Mar 4th, 2008

When I Was A Child

Someone on Ravelry asked: “What do you miss most about being a child?”

I grew up in South Florida (which I need to mention because) I miss: going to the beach in the dead of night in the middle of the summer to watch the sea turtles lay their eggs. Seeing the shoals of sand dollars just under your toes. Riding my friend’s horse through the orange groves and flower farms. Summers eating all the raspberries I could pick from the brambles in my Grandpa’s back yard in Newport. Picking mushrooms and having Grandma fry them for breakfast. Climbing coconut & mango trees. Eating everything that was edible in the landscape, from palm hearts to oranges to wild grapes to mangoes to coconuts to rose apples to guavas to mulberries to avocados to Key limes to wild mustard to kumquats and calmondins to loquats to Surinam cherries to the honey from the flame vine flowers. If it didn’t grow in my yard, it grew in someone else’s and was free for the taking. Making lime-ade from the Key Limes and drinking it from a high ball glass with a mint garnish and a splash of grenadine. Having my daddy make fried kippers for me. Fishing in the creek with a cane pole and frying up pan fish afterwards. Going swimming in the pond and getting yelled at because there could have been a gator. Taking my dog to the beach, where he could run free. Getting tucked in at night. Going to the family store after hours and having the run of the place. Riding my bike to the beach. Body surfing and snorkeling all day without worrying about skin cancer. The stars. The smell of orange blossoms in the spring. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches beside the country club pool. Hearing the trio play “Baby Elephant Walk” at the country club dinners. Catching minnows in a net made out of a wire hanger and the toe of my mother’s stocking (not pantyhose). Making a horse tail out of Royal Poinciana fronds. Climbing the mulberry tree and eating until I was purple and still having enough to take home to my mother to make a pie. Driving around town to look at the Christmas lights. Standing in the sugar sand to watch the space launches 100 miles north. The parades down Flagler Avenue. Learning to sail on the Indian River. Learning to waterski on the St. Lucie River. Feeding lettuce to the manatees at the dock in down town Fort Pierce. Orange groves and flower farms. My best friend, who lived on a dirt road. The feel of the hot car seat after a day at the beach.