Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World" played on the little transistor radio on Marnie's blanket in the yard where she sat out under the tree, painting her toenails and wondering about summer friendships. Marnie always felt that somehow her summers never quite amounted to much. The truth is in this small town, whose did? But that was Marnie's problem, she dreamed of being away from this small town, if only for a week, a month - imagine for a whole summer!
She read books in which children went to camp, learned how to ride horses, solved mysteries, even kissed boys (that she could do in this crummy town, she thought somewhat repulsively). At thirteen, she knew of girls who did just that, they were fast becoming pretty popular. Not Marnie, she was somewhere stuck between tomboy and wanting to feel a bit more girly - not too much though. Toenail polish was as far as she ventured. She found those kind of girls to be just stupid.
Sure her parents took her and her three brothers to their uncle's little cabin near Lake Silverfoot for a long weekend each summer. Once they'd even gone for a whole week! But it just smelled moldy and made Marnie feel a bit sad, even though she had fun playing in the lake with her brothers. She even made a friend or two to play with. Once there was a boy named Claude who she was playing with and remembered saying that her favorite color was brown because his was. That was two summers ago. Oh how her brothers had made fun of her for that one, she still remembered.
She continued to paint her toenails as Jobie peeked through a space between fence planks. She ignored him as she mostly did when she wanted to be alone with her thoughts. "Wanna go bike riding Marnie?"
"Not now Jobie. Maybe later" she answered without looking up, humming along to the radio.
"I'm waiting for the 4:30 Movie to start - it's Gidget week. Maybe after supper." Marnie offered.
Jobie gladly accepted "I'll call for you later Marnie!" and with that ran to go find some of the boys to scare up a game of wiffle ball. He didn't have far to go to succeed.
Another summer of Jobie and bike riding over the bridge passed the commercial waterfront along the river and back. Could be worse, Marnie tried to convince herself unsuccessfully.
She went inside and put on Channel 7 just in time for the music to kick up and Gidget Goes Hawaiian to roll.
"Someday, I'm going to surf there" thought Marnie as she settled into her favorite movie viewing perch with her legs hanging over the overstuffed armchair. Never mind that she had barely tipped her toes in an ocean. Marnie's dreams were already intertwined with the movie.
She smiled inwardly as MoonDoggie and Gidget did the Twist on the beach.