Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rainy days

I always get nostalgic on rainy days. Runnemede wasn't exactly the rainy-est place in New Jersey, but I recall several nice rainy days growing up. Of course, it didn't matter if it rained, we had the front porch and the back porch on which to play.

I know I've written about that front porch many, many times, but days like today just bring it all back. Playing with my doll and the little doll buggy I had -- which I believe was my grandmother's. It was repaired several times by my mom. It was basically a sling held between two bars -- one bar being the handle, the other bar being the lower part of the buggy, and then it had three wheels.

I used to have a picture of me with that buggy, but I don't know what ever happened to it. I do remember the last time my mom fixed it, though. She had some green upholstery material left over from slip-cover material she used on an old chair we had in our living room. It wasn't very pretty material, but it was sturdy.

I would put my doll(s) in that sling, cover them with a blanket, and walk back and forth across the porch singing my baby to sleep. Where I got the idea that one had to sing their baby to sleep, I don't know. I dont' remember my mom singing any of us to sleep, but perhaps she did, and in my baby-mind I recalled that as I sang to my dolls.
And, of course, as I got older, weather permitting, I would just sit out there and read. I always loved to watch the storms coming in and they usually came at us from the northwest or west, both directions were easily visible from the porch.
I also remember having to sweep the porch once a week -- a job I really didn't mind -- and then sweep the steps and the walk that led to the street. I was proud -- yes, the kind of pride that goes before a fall type of proud -- of the job I did when I cleaned the porch. I felt like I accomplished something. And once the walk was cleaned of debris, I could sketch my hop-scotch blocks back onto the walk. said sketch would last until it rained.
So, tomorrow, I'll take my computer out on my porch here in Kentucky, and enjoy being outdoors, but dry while it rains. Or, maybe I'll read another Louis L'Amour book -- I picked up three more at the library the other day. Or maybe, I'll clean the house -- nah -- can't see well enough on cloudy days. How's that for an excuse?


Lori said...

I'm curious if the honeysuckle bushes were always there? I remember as a kid playing on the porch too, but because the honeysuckles were so large, they attracted a lot of bees and it would make me nervous being out there too long. Did grandma plant those out there? I do remember sitting on the porch as an older child - like 12 or 13 while it rained. Everytime we visited we'd get one really good thunderstorm while we were there and I loved when that happened, because it was relaxing and much cooler.

Judi Hahn said...

The honeysuckle bushes were out back mostly, the one by the porch was a mistake, put there by a bird or a bee, and when it showed up mom wasn't pleased because every year she'd try to get rid of it (along with the forsythia which took over the whole side yard). And I recall when phil was a baby that there was a hornet's nest under the arm of the slider that was one the porch, and he grabbed for it (being the baby of 1 that he was) and got stung pretty bad.

I'll have to write a BLOG about wasps and hornets. I hate those things.