10 Days of Heat: On a hot summer’s night … (Day 1)
Kick the can.
Ghost in the graveyard.
Chasing down fireflies.
Wiffleball under the street lights.
Summers aren’t what they used to be.
When I think of a hot summer night, I think of it in life stages — as a kid, as a teen/young adult, and as an adult. Each step of the way is different and I think that’s good. So let’s take a peek at life, through the eyes of a different age group on a hot summer night.
As a kid
What a carefree time it was in life. No school and the freedom to roam some with friends. Growing up in the age before the Internet made things a lot different. So much so that there wasn’t the worry of really bad things happening to you. Parents knew where you were, even if you didn’t think they did — and they didn’t have to helicopter to do so.
Video games were in the early days, so sitting around playing the Atari or early Nintendo systems wasn’t always something we wanted to do.
Instead, we were outside.
We played games like kick the can and ghost in the graveyard. We played Wiffleball until we couldn’t see anymore, and even then we still tried. We ran around and had fun. But we were outside.
Do kids even know what kick the can is anymore?
Tap, tap, tap on “John” behind the bushes on Mrs. Smith’s yard!
Goodness, childhood had some great moments. Those nights were the times when you started having interest in others as more than friends. Those were the nights friendships became stronger. Those were the nights you had the chance to be kids.
Life moves fast — it’s a shame some kids these days don’t see the benefits of playing a silly game that allows you to run around, have fun, and eventually kick the living hell out of an old Folgers can.
Fridays during the month of July in my town also meant the Fair on the Square, a weekly community event that included games and food and entertainment. There were fire truck and hay rides. Everything was amazing. They still have this event to this day, but it’s highly toned down.
These days, kids have more things they’d rather do, whether is be something with technology or just something different. There’s also the fear of allowing kids to roam free, but that is what society now dictates. I’m glad I had the chance to grow up with I did.
As a teen and into early adulthood
As a teen, once you could get around more with a car — or a friend driving — parties and things like that became more of something you would do on a hot summer night. Maybe it was just hanging out in some parking lot with friends, chatting it up and probably making too much noise. Again, for me, this was a time before the Internet, so sitting at home and tapping away on the computer was a distant thing, not something in the now.
Many of us had CBs in our cars/trucks and we’d sometimes play games of car hide and seek, using the CBs to give hints and fake hints.
As I got into my 20s, a hot summer night also meant softball — and a lot of it. At my peak, I played in three leagues and nearly every night and weekend. It’s what the summers were made for. As I look back on my softball days — some 26 or 27 years after I started — the game and landscape has changed. Although I still love the playing aspect, the dedication and commitment isn’t what it once was. People have so many other things going on in their lives. I am truly happy I played in an era when softball was huge. People would come watch. We’d compete. And then we’d have a beer or three after the game.
Now, leagues are dying. The game has changed. The commitment has changed. But it’s all part of how things evolve, either good or bad.
I will still remember the fond times we had, being sponsored by a bar and heading out for a few cold ones after a game. In my prime, I played upward of 75-90 games per summer. Now, I play about 15 in an old man’s league (35 and over) and it’s a lot different. I still enjoy playing between the lines, but a lot of the other aspects are starting to get harder and harder to do.
Summers change as you get older.
As an adult
Sure, a hot summer night includes softball (at least for this summer). But it’s not the ideal thing anymore. It’s hard to get a full group of guys to games as everybody has so many other responsibilities, commitments, or interests. Me included.
There are times after work I just want to go home, put my feet up, and play on the computer. There are other times I just want to go for a walk. Or take photos. Or a million of other things.
It’s called adulthood.
But for me, a hot summer night includes going to a baseball game. Minors or majors. With somebody else or by myself. I’m armed with my score book and the baseball passport, enjoying the time I get to watch the game and appreciate what is happening. Baseball is, by far, my favorite sport.
The summers are perfect for it.
I am sure as I get older, my hot summer nights will continue to evolve and change. Maybe it will include getting back into golf or some other hobby. Maybe I’ll start to do more photography. Maybe something completely different. Who can ever tell? It’s been fun to see how my summer nights have evolved and it will be fun to be a part of what it does moving forward.
If you are joining up with us for the 10 Days of Heat, please link up below and check out the other posts! It’s never too late to join us. Check out information below the linkup!
This is part of the 10 Days of Heat writing challenge! There’s still time to join up with us. Do as many themes as you want! The challenge runs every Tuesday and Thursday through the month of August 2017. For a list of themes, check out the announcement post and join us!