Day Eleven: Size Matters (In Sentences)
The assignment is to write sentences that vary in their length. Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old?
Ollie Ollie Um Comefree
By Lenee Cobb
We’d moved from one dead-end road in Lakewood to another, in a new school district. I was the outsider. Again. This was an old neighborhood, a neighborhood that every one of the neighborhood children was born into—except me—us—my little brothers and I. Our house, which was located near the cul-de-sac, was painted a pale green, a green similar to an unripe apple, a color my mother liked but I always thought was rather sick-looking. The front yard lacked character and besides the small ornamental Japanese maple beside the mailbox and some sort of fruitless flowering tree in the center of the yard, there was really nothing happening there.
The backyard had character. There was a sliding glass door that led out to a cemented patio surrounded by a seven-foot-tall fence and gobs of blooming rhododendrons. Dad put his round patio table with the barbeque in its center out there on that patio and they served a lot of delicious food at small dinner parties throughout the summer. Mom would marinate thin-sliced flank steak for two days prior to these events. Everything on the grill, except for the bananas in tinfoil with cinnamon we had for desert, was grilled on shish-kabobs by the individual eaters.
Beyond the three-quarter-enclosed patio was a humongous back yard that joined the neighbors to our left, the ones with kids my age. To our right, lived an old man and his wife who seemed friendly but were boring as far as their age went, for a kids like me, anyway. During Christmas, they’d put up green and blue lights instead of multi-colored ones everyone else did and I always loved their Christmas lights.
In the center of our side of the huge backyard grew a large fir tree. This tree had a raised planter that stood about three feet tall all the way around it. I never saw any flowers grow out of it but maybe that’s because we never planted any in it. Ants lived there. We didn’t spend too much time at that planter as kids. The tree served us kids well as shade on many hot summer afternoons while we colored away the hours coloring with melting crayons, playing with Barbie and Francie dolls, swung at birdies in badminton, or knocked croquet balls through their wire hoops.
Since it was on a cul-de-sac, all the neighborhood kids would gather almost every afternoon at the cul-de-sac to play fly-up and then come out again after dinner during those long summer nights to play kick-the-can. There must have been about twelve of us kids out there playing every afternoon and evening.
Do kids even play those games anymore? I haven’t met any. Does anyone reading this even know those games? Please comment; let me know. We have a huge yard, plenty of kids and grand kids between us. Barbeque too. Let’s play.