Does your house have a front storm door? Mine doesn't, and it's so foreign to me not to have one. I really thought it was standard equipment on homes.
As a kid, I remember my mom spraying Windex on our front storm door at least once or twice a week, especially in the summer. As soon as I finished my Rice Krispies, I was in and out of that door dozens of times, sometimes alone, often trailed by most, if not all, of the kids in my neighborhood. The handprints weren't just mine, and I probably left my mark on many other doors within a bike ride of my house.
Speaking of bike rides, my friends and I would roll up our beach towels with a dollar tucked tightly in the middle, and convoy up to the local pool. That dollar would buy me an afternoon's swim, a Suicide (a shot of every fountain soda flavor in one cup) and a Zero bar, and I'd still have fifteen cents left over to put in my dad's change jar. Occasionally I'll run across a Zero bar in the candy aisle, and immediately I smell chlorine and Coppertone and hear Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover."
After we came home and dried off, we rushed through dinner so we could all meet under the street light to play TV tag or hide and seek. Our parents would sit on the porch and watch, or all congregate at one house or another while we ran amok. We could always tell whose back yard they were sitting in, by looking for the cloud of cigarette smoke and listening for the clink of ice in highball glasses.
Finally, when it was good and dark, we'd get our jelly jars with holes poked in the lids, or if you were really cool (like me) you had an official bug catcher jar, and catch so many lightening bugs you could use it like a lantern. Of course, we also took the glowing parts off the bugs and smeared them on our faces like indians, or wrote our names on our arms. PETA forgive me, I knew not what I did.
And now I watch my daughter ride her bike up and down the street with her friends, bang in and out of the garage door, and take her cool bug catcher jar and stalk lightening bugs. I do have to drive her to the local pool, but I hope that when she's older, sitting on her back porch watching the fireflies light up the yard, she fondly remembers her childhood summers.