Maybe Mom wanted the trailer to herself; that's why she banished us outside to play on "beautiful" days. But what was she doing in there while we were outside "playing"?

Those eight words made me cringe when I was younger. They still do.

"It's a beautiful day. Go outside and play." I ca-ca-can't bear ta-ta-to hear those wa-wa-wa-words.

My mom didn’t want my sisters and me to languish inside–or so she said. She wanted us to frolic among the bugs, poison ivy, and the burning rays of the sun. We were supposed to “use our imagination” and joyfully play in the fresh air instead of watching important TV shows like Gillian’s Island or the Beverly Hillbillies. I thought those shows were quite imaginative. Apparently what I thought didn’t count for much.

So she’d push us outside with nothing but our “imaginations” and we’d stare at each other. When the bugs found us, we began to move in what looked to the casual observer as “playful” antics–arms flailing around our heads and slapping any exposed skin while running around the yard. Perhaps Mom thought we were playing Escapees from the Funny Farm Coyboys and Indians. Being a portly child, I got winded within 3 minutes. Mom wanted us to “play” all afternoon. I hated beautiful days.

Yeah, that's me...only I'm a blonde girl wearing a tee-shirt and shorts running in a grassy yard with my sisters. And I couldn't kick my leg that high. Other than that, we could be twins.

We lived in the country–farm country. The air wasn’t fresh. There was enough methane gas from all that cow poop to level Manhattan, our tool shed.

And the farm we lived next to had hundreds of cows. Imagine the danger...

Along with the country came crawly critters. Never underestimate how ornery they can get on a “beautiful day.”

Just a another beautiful day playing "dress-up" outside in the country. I didn't need a wig. The flies were happy to oblige.

A small brook ran beside our property. There were creatures in that brook. Did Mom ever consider that when she sent us out there?

You never know. They used all kinds of chemicals back then that seeped into the ground water.

Cars and trucks zoomed along a major highway right in front of our property. We stayed away from the highway, but there was always the chance that the highway wouldn’t stay away from us. Freak crashes were known to happen. I was watching for dreading one.

And this was just a normal Sunday afternoon driving crowd. It was perfectly fine to drink and drive back then, too. It's a wonder I'm here to tell this story.

I longed to be inside the trailer. Sure it was hot, but we had one fan. Sure there were flies, but I had a fly swatter and my aim wasn’t bad. And I had imaginative TV shows to watch where the pretend people had to deal with pretend problems and everything always turned out fine in 30 minutes. I should’ve been so lucky.

I guess everything turned out okay at the end of the day at my home, too, beautiful day or not. It usually took more than 30 minutes, though.