All ye, All ye, out's in free!

Dear Gwen,

I heard the neighborhood children out playing evening games the other night. Most of their fun was centered in the yards at the top of the road so just drifts of noise made its way down to us. Our other summer night noises have begun with the cricket and katydid songs. We do not have the cicada songs as many of the Midwest neighborhoods do. One of my clearest summer memories must be from a cicada year. Because we were younger than my brothers Becky's and my bedtime was set earlier. At that time we had the front bedroom under the big catalpa. We must have had a late evening bedtime because I remember the light level being soft but still strong. And the buzzzzz of the cicadas droning on and on. Behind all that insect noise I could hear the neighborhood kids playing. As it got darker they would start to play hide and go seek. I must have fallen to sleep hearing "Olly Olly Oxen Free!"

It wasn't until I was older that I realized how great a spot we had for this game. As you know my parents' house is right next to the cemetery. The combination of the gravestones, the big trees and bushes, and yards provided wonderful hiding places. There were rules about playing in the cemetery. We had to be careful not to damage any grave sites or break any plants. No one wanted to be 'it', especially for the older kid version of Kick the Can. There were just too many places to hide. Later in the evening it was great fun to change hiding places under the cover of darkness. I remember hiding far from the street light and then slowly making my way up closer to the can. It was always a great surprise to dive behind a gravestone to find someone else already there. And this scene usually ended in a whispered argument as to who was now obligated to move first.

I caught this trying to hide in my garden.Come out, come out wherever you are!





Before - fresh from the farmers' market