Scout describes her life in 1930s Maycomb as slow and pleasant. Although it is the Great Depression and the town poor, Scout's father works as a lawyer and "derived a reasonable income" from it. The family lives in a house on the main residential street in town, meaning they are not poor, though nobody has any money to speak of then. Scout's mother has died, but the household includes a maid, Scout's brother, and their father. Scout describes her father, her hero, in understated terms as "satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment."
Scout remembers a secure, ordinary and happy childhood in a town where time moves slowly. People "ambled" and "shuffled." Days seemed longer than 24 hours, especially in the summer heat. These are the nostalgic recollections of a (fictional) adult looking at her childhood, reaching back in memory to recreate a time when the world seemed safe and innocent, although the idyll would soon be shattered.