Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memories of Summer

It's almost here - the days are already long, the comforter on the bed has been traded for a light blanket and we're already using the BBQ for dinner.

It's going to be a really different summer for me in many ways. Only one of my girls will be home with us - the Peanut graduates from college next month and is looking for a job. And the Baby is off to work at a camp for foster and disadvantaged kids in Canada.

It's our first summer in the northwest in almost 17 years and I am thrilled about missing the scorching temps of summer in the desert. (Sorry about that my dear Palm Springs friends. You are my heros for enduring.)

I have some great memories of summers gone by:

*My mom and all the neighborhood moms sitting at a card table in the driveway playing Yahtzee while all us kids ran around in our swim suits. I can still hear those dice rattling in that cup!

*Building a miniature golf course in the back yard out of scrap lumber, plastic pipe and other miscellaneous junk and selling admission to the neighbor kids.

*Buying candy at 7-11 then setting up a candy stand on the sidewalk and reselling it for less so people would buy from me. (Okay, so I've never been very good at math. I wanted friends!) Things like Fruit Stripe gum. Necco Wafers. Pixy Stix. Giant SweeTarts. Candy necklaces. Bubble gum cigars.

*Camping trips at lakes all over the state of Oregon with our four-man canvas tent and Coleman stove. Where we water-skiied and swam until we were too sun-burned to move (I don't think Sea and Ski lotion had any sunscreen in it). Where we got to drink all the Shasta pop we wanted and fought over who had to drink the black cherry cola. Where I always celebrated my birthday with an applesauce cake my mom had made and brought along in the ice chest.

*Riding bikes for hours (way too far from home, as I now realize) until my mom blew the shrill whistle she used to call my brother and I home each evening.

*Watching Gidget, That Girl, My Three Sons, Gomer Pyle, Family Affair, Bewitched and Andy Griffith on our new color tv!! (The shows may not have all been in color, though.)

*Snacks of 'colored ice cubes' (frozen Kool-Aid) and huge dill pickles. Watermelon for breakfast. Fresh-picked raspberries on vanilla ice cream. Drinking 'Fizzies.'

How about you? What are your childhood memories of summer?

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