Monday, June 27, 2011
Aaaaaah! Summer Days!
Saturday, the little town we live by had it's annual Carnival. Every year since I can remember, this little travelling Carnival sets up in the little strip of land that runs along the two lane Mountain Highway that bisects the town. I just happened upon it this year, when I was on my weekly shopping and errand trip.
I had to drive right past to check my mail at the Post Office. So I parked and started walking. I had to take a look. I had such strong feelings of nostalgia.
It was like walking back in time. I used to take my own children to this Carnival every year. We would eat Cotton Candy and Elephant Ears, Hot Dogs and Nachos. Ice cream would drip down our faces. Someone would always drop their cones. Hubby always ended up holding several wands of Cotton Candy. It would end up in our hair.
I remember my own childhood Carnival Days. There was an ocean Beach along the Massachusetts' Coast within an hour's drive from our home. There was a long stretch of white sandy beach on one side of the road, and on the other an amusement park. It contained one of the world's largest wooden Roller Coasters. I went on it once. That was enough for me.
My favorite ride was the Ferris Wheel. I loved being so high in the salty air that I could see all the little people down below, the long white beach, the ships out to sea. I loved the rush you would feel in the pit of your stomach on the way down! It was that same feeling you would get on the first day of summer, the first day home after school let out for the year. Waking up with that exciting feeling, knowing you had the whole summer stretched out before you!
And who doesn't love the Merry-Go-Round? My sisters and I would try to be the first to rush on, so we could pick out the prettiest horse! In those days, you could reach for the Brass Ring hanging alongside and get a free ride. I reached out and grabbed that Brass Ring once. I never forgot the lesson!
My Parents always bought a huge bag of Salt Water Taffy. They made it right there in one of the street side Kiosks. We watched, fascinated as the large hunks of sticky candy was pulled and stretched on this moving machine that looked like a yarn winder. The different flavors were all wrapped in waxed paper and displayed individually in bins. We would each pick our favorite flavor and the man would scoop it into red and white striped paper bags. I always chose the nougat. Soft white candy with little jellied polka dots. Mom would ask for a second scoop of each choice to put into the communal bag to take home.
We so loved taking our own little children to the annual Carnival. Hubby was very good at winning prizes at the gaming booths. He wouldn't give up until each child had a toy. I loved that about him. Once when we were dating, he took me to the Amusement Park by the Sea and won me an enormous Orange Teddy Bear. You see, my bedroom was yellow and Orange, (it being the 70's), and this Teddy Bear was the perfect addition. He was so big, he had to sit on the floor.
As I walked along through the little Carnival, I thought of all these things. That Happy feeling you get when you wake up at the start of summer vacation. The wonderful memories of fun as a child and with my own children.
And I realized.....I really did grab the brass ring. I have been on the ride of my life. And I still get that wonderful feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I realize how lucky I am.