five and ten, the sprinkler out in the yard.

Every summer day, if it didn't rain, an almost daily event in Florida, Mom would pull the sprinkler out into the yard, turn it on and call us to put on our swimsuits. It felt so good to finally hit that cold water in the ninety plus temperatures. Mind you, I'm talking about way back when, long before "Slip-n-Slides" and the other water toys that obviously came from the creative minds of other baby boomers that had similar experiences back when they were kids. All we had were sprinklers.

Oh Yeah! There was something else. Going hand in hand with the sprinkler was that plastic inflatable pool, big enough for all of us kids, yet small enough to empty
and deflate every day. It wouldn't do to keep the water from one day to the next, you see, it would heat up in the summer sun and be just like taking a bath. That was something that every kid had to fight tooth and nail just as a matter of principle. Mom was wise enough not to try to bring a bar of soap out there and suggest we clean up. Baths were baths, indoors or out!

These impromptu sprinkler parties were the hit of the neighborhood. Some days, we were the first family to get one started and all the kids would congregate in our yard. Other days, the party was in another family's yard and we would all go running down the street to join the fun. Hopping down the street was more likely because the pavement would be superheated by the overhead sun. We would have to escape to the grass next to the street, but that was a sissy's way out. We all had to be tough guys that could stand the heat of the street. But, you can be sure that we wasted no time getting our toasty toes under the sprinkler or into the blow up pool when we arrived at our destination. Later in the year, our feet would be toughened up and we could stay in the street the whole way down the road. There is nothing like the pride of an eight year old boy who can leisurely saunter down a whole block of sweltering pavement with a smile on his face!

The neighborhood girls would have nothing to do with this pavement bravado. They were content to walk in the grass, all cool and relaxed, tender feet and all. But we all enjoyed the special summertime treat of frolicking to the pulsating rhythm of the sprinkler in the golden sunshine of our youth. Oh MY!

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