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Friday, June 18, 2010

Southern Sounds and Sights of Summer

There's something about an ice cream truck, driving through the neighborhood, playing its first song of summer, that gets children excited while making adults reminisce about childhood.

Children came out the door as if ejected by the house; tilted forward, legs and feet churning, trying to catch up to the rest of the child.

When I was a child, it seemed the ice cream truck always came during the evening. I wonder why that was? Maybe parents used it for good behavior, an end of day reward, proving they had successfully negotiated another day?

I never had much money growing up, so I typically didn't buy an ice cream, instead preferring to save my money for comic books - besides, I knew I had ice cream in the refrigerator. But I did like to go near the window and observe the anticipation excitement on the kids faces after they had placed their order. Now it seems as though the younger kids were licking the entire rim of their mouths while they waited!

Some of the vendors appeared to enjoy the job and the children, while others appeared to not be happy in the job at all - in a hurry to get to the next site they wouldn't find any enjoyment in either.

I never saw a woman selling ice cream from a truck. I wonder why that was too.


Cicadas and crickets come out at this time too, playing their songs of summer, along with lightening bugs to intermittently light the way. I have some crickets singing and lightening bugs blinking in my yard as I write this from my back porch.

I used to chase after lightening bugs, placing them when caught, into a mason jar with holes punch in the lid with a fork, in order to have 'air to breath'. Also some carefully placed grass and a small stick to climb - lightening bugs like to climb, you know. I'm not sure what the purpose of the grass was, but it seemed like a good thing to add to make them feel more at home.

Sometimes little fingers would catch an unfortunate lightening bug in the grips of the lid, and separate the bug's tail from his main body, resulting in a continuous emission of light from the tail. I would watch as the glow, which seemed to pulse slightly, gradually faded away. I didn't like it when this would happen, as even young children understood they had killed the lightening bug. But I was on a mission, and lightening bugs had to be caught, so I would endeavor to be more careful next time.

I have read, but can't ascertain the truthfulness, that only the males light up in an attempt to 'call' a female in to mate. I also read a wonderful story (I think it was in 'Guide Post') that there was a valley in North Carolina, where all of the lightening bugs in the entire field, hundreds, if not thousands of them, would 'strobe' on and off at exactly same time.

I hope this made the females feel they were important and desired!

After pondering about it, I don't believe sticking a light bulb in my rear will result in any females coming my way.....

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