Although my favorite season is Autumn, I will never complain of Spring. Even with the dirty snow, dead grass, and muddy sidewalks of the early seasonal transition, can anyone really complain?
I can contribute a lot of this to great spring memories of elementary, middle school, and high school, being cooped up inside for so long and suddenly being let loose! Growing up, I rode the bus (for a long time, it was Bus 2. I was not happy when we got a different bus…) and our bus stop was the intersection our house was on. With a line of kids 5-6 deep, there was never a dull moment waiting the 10 or so minutes before the bus pulled up. It was when it got warmer that you would see everyone out earlier and earlier. No longer were people waiting inside until the last minute to run out to the bus (my family included).
It was about late elementary school when the local boys in my grade (only a handful in the town of 600, mostly elderly) started to go out and toss the football around. Although we had some decent baskets and a full sized diamond close by, football was the sport often gone to. We had a lot of options for fields. A yard (the small option), the warehouse lot and the triangle (medium option), and the park (the very large selection). I can still remember the never-changing touchdown markers in each, which likely still exist.
When I was about 7th-8th grade, a lot of the high schoolers got together down in the park at one point in the spring and got a decently large game of (hybrid two-hand/tackle) football going. All in my grade were in on it, and so I followed. Sure enough, I got my first concussion… at least I think I was fully concussed. I can’t remember how it happened, but I do remember hitting the ground hard enough to see stars with the woozy feeling after.
The environment was completely different than the one I see my nephew growing up in. Very rural with no technology versus suburbia with all the technology. Cell phones weren’t even a common thing until I got into High School. My Ma had one of those “car phones” for several years by the way. Back to growing up without a phone… I was a free roaming. I had two bikes growing up and boy did I put a lot of mileage on them. Literally many many many miles. There wasn’t an inch of town that I haven’t been. I’d spend hours rolling around town, finding little things to do, seeing how fast I could go, seeing places I’ve never seen, etc. No one could keep immediate tabs on me. I was trusted to be home before it started getting too dark. My Ma would ask where I’ve been or what I had been up to without any sense of worry and I would explain if I felt the desire. I was literally a member of the last group of youth with no cell phones… although computers are a different story.