Most Soviet children could not even dream of going on vacation to foreign resorts, but many of them spent the summer with their grandmother in the village, and it became an exciting adventure, which they then remembered for a long time and told their friends.
A feature of the Soviet era - even if the child did not have a grandmother with her own "house in the village", he still got into nature. Almost always, the parents had relatives or acquaintances who were ready to take the child on vacation. But it was still necessary to prepare for such a rest.
At the time of total shortage, the child was collected for a long time and carefully: together with him, a whole luggage was sent on a trip, where there were certainly "city goodies". Depending on the family's capabilities, it could be an ordinary sausage or rare in those years – smoked sausage, condensed milk, chocolates, buckwheat, coffee, sugar and much, much more. Everything was explained simply – it was difficult to get these products in the village, and it was considered a matter of honor to thank the "receiving party" for hospitality. Well, closer to autumn, together with the rested child, the gifts of nature were sent in the opposite direction: pickles, jams, vegetables, fruits.
At the same time, rural shops sometimes pleased the townspeople with unprecedented imported abundance: next to cotton robes or quilted jackets, for example, imported jeans or branded sneakers could be found there. And even small, children's sizes, which was an exceptional rarity at that time. So quite often city children, through whom their parents passed a certain amount of money to their village relatives, turned out to be equipped by the end of the summer to the envy of their urban peers.
"As you work, so you will break." This rude, but true folk saying perfectly reflected the situation in the countryside of the Soviet era. At a time when ordinary sausages and cheese in the village were considered a delicacy for which it was necessary to go to Moscow, people got out of the situation as best they could. Many villagers kept a rather large subsistence farm, bred ducks, chickens, rabbits, pigs or goats, necessarily "planted a vegetable garden", and, of course, potatoes, and – a lot and for the future. City kids were quickly assigned to the case: they were allocated their own area of work (for example, weeding the garden and collecting Colorado potato beetles from potato leaves), and the children playfully learned the skills of working on the ground. Some over the summer mastered skills that were completely unprecedented for the townspeople: they learned to milk a cow or chop firewood.
Apple trees, cherries, currants, gooseberries and other fruit trees and shrubs certainly grew in every yard – to the delight of the children. A bowl of fresh milk with hand-picked raspberries became a symbol of a happy rural summer for many children of the USSR.
"In the summer I walk, in the summer I dance, I rest in the village, I don't go to school." In the days of late socialism, the villages were still crowded: there was work there, and life was in full swing. Accordingly, a lot of children were born. Often the "locals" came into conflict with the "urban" ones in the summer, but sooner or later everyone united into one big gang of children and raced through the streets of the village until late in the evening, announcing the neighborhood with fervent shouts.
Control by adults was almost completely absent, but someone's grandmother could, on occasion, "walk away" with a bunch of nettles especially hooligan boys.
Hiking in the forest for berries and mushrooms, fishing, trips "at night" were also a real adventure – all this taught urban children how to interact with wildlife, orienteering and many other useful things.
Even the children who came to the village learned a lot of mobile team games, which at that time were already forgotten in the city. In addition to the well-known "brook", "robber Cossacks" or Salochki, they learned to play lapta, "siskin" or "geese". All these mobile entertainments united local and visiting boys and girls as well as possible.
And, of course, each village had its own "bikers" on old domestic motorcycles or mopeds. To the envy of the city boys, they roared around the neighborhood. To make friends with the owner of the "iron horse" and help him with repairs was considered very prestigious, and many guys over the summer also mastered the basics of auto mechanics.