A Hot, Hot Day in July – Writing Prompt
Oh my, it’s going to be a scorcher, again. The heat reminds me of hot summer days in Ohio where I grew up. Until I was seven, my grandparents lived downstairs and my cousins lived next door. We didn’t have air conditioning and summers were spent outdoors in the shade of the crab apple tree. While the grownups drank iced coffee and ate watermelon, my cousin Mimi and I would run through the sprinklers and swing on the hammock, only taking a break to eat frozen orange juice popsicles my grandmother made in ice cube trays. I don’t think we felt the heat much back then. We were too busy being kids and having fun.
At night, when it was too hot to stay in our apartment, my parents would take the 1955 Buick, windows down, wind blowing in our faces, for a ride in the country to see when the corn might be ready at the farm stand. It had to be “as high as an elephant’s eye” before the farmers would pick it, before we could buy it, bring it home, steam it, and slather it with butter and salt.
The best part of July was my birthday. Regardless of the heat, my grandmother would bake my favorite treat–cinnamon buns frosted with a thick, gooey, sweet glaze. After I licked the icing from the pan, my grandfather and I would go outside. I’d follow him around the yard while he watered the garden, squealing with delight when he missed a plant and watered me instead.
The highlight of my birthday was snowballs. That’s right–snowballs in July. During the inevitable winter snowstorms, my grandparents would make snowballs and store them in the freezer. At the hottest time of the day, my grandmother would bring them out on a platter and the games would begin. Over the years, we played a snowball version of hot potato, catch, snowball baseball, and snowball tag. And, of course, there was always a snowball dessert, some version of a snow cone, made with maple syrup or strawberry jam.
Today, the temperature is supposed to reach the triple digits. I don’t live in Ohio any more, but this afternoon, I plan to make a pot of iced coffee, cut a thick slice of watermelon, turn on the sprinkler, sit out under the Japanese Maple, and give my cousin Mimi a call to see what she remembers about the hot, hot days of July.
WRITING PROMPT: WRITE ABOUT A HOT SUMMER DAY FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD