Submitted January 13, 2010 by Linda LaTorre
There are so many stories that warm my heart when I think of growing up here in Maine. I grew up off Shore Road in Cape Elizabeth. Summers were playing baseball with all the kids in the neighborhood. The numbers varied from 5 to 25. It didn't matter. It all worked out. We played in our yard which made me feel like a big shot. Our house lot was a "double lot" with a side yard just the right size for a baseball field. For all those years our lawn was all worn down. Years later, when all the kids were gone, Dad hired someone to make the whole lawn pristine. It made me think back and appreciate that our parents sacrificed having a nice lawn to let the neighborhood kids play baseball every day. Summer days would start right after you made your bed, got dressed and brushed your teeth. The rules were few. Be home at 11:30 for lunch and 5:30 for dinner. No one had a watch, so all the Mom's had "dinner bells", which called each child home when they were needed or wanted. Somehow we all knew the sound of our Mom's bell. Sometimes an argument would break out. "That was your bell! NO! that was definitely YOUR bell!" Evenings, once again, we would gather on our front lawn and play "Red Rover, Red Rover" or "Simon Says". There was usually a big crowd for that. Often some of the parents would pull up lawn chairs and chat and watch us play. I felt like a million dollars when we would be allowed to stay up after dark playing. It seemed these days would never end. I don't remember the last time we played.
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