I wasn't bored. I was a kid. On Possum Trot Road.

School's out for summer! Rock on kids...

Oh. That's right. You're bored. There's nothing to do.

What, with the dozens of Wii games, a bag full of Nintendo DSi games, hundreds of television channels, a laptop, a cell phone and electricity to keep her comfy and cool, my Tweenado is bored. It's just been a week since she got out for the summer.

Summer vacation isn't even really a vacation anymore. It's just a few weeks. It's summer break. If I were a kid, it would be just enough of a "vacation" to piss me off.

"What did you do when you were my age," she asked.

Well, I did watch some television. I loved me some soaps. But, of course, we only
had five channels, two of which didn't come in too well. So, there wasn't much else to watch during the day.

I don't ever recall being "bored." At 12 years old, I had garnered enough skills to man my own covered wagon with the pioneers, head west and survive to tell my story. I'm serious.
  • I cut grass. On my own. Without being asked. And, if the mower was out of gas, I grabbed me a hose and siphoned some out of whatever car was available. Nothing quite like swallowing a mouth full and burping gas fumes for two days.
  • I washed cars. I cleaned them out -- with the help of my pet goat, Molly, more affectionately called Matt. I also pocketed any change I found to compensate me for my helpfulness.
  • I could cook. Not scrambled eggs. I could cook an awesome roast, potatoes, veggies, cornbread and make some tea. I could bake a cake that looked like a cake when I finished it. Nothing was burnt or looked strange. I tested recipes of my own creation and those that I found in cookbooks.
  • Just because it has to be said: I could walk barefoot through the woods without crying, complaining, hopping or thinking it was cruel punishment and that I might die.
  • I caught stuff. Bugs, lizards, toads, worms -- if it crawled, I caught it. And, then I used it to torture my sister.
  • I read...gasp!...books that were printed on paper.
  • I cleaned the house. Unlike my own daughter, I knew how to operate a vacuum, wash clothes, wash dishes, mop, sweep and more. I had accomplished something that she still has not: I could put up and hang my own clothes and make up my own bed.
  • I daydreamed. 
  • I wrote poetry.
  • I went for walks in the woods without telling anyone and lived to tell about it.
  • I fed animals. Well, most of the time. 
  • I rambled through my parents' bedroom. A lot. I was convinced that they had some deep dark secret. I spent hours rifling through stuff trying to find proof that either my mom was pregnant when they married or, more importantly, that I had been adopted. I never found evidence of either. I did find tampons. Never could figure out what in the world those were.
  • I called 1-800 numbers and requested information on foreign travel, investing in gold and anything else I could get for free.
  • I had yard sales at my grandparents' house. Then, I spent the rest of the summer counting and recounting my money from that and, of course, all of the change that I stole from my parents' cars.
  • I sometimes played some of the five or six games we had for our Atari.
  • Usually, by the end of the summer, I had rearranged my entire bedroom by myself.
Yep. I was busy out on Possum Trot Road. There wasn't anything but bugs, animals and trees out there in the summer. No friends visiting. I didn't spend hours on the phone.

I wasn't bored. I was a kid.

Sometimes, I wish my kids would learn how to be kids.

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  1. Well, put, Stephanie. At my grandpa's place in Walnut Grove, we dammed the creek with logs and made a nice swimming hole and explored all kinds of things in nature. We rode bikes and even the two ancient motorcycles that were left on the property when they bought it. Motorcycles with no motors but with functioning brakes and stuff that we'd push to the top of the hill, ride down, and push them up again.
    Back then, both boys and girls ran all summer shoeless and shirtless, in cut-off jeans and no one thought anything about it - the girls only grudgingly put on tops when they hit puberty. We took baths outside, with the rain coming off the tin roof, unless there was lightning. But we were rarely bored.

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