I haven’t always liked growing up in a small town. Everyone knows everyone, there’s like, three restaurants, and hardly anything to do for entertainment. So, we had to get creative. Here are six things that my friends and I love to to when it finally warms up in our small town.
1. Light sh*t on fire
Bonfires, leftover leaves and branches in yards, lighting fireworks, burning old papers in the back alleys, you name it. If it’s flammable, it will be flamed. The pure chaotic energy that starting fires creates is like crack for us—just like jumping over the fire, throwing various items in and smelling our singed leg hairs.
2. Hang out in fields
Listen, I don’t know what it is about fields, but it’s like a moth to a flame for small town kids. Maybe it’s the open space, all for your personal (trespassing) use. Maybe it’s running around, playing night games, getting tick bites, or accidentally stepping in manure. Sweet, sweet, memories. Bonus: a great place to have a fire.
3. Drive around
There’s really nothing better than hopping into your friend’s 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix, rolling the windows down and driving. Literally, that’s it—the wind, the sunset, the music, the freedom! If you’re feeling really wild, use that Pontiac as a getaway car. Possible shenanigans include TP-ing, using boxed mashed potatoes to draw in people’s yards or the classic ding dong ditch prank. Bonus: drifting out on the back roads—talk about liberating. Double bonus: whipping sh*tties in empty parking lots. Pure adrenaline.
4. Go to your local ice cream parlor
In the Midwest, most Dairy Queens and other ice cream places shut down during the winter months, so when they’re open for business again, you know it’s time to celebrate. For me, the local ice cream place was part of an old silo. Pretty redneck, but delicious.
5. Anything involving a 4-wheeler
And I mean anything. Mudding, pulling your friend around on a mattress, speeding along the flooded ditches as someone rides the wakeboard attached—the list goes on, and the possibilities are endless. Bonus: taking your 4-wheeler to school, or using it as your main mode of transportation.
6. Finally, messing around on the farm
A lot of my friends lived out in the country, so I had plenty of opportunities to do this. One of my favorite pastime activities was trying to catch the chickens. There was a great adrenaline rush from trying to get a horse and ride it bareback. There were also many electric fences, so there were human chains to shock everyone, including boys daring each other to pee on them, and trying to hurdle over them.
Growing up in a small town was not always easy—but man, the summers are irreplaceable.