No matter what your upbringing I suspect the kickoff of summer elicits memories of sun-drenched days, when nothing was more important that cramming as many outdoor activities as possible into your weeks before school bells began tolling once again.
Those summer childhood memories for me meant baseball, long bike rides with friends, barbecues complete with the sticky-sweet juiciness of watermelon dripping down my face and arms, swimming, and waterskiing. Although I grew up in the midwest and was oblivious to the stunning coastlines with their massive expanses of sand and surf, we were not without our man-made beach where even on a cool cloudy day we could be found shivering at the water’s edge, waiting for direction from our swimming coach.
We took a respite from laboring on the farm and headed to my childhood stomping grounds, where my baby brother and his family still live, a great place to raise a family, but too small for this claustrophobic girl to stick around long after high school. However, there seemed no better way to ring in the summer than to participate in my nephew’s 9th birthday party, including a barbecue out at the beach.
As we headed west the skies opened up and the deluge began, threatening to spoil big party plans. As I sit here writing, I believe it has been 20 straight days since the rains appeared and this trend looks to continue for the next week. Fortunately, by mid-morning of Blake’s special day, the sun came out and we experienced sunny, beach-ready weather.
Vehicles laden with food, toys, and a new puppy, we headed to the beach prepared to celebrate a 9-year old’s highly anticipated day. As in most places revisited as an adult, this sandy bit of beach that we passed seemed much smaller than I remembered. Boating and waterskiing were to take the place of sand between the toes on this day.
Visiting with family, playing games, reliving a small slice of days past through the eyes of children was a most relaxing way to spend a few days…priceless. At the end of this month we will head back to celebrate Seth’s 16th birthday. Mom and dad, how does it feel to have your firstborn getting behind the wheel of a car?!