Remember when Memorial Day meant your life was about to begin? What was the song? “No more rulers, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks”? What a wonderful feeling those final days of school were. The electricity in the air was palpable and anything was possible. Heck this summer we might build a spaceship and fly to the moon or a ship and sail the seven seas. Yes the opening weekend of summer, Memorial Day weekend, was the portal to adventure.
Gladys awoke with a start. It was here. It was finally here. She climbed out of her side of the bed being careful not to wake Matilda. You see Gladys was an early riser. She did not want to miss one single moment of the day. She wanted to see the sun rise and drink in the very first day of freedom. She slipped into the kitchen which was still dark and quiet. Nurse Meme had not returned from her night shift at the hospital and Trooper Bob was in the shower preparing for his day shift keeping the highways and byways safe from interlopers. She got the stepstool from the pantry and drug it to the refrigerator. The door opened with a stiff tug and illuminated the room with the soft cold glow. She reached in pulled a carton of milk from the shelf, made a swipe for the pitcher of Tang and a couple of eggs. The stool then was drug to the stove and pots and pans were pulled from their storage space. Gladys wasn’t afraid of the stove, heck she had been cooking since she was a little kid and now that she was seven she knew how to not burn herself, well, most of the time. She went about her business of breakfast making and poured herself a glass of milk and then gingerly pulled the glasses with oranges printed on the outside from the cabinet and unsuccessfully tried to pour her Tang without spilling, because Tang is what the astronauts drink in space. They were adventurers and so was Gladys.
Trooper Bob walked in just as she was sopping up the contents of the juice pitcher from the floor. “What’s going on here?” his voice shattering the quiet of the morning.
Gladys jumped and turned holding the juice soaked towel. “Nothing Daddy, I jist tried to pour me some Tang and I spilled a little”.
Trooper Bob side stepped the puddle in the floor careful not to get his polished Tony Lama’s near the sticky juice. “Well, you better git this mess cleaned up afore your momma gits home. She’ll have a can-ip-shun fit. Wipe it up with some Spic and Span so it don’t leave no stickiness, now you hear.” He made his way to the percolator and poured himself a cup of coffee and turned for the door. He stopped, took a long look at his baby daughter mopping up the orange goop. “Gladys?”
Gladys leaned on her mop “yeah, Daddy.”
“What the hell are you wearing?” Trooper Bob asked pointing toward her outfit.
“My bathing suit” she replied smoothing down her red white and blue two piece.
“Did you git up and put that on first thing this morning?” He chuckled.
“Naw sir. I slept in it. It’s summertime that means you can sleep in your swimming suit.” Gladys answered matter of factly.
“Yep I guess it does.” Trooper Bob said as the door closed quietly behind him.
So happy summer everyone and I don’t know about you but I’ll be sleeping in my swimming suit.