Summer was easy in childhood. For one, everything could be contained to one block. I spent many summers at my grandparents’ home in the Austin neighborhood while my parents worked during the day. As I got older, I began to spend more and more time inside, not because there was little to do outside, but because the containment of the block was no longer satisfactory. But as a child, it was easy to acquire as much of the goodness of summer in one block as it was to spend time moving from neighborhood to neighborhood and activity to activity.
I’m thinking about the women who put up snow cone stands. I can’t remember how much they cost (probably not a lot). What I do remember is how sticky and messy they were and how that seemed unique to summer as well. Summer is a time of cold, meltable treats. A sweet relief comes in the form of sticky fingers and a messiness that was more or less acceptable. As an adult, I still face that: the sloppiness of summer, the ways in which we are subject to the heat in all of its glory and frustration.