Open enrollment for the ACA health insurance marketplace ends Saturday! There's still time to sign up or change your plan.
by Ronald J. Barwell, AARP Bulletin, May 2008
As a child in the late 1940s, I knew it was spring when I smelled newly mown lawns in the neighborhood. The radio told us kids that the catchers and pitchers had reported to spring training in Florida or Arizona, so we put away our footballs and got out our baseball mitts. I would run to my granddad’s house and ask if I could help him put in a garden. The older kids were outside waxing their cars, and the girls were running around in shorts, hoping for a jump on a summer tan.
As spring progressed, Mom always needed something painted—the fence or the porch railings. People stopped talking about putting in coal and instead got out tackle boxes and told tall tales about the biggest bass ever pulled out of old Flang-Dang Pond. There was promise in the air: promise of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and red tomatoes.
The kids played outside on the warm spring nights—games of red rover, kick the can, buckety buck and hide-and-seek. The girls scrawled hopscotch games on the sidewalks. We boys played marbles for keepers now, and before long we would gather at the home of Mrs. Hughes for 50-cent haircuts. They were the real buzz jobs that made us all look the same. Summer was around the bend, and soon, I would even give my old dog Rusty his first bath since last year.
AARP Bulletin's "What I Really Know" column comes from our readers. Each month we solicit short personal essays on a selected topic and post some of our favorites in print and online. Ronald J. Barwell is a reader from Finleyville, Penn.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at