Reflections: “E.O.N.” Adventures

My sisters and I looked forward to three things in summer:

homemade popsicles, running through the sprinkler, and exploring.

Our popsicles were legendary; made of course, with Kool-Aid and a lot of sugar.  Mom delegated two ice cube trays to us for the summer and kept us supplied with  a wide variety of Kool-Aid flavors, our favorite being cherry.  Once they froze, we’d pop them out of the tray, wrap a napkin around them, and dash outside, licking as fast as possible, as they’d dripped down our chins in the hot sun.  Nothing ever tasted so delicious!

Two Children Running Through Garden Sprinkler

Two Children Running Through Garden Sprinkler

We never knew anyone with a swimming pool.  But all our neighborhood friends had sprinklers in their yards.  Eddie had a circular spinning sprinkler, Maria’s lay in a long straight line across her yard,  and ours rotated back and forth in a large arc.  All of us kids would put on our swimming suits and run from yard to yard, squealing with delight as we’d leap and chase each other through every sprinkler.

But by far the best recollection of my childhood summers were when we became “the explorers.”  We weren’t just any explorers – we excelled! For you see, only the best could ever have formed the “E.O.N. Club,” (Explorers Of Nature).

pancake_breakfast_15Flag: Green and White (made from one of daddy’s old hankies and tied to the top of a tall stick) It was saluted every morning.

Oath: (I’m a little vague here, but as I recall we had three main points) 1. Never harm any animals; 2. Don’t walk through anyone’s garden; 3. Pick up any trash you see.

Dues: If you have a nickel or a dime, bring it to our meetings. It will be used to buy snacks for other meetings.

Purpose: Explore the woods around the neighborhood.  Look for treasures, such as pretty rocks, old bird nests,  unusual bugs (this was never me!), or anything we could use to play with.

On one rare occasion we found a fallen bird nest that still held a featherless baby bird.  Not knowing any better, we carefully cradled the nest in our bicycle basket and rushed our little treasure home.  After Mom scolded us about not moving the bird from where we’d found it, she gave us an eye dropper to give it water.  Well, being E.O.N. experts, we weren’t convinced water would be best – but we knew what would.  Yup – it didn’t take long for that popsicle to melt.  We dribbled bright red cherry popsicle juice all over that scrawny gray baby bird.  It could barely open it’s tiny beak, but we kept squeezing the eye dropper.  Two days later, well, as you might imagine, our little bird “passed on.”  We were devastated.

But the faithful E.O.N. members were not to be outdone.  “Birdie Baby” was lovingly placed on a bed of cotton balls in an empty Kleenex box, surrounded by flowers we allowed ourselves to pick from Mama’s garden (we didn’t walk through it).

Bury-a-Dead-Bird-Step-6

 

Standing under the E.O.N. flag, we prayed, sang Onward Christian Soldiers, and had a burial back in the woods where we had found the nest.  We then returned home for popsicles and an afternoon of running through sprinklers.

During July, we’ll be sharing many books, ideas, and projects – all focused on creativity.  Summer is the perfect time to come up with new and exciting ways to try something different.  Who knows?  You may want to form your own E.O.N. Club!  Think creatively!

Mary Byrne Kline

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Comments

  1. Beautiful story that reminds me of my own childhood, sans the baby bird!

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