Friday, July 8, 2016

Those Summer Years of Youth

 Today’s Poetic Bloomings prompt? Write a “That Summer in ________” poem about a place that brings a fond (or otherwise) memory from summers past.

 I like prompts that crack open rusty, dusty vaults!
(for those who wonder...left to right: Carolyn, Marlene, Lewis, Gerald, Calvin, Lucy and Lisa(neighbor-'sister')
Leaf Mountain from Autumn years of youth

Our family was sort of divided into sections... 'the four oldest'(born in under four years:) 
then 'the three little girls and 'the three little boys'. This photo is 'the three little girls and the three little boys' plus a neighbour who was sort of an 'adopted sister' during those summer years of youth, because she was the youngest in a large family...

We thought Time was bondage
Those summer years of youth
It wasn’t until they were gone
We realized the truth

…those miles of corn we hoed
Those whiles we whiled away
Beneath the sprawling canopy
Of maple-willow sway

That swing in the hay-loft
Strung from the highest truss
Daring timid riders to brave
Its burlap Pegasus

…those childish tears we shed
Those chores that seemed so dull
Those chatter-jolly supper-times
When every plate was full

The monotone of clocks
The drone of heat-waved haze
Where boredom conceived building-blocks
And Mom, another babe

Those years before the years
That drew us from home’s doors
And we left without looking back
Oblivious to shores

Those brother-sister days
Of farm-life laugh-love-learn
They slipped through us, one-way freeways
To ports of no-return

We thought it was bondage
Those years before we flew
Away from the safe haven of
The only life we knew

© Janet Martin

I use the word 'bondage' lightly...the bonds of a loving childhood and a child full of dreams:)

Those were the years when we always had a baby in the family or had one on the way. 
Even after ten of us I remember we begged mom to 'please have some twins to round our numbers off to a nice dozen!' 
(as if mom was in charge of these thing:)
Plus, our wild imaginations envisioned a cheaper-by-the-dozen bookish romance of family.
Little did we realize the sacrifices our parents made on our behalf!

Sometimes, as I shake my head over how little youth realizes what it has…then I'm reminded of what once I didn't know!

Tomorrow we have a family reunion. 
Dad, Mom all ten of us 'children', 
our children and a few children's children...

I was going to post a 'guess which is me' pic.
The girls and I laughed as I posted it because, well...
That lunch pail lasted until well through elementary school!(I think I got new one in Gr. 7)  Mom drew then cut mac-tac letters for my name.
I don't have many 'me' pics...those must be home in mom's albums.
This is the 5 oldest Martin kids ready for school...
Cheryl Gr. 6, David Gr. 5, Janet Gr. 4, Stuart Gr. 3, Lucille Gr. 1.


  1. Janet, which one is you? I'm curious if I guessed right :)

    1. oh! sorry, I'm the one who took the photo with my new Hanimex 28 mm lens camera. What suspense as we waited for the mail after we sent a film away for developing and oh, the disappointment when anticipated shots were blurred or out of focus! Tell you what...I'll look for a photo with younger me on it and see if you can pick me out:)

    2. Oops.. :) well, the three little girls look a lot alike in this picture, and they are your sisters, so there's a resemblance -- that's my excuse.

      You've always been a great photographer!

    3. That's okay.
      That's Lucy and people who do not know us super-well still get confused about who is who.
      I just posted another photo of the older 'set':) but didn't realize until I posted it that it's not really a 'guessing' photo:-0

    4. Right in the middle, with your name in all caps :) This time I guessed right!

    5. lol. I still remember the feeling/ smell when lifting the lid to see what mom packed. It's one of the reasons I enjoy making my family's lunches. Surprises taste better!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. just took it off because we cleared up the confusion:)

  3. I envy the fun of being part of a large family...what wonderful memories and the fact that you are still a part of one another.

    1. It is a blessing we appreciate more with every passing year! thank-you:)

  4. Oh, magical joys of mac-tac! I'd forgotten about that. And the lovely lunch-surprise factor - although, my most remembered surprise is anticipating a little Tupperware cup of homemade pudding for dessert, only to find pickles! (Which were also homemade and tasty, but NOT pudding!) Few things can match the indignation of a pigtailed seven-year-old ...Thank you for sharing - and stirring - lovely memories.

    1. thank YOU for the chuckles:)
      my favorites were an oatmeal cookie called rolled oat goodies and I LOVED salmon sandwiches, a rare treat!


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