Thoughts of Summers Past

I’ve been seeing fireflies in our yard here in Connecticut. They rise, blinking, from the grass, flashing their golden lights. Seeing fireflies always sends me back to the summers of my childhood, which took place here in Connecticut. Chasing fireflies at night with my best childhood friend, Rebecca. Picking honeysuckle blossoms for their drops of nectar. And looking for mysteries in our neighborhood. We were fans of Nancy Drew. And we thought if Nancy could have dozens of mysteries fall right into her lap, why couldn’t we have one?

There was a little house up the street we were told had once been a schoolhouse. One day we saw a big, empty glass jug near a basement window of that house, and we suspected (decided) the owners had a wine cellar. Which we also determined was illegal. We didn’t know what a wine cellar was. I think we confused it with a “still” for making liquor, which we knew from the Andy Griffith TV show was illegal to own. (It was illegal in Mayberry, at least.)

Anyway, that became our mystery, and we spent endless hours trying to figure out how to catch these people with their illegal wine cellar. We’d dare each other to step into their yard, like the kids dared each other to step onto Boo Radley’s place in To Kill a Mockingbird, although the old house on our street didn’t look scary at all. I think we might have peeked in their basement window once, but if we did I’m sure we didn’t see anything but a dark room – which wouldn’t have stopped our mystery. Nothing stopped our mystery, until we got too old and we outgrew Nancy Drew and fireflies and all those wonderful things.