Having a tinkerer for a Daddy was fun most times. He liked junk and liked to make things out of junk. Which is why I love junk I guess.
He made us things.
I can faintly remember a merry go round he put together for us when I was probably around four years old circa 1964. My seat was an old tricycle mounted and my little brother’s was an old high chair or a baby walker. I can remember him pushing us on that go round one day until we were crying and about to puke. Me looking over at my baby brother who was screaming and me screaming.
I am sure mostly fun times were had on that merry go round but you remember what you remember from when you were that age.
Flash forward to about 1973. Now this is summertime fun. No crying or puking going on.
We had some land. Daddy had a bulldozer.
He had an old car that he had bought from a guy who was hard up for some cash one week. It was a big blue boat of a car, worth nothing but scrap money or to use as a demolition derby car.
Why not let the kids have it for some driving lessons?
Let’s see, I was 12 or 13 at the most. That would make my brothers about 11 and 9.
Daddy made a racetrack (or that’s what we called it). He bulldozed a dirt track around trees in the field and woods and packed it down.
Then he put a block of wood under the gas pedal (he wasn’t a stupid man) so we didn’t get to race. We had something we sat on to raise us up so that we could see over the dashboard. If I remember correctly Momma strapped a throw pillow over the steering wheel, her version of an airbag. We had to wear a motorcycle helmet. Safety first.
I was scared to drive. Daddy rode with me the first round or two. But then he talked me into going on my own. Of course, my brothers were just about to pee their pants with the anticipation of their turn. They were not scaredy cats like me.
We hit some trees. It was thrilling to bounce back and not be hurt. It didn’t matter if we hit a tree because that old car was not worth anything but fun.
I dreamed about it not too long ago. That race track through the woods.
It was one of those rare fun afternoons with the entire family. The kind you smile about when you remember them.
Like the day we all went sled riding on the pine needles in the summertime.
Our house was surrounded by stripper pits and steep spoil banks. Huge giant pine trees grew on the banks and shed needles. The slopes were deep with dead pine needles.
I don’t know how we discovered you could slide down the banks on a piece of cardboard but we did. One of us probably slid on our butt, saw it was fun and grabbed a box to try out. We were summertime sledding.
Being kids someone remembered our Christmas sleds.
We had all three gotten plastic sleds for Christmas. The kind that rolled up. Just a 3 foot long piece of blue plastic with a red handle on the end. One of us ran home to get them. curiosity got the better of Daddy and Momma who had to check out where we were going with our plastic sleds in the summertime. They followed out into the woods.
We were laughing and having so much fun that Momma and Daddy actually tried it and sledded with us. Sledding in the summertime.
The best times are the time spent together. Remember that carefree joy of being a kid. Enjoy the summer!