Summer time reminds me of the summer days when we were left home alone and all the things we did to entertain ourselves. Marina, my older sister, was a great ring leader and always found something exciting for us to do. One of the most thrilling activities we had was jumping off the roof on our house in Oxnard.
Yes, we jumped off the roof of our house.
We would climb up from the back yard, the patio was covered with green fiberglass corrugated roofing held up by strong wooden posts. We climbed the wooden posts, stepped lightly on the corrugated roofing and right onto the roof of the house. Marina helped Jessica and I up. We explored the roof. I think our first time up (we did go up more than once) we found a frisbee that got stuck up there, perhaps from the previous residents.
Once we grew bored of exploring the roof top Marina decided it would be fun for us to jump off the roof. She found an area that would be good to jump onto. It was part of the roof that faced the front yard, the side by the neighbors. Below was the front lawn, soft, grassy, and presumably safe…because grass can cushion a jump like this… Marina led by example. She bravely stood at the edge of the roof, got into jumping position, and went for it!
She landed unscathed on the projected target of grass. I was too scared, I have always been a big ol’ cry baby ‘fraidy cat. So little Jessica followed her big sister’s lead and went next. She was probably 4 or 5-years-old at the time. Away she went, leaping bravely to join Marina.
Even after watching the two of them make it down safely I was still too chicken. I just couldn’t do it! I whined, maybe I even cried a little, as Marina and Jessica begged and pleaded that I jump down too. At this point Marina might have begun to feel panicky. Our mom would have her hide if she came home to find me cowering on the roof. Finally, they gave up on trying to convince me. Marina went around to the back yard and helped me step over the corrugated roofing, down the wooden post, and safely back to the patio.
This was the start of many more adventures on the roof. They would climb and jump, climb and jump, climb and jump. I would climb, watch, climb down, climb, watch, climb down.
Later, when we moved to Camarillo, Jessica and I would climb the garage roof. We would come home from school, feed our pets, grab a snack (usually something leftover from the poor kids lunch we got from school) and climb up the play house that was built by the previous owner and go onto the roof. We would lay or sit and look at the clear blue sky and watch the cars zip by on the freeway. If you closed your eyes you could pretend you were at the beach and the cars were the wind and the waves crashing against rocks. We made sure to get down before our parents got home. It was our little moment of peace before having to start homework and evening chores.