Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bumble Bees and Lightening Bugs

(A Sunday Favorite)

writeroval-1-1 I love Sunday Favorites, when Chari at Happy to Design gives us a chance to revisit older posts that we might have missed. I’ve been using Sunday Favorites as a chance to share some of the things I posted before most of you became readers of Life in the Slow Lane. This post originally appeared October 29, 2008.


Sometimes on our evening walks our conversation turns nostalgic when we recall things we did as children. I guess this is what you do when you're 60 something.

Looking at the stars last night, we lamented that we couldn't see as many as we used to. Unfortunately city lights and pollution have practically obscured the Milky Way. Larry remembered that even though his neighborhood in Newport, Arkansas, had street lights, they didn't obscure the stars because someone was always shooting out the lights with a BB gun. Here are a few of our other recollections:

  • On Crestwood Road in Camden, Arkansas, we played outside at night under the street lights. In the summer it was too hot to stay inside because the only window air conditioner was in Mother's and Daddy's bedroom. So we stayed outside until Daddy whistled us in.
  • Catching lightening bugs was a favorite nighttime activity. We would put a whole bunch in a Mason jar in an attempt to make a lantern. Unfortunately, the lightening bugs didn't live very long.
  • During the daytime, we also played outside. Believe it or not, it was cooler outside than it was inside, even during the summer season. The lightening bugs weren't out during the day, so we liked to catch white headed bumble bees, tie strings around their necks and fly them around. They had to be white headed bees because that kind wouldn't sting. Glenda said that she and her friends would do the same thing with June bugs.

Speaking of bugs, it's a wonder any of us who grew up in small towns in the South are still alive. In our neighborhood, the "fogging machine" would come around in the summer spraying for mosquitoes. This was a contraption pulled behind a pick up truck that would drive up and down the residential streets. We loved to run behind the fogging machine, but no telling how much DDT we breathed.

In Newport, they sprayed the stuff over the whole town with crop dusting planes, so you couldn't escape it if you wanted to. Larry has a classmate who still has the contract to spray Newport for mosquitoes, but I'm certain he doesn't use DDT anymore.

Back to the stars, Larry and I had the opportunity to see a beautiful night sky on our recent trip to Colorado. Driving back to Durango from Ouray one night, we pulled off the road, turned off the headlights and got out of the car. Almost immediately we saw a shooting star, and the Milky Way was magnificent.

When we're in Camden for Thanksgiving, I think I'll go out into the pasture away from the lights and have a good star gazing.


Domestic Designer said...

Catching lightening bugs was a favorite past time during my childhood. Oh, the memories you have brought back! :-)

xinex said...

S wonderful to be reminded of those old days. We still have lightening bugs in the backyard and my granddaughter was amazed when she first saw them while visiting...Christine

Robin said...

We used to do the same things when we were kids. We are very fortunate that we can still see the stars in the night sky when there are no clouds! We have already started these traditions with our children!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


Robin ;o)

Keetha said...

I remember playing outside until dark or even after too. Our dad ALSO whistled us in.

Did you play "Kick the Can" and "Annie, Annie, Over?"

How about "It's Saturday Night and I'm Going Downtown to Smoke My Pipe and YOU Open the Door." - - - or was that just a northern Wisconsin game???

nanny said...

I remember that fogging machine coming by when I was little and lived in Crossett, Arkansas. We played outside all day until dark and we had so much fun. The best was taking a big cardboard box across the highway and sliding down the steep side of the road into the ditch. Good ole days,,,we were allowed to cross the highway and slide down into a ditch and were perfectly safe....

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

I just love lightening bugs! We have them here in the summers. I don't remember seeing the "foggy" machines...that sounds scary that you guys ran behind it. It's funny to look back now at stuff we did back then and didn't think anything of it. Wonder what we'll be looking back on in 20 years and will be saying..."I can't believe we did that!" :-)

Kim @ Manning Family Tree said...

