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Memories of Summer

Posted by Jen on July 28, 2010 at 6:00 AM in Summer Fun
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Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of our time together as a family in Ocean City, New Jersey. I don't remember how often we went or if there were any actual traditions that we habitually honored, but it hardly matters now. The images in my mind are vivid, and they are as dear to me as the stories themselves.

- The way the sand and sky looked as my father threw me up into the air, over and over again.

- Digging for sand crabs with my cousins by the shore.

- Watching my mother push the stroller back and forth with one hand while playing Pac Man in the boardwalk arcade with the other.

- The wind at the top of the giant slide and the flutter in my stomach as you fly all the way down.

- The warmth of the late afternoon sun as we made mud pies.

- The feel of the sand heavy on my arms and legs as we took turns burying each other in the sand.

- My father painting little scenes on the inside of a clam shell after we came in for the night.

- Feeding seagulls out of bags of old bread.

- The smell of the salt air as we crossed the bridge to go home.

What do you remember about your childhood summers? What tiny piece of that goodness can you bring into the memories you are creating for your kids? I'd love to hear your fondest memories in the comments below.


Emma Kaye writes...

Ocean City is my all time favorite beach town to visit. As a child my family spent many summers there. I remember reading countless books while laying on the beach, tanning. You may be interested in this child book publishing company

GailNHB writes...

I remember long road trip vacations from our house in Brooklyn. We drove to North and South Carolina for family reunions. We drove up to Niagara Falls. We drove all the way out to California and dozens of states in between New York City and California.

No TV in the car. No ipods or cell phones, just us. Driving and talking and looking out the windows in silent awe and the wonder of this nation we were crossing. We camped in a tent. We cooked on a kerosene stove. I hated camping. Hated it. But I LOVED to travel. We talked a lot and And that urge to hit the road has only grown over the years since then.

Nowadays I take my two children on trips - and I love taking them out on the road one child at a time. Earlier this summer I went to one of my son's tennis tournament alone with him for an entire weekend. And most recently I went to Washington DC for four days with my daughter. Driving over seven hours from North Carolina. Still with no TV in the car. And minimal music. We talk and look around and imagine where we are headed. I soooo hope my kids catch the travel bug from me.

Cari writes...

Riding in the back of the car at night with all of the windows rolled down. I would rest my chin on top of the car door and close my eyes so as best to feel the wind on my face and smell the honeysuckle as we passed. I felt safe and free at the same time. Honeysuckle at night is still one of my favorite smells.

Marsha writes...

the glorious taste of sweet peaches off the tree in our backyard...

stepping outside and the heat searing into my lungs on a HOT August afternoon...

the sounds of crickets and bullfrogs coming thru the open window at night...

the sound of ice clinking in the jar of kool-aid my mom had made for our picnic, and the feel of clear, cool, water from the creek flowing all around me...

(oh,the longing to go home and swim in that creek once more...)

Stephanie Frieze writes...

My most cherished childhood summer memories are my parents taking me and my best friend to my grandparents' summer home in Seaview, WA. There was no TV or phone. My friend and I either lay on the bunk beds and read Nancy Drew--trading them when we had finished--or walked to the beach a block away. We usually went to the little store nearby and bought comic books and penny candy. Mr. Sugarman, the proprietor, could wiggle his ears which always was fun.

Lynda K writes...

When I wasn't outside, running barefoot up and down the sidewalk from my Grandparents house to Mr. Finch's store, I was confined to the indoors, with sterile gauze plugs in my nose.

As a child, I had the most horrific nosebleeds! They only happened in the summertime and usually in the midst of the most fun time of the day! I never knew what would make them start but once they did, it sometimes took a long time to stop them. They were the kind that would cause even the most stoic adult to gasp at the amount of blood pouring all over my clothes, streaked down the sidewalk, and puddled on the floor.

I was a kid during the 60's and was raised by my illiterate Grandmother so there were a lot of "old wives tale" first aid remedies used in our family. Gramma would put butter on burns, make us swallow Vick's Vapor-rub for chest congestion, and there were gallons of stinging Merthiolate used for every scrape and cut.

I shouldn't be surprised, then, that as my nose was gushing blood, I was told to hold my head back, as Gramma put ice on the back of my neck and smoothed a folded up strip of brown paper bag under my upper lip.

I remember vividly how hard it was to catch my breath while I swallowed all that warm blood as it flowed down the back of my throat. The more I struggled to hold my head up, the harder Gramma would push it back.

A few times, the bleeding got so bad Grandad had to drive us to the emergency room. The doctor would shove tubes of gauze up my nostrils and tell my Grandparents to "keep me still". Do you know how hard it is to keep a calloused feet, skinned kneed, girl of 8 "still"... on a hot summer day? Almost impossible!

Luckily, I grew out of my nosebleeds but they are what I remember, more than most anything else, about my summers growing up.

yoteech2002 writes...

I had severe nosebleeds too as a child. I take 1000mg of vitamin C daily. It works.

Lighting punks in the yard and catching lightning bugs on hot summer evenings....summer memories

Bill W. writes...

It was 1958. I was ten and I flew alone from Tennessee to Ottawa, Ontario to spend the summer with my grandparents who lived in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the river. We spent the majority of the summer on the lake and that summer remains a magical time in my life and memories.

These are just a few of my memories.

The first sight of the lake as we drove out of the woods and I was so excited that my heart literally gave a painful thump.

The smell of the lake mixed with the powerful aroma of an outboard motor. A smell guaranteed to bring back that summer, even now, in my 60's.

The camp, built of logs my my grandfather. The smell of breakfast being cooked by my grandmother over the wood burning stove. Lighting kerosene lanterns for light in the evenings.

Going up the lake to the community ice house each week with my grandfather to fetch back another block of ice for the icebox. This ice was cut in the winter on the lake by a group of lake residents and buried in sawdust in the ice house. Each trip we would go into the cool dark ice house and I would dig until I had exposed another block of ice. My grandfather would then clamp the large ice tongs to it, heave it out of its resting place and raise it to rest on his shoulder and we walked back down to the dock. He would then plunge the block of ice into the lake and swish it around until the last of the sawdust was gone then place it on a piece of white canvas used just for ice and wrap it up for its trip back to the camp.

I remember trolling for Lake Trout with my grandfather. Rock Hounding with my grandmother.

The first two weeks I rowed a heavy plank boat around the lake to fish and explore but then was presented with a 5 horse power outboard to use on it. What a great summer. I had free run of two lakes and made the best of the opportunity. I caught my first Brook Trout that summer; my first Lake Trout and Smallmouth Bass. It was a summer of of so many "firsts" I couldn't begin to remember them all.

I hand fed a baby Kingfisher for almost two weeks until it was ready to leave. It hung around our end of the lake for the rest of the summer.

I saw Mink, Beaver and muskrat. There were Owls hooting in the tall trees close to the camp at night and Chipmunks that would steal right off our plates while we were eating on the deck.

Some friends of my grandparents took a six week vacation and left their dog with us; with me in fact, to be some company for me since my own dog was back in Tennessee. He was an idiot. Skunk, Porcupine, hornets; you name it, he found it, chased it, rolled in it and never learned. I lost count of how many times he fell out of the boat.

So many memories of that summer fifty two years ago.

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