We don't have lightning bugs or fireflies in southern California. I feel like I missed out. When I was in my 20's I did go to Maryland & was able to see some for the first time. I remember seeing the Milky Way when I was a kid. But not so much now unless you go way out to the boonies. Luckily where I live now we can see quite a few stars while sitting in the jacuzzi outside. I remember playing outside all day & late into the evening in the summertime. Kids now a days don't know what they are missing. Thanks for giving us the chance to reminisce about our childhood. Brings back fond memories.

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I can envision you howling at the moon too! Happy Sunday Favorites!

Chandy said...

Congratulations to you, grandma! She's pretty and I, too, grew up spending my summers outside more than inside.

We had bigger beetles that we would catch off mango tree branches, string up the thorax under the wings and let them fly in various patterns with the string taut! It's a great past time especially when you have a group of friends. Oh I miss those days when the sky was still clear enough to show you its wonder...

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

How sweet the memories. Dean and I used to lay in the pasture at night and watch the stars they were magnificent.
Thanks for sharing

Dixie said...

What a wonderful post to "revisit". I grew up in the old South too... doing all the things you describe. A wonderful walk down memory lane...

Now, I must say, that Ricky and I enjoy beautiful starry lit nights in French Lique... even today (or should I say... tonight?).

Thanks for your comments on my "stuff" post. I was a little leary about writing it... it is good to know that others see what I see... in between the lines.

Happy Memorial Day.

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Kathy, just like a trip down memory it.


Chari said...

Hi Kathy...

What a delightful post to reshare with all of us...although it's new to me! Hehe! I'm so glad that you joined in with Sunday Favorites again this week!!!

Ohhh my, reading your post brought back lots of fond childhood memories for me! Ohh yes, I remember as a kid growing up, we never spent time indoors (unlike so many youngin's today)...there was just so much to do outside! I'm afraid that much of our younger generation is missing out...due to TV and video games,'s so sad!

Being from Colorado, I sure do get in on the beautiful star-lit night skies. We've live way out in the sticks where city lights and pollution have no's really beautiful!!!

Thanks for sharing this post with us, my friend...I sure did enjoy it!

Have a blessed and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Chari said...

Ooops...just lil' ol' me again!

Wanted to tell you that we got to Lucerne on our trip through the Alps also. I agree with you, my friend...I would go back there in a heartbeat! I have to say that Switzerland holds the record for me...for the most spectacular scenery of any place in the world!!! It's simply breathtaking, isn't it?


Sue said...

I can't believe you mentioned Ouray, Colorado in your post.It IS one of the prettiest spots in the state, but the place with most stars I've ever seen on a clear summer nite was down in Creede. It was magical. Loved your post. Sue

Anonymous said...

Growing up in North East Ark in the summer time was staying out until time to come in get a bath and go to bed, neighborhood game of kick the can, following the mosquito spray truck all over town on your bicycle. We roamed far and wide, but every knew everybody so no mater where you were an adult that knew you and your family was always around so you didn't even think about doing anything bad.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Kathy, this brought back a lot of memories. We caught lightening bugs; my children grew up doing the same thing; and now my grandchildren do it too. We rode our bikes behind the fogging machine. Glad my children and grandchildren aren't doing that! laurie

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I miss things like fireflies so much..
~smiles and love~

darnold23 said...

I get the seasoning blend I use at our WM Supercenter. It is with the frozen foods and is a blend of onions, peppers and celery. I just keep it in my freezer to use for convenience. It is located with the bags of frozen onions and frozen bell peppers.

Lynn said...

Your growing up years sound exactly like mine!
I grew up in Ada, Oklahoma.
I am 63.
Dear God!! How did I get this old!!!?

Candy said...

Childhood had the same adventures all over the country. We have recently talked about the fogging machines and how crazy it was.

We do a lot of star gazing on our deck. Hubby has a cool lazer pointer that seems to touch the stars.

Taking time to honor our heroes,

Valerie said...

Even 20-years younger, we still caught lightening bugs in the 70s! Didn't run behind any "fogging machines", but did play with tar from a illegally disposed oil drum that we later learned was laced with all sorts of carcinogens. At least we didn't digest the stuff...just used sticks to mold...our very own tacky modeling clay. YUCK!

Great post...we can see the stars out where we live. Lovely.