My Favorite Summer Memories

beachI have this cool thing in my google reader that pops up every day with a writing prompt from Social Moms. It gives you ideas of things to write about if you are needing some new ideas. Here it is if you are interested: Social Moms.

Most days I have no trouble coming up with ideas of what I want to write about but then there are some days….like today. I have been sick, but still have to take care of my granddaughter and my mother, so I’m exhausted and having trouble thinking straight. So the Social Moms writing prompts was a god-send for me today.

And today’s prompt was “What are your best summer memories?” Now, I’m taking this to mean memories as a child so that’s what I’m going to write about.

Summer is such a special time for kids. Except for Christmas and their birthday, it’s probably the best time of year for kids.  I know it was for me. No dealing with the pressures of school. Just long lazy days to play or dream.

Tonight I saw a firefly in the sky and it brought back memories of chasing lightening bugs in the yard and then putting some in a jar to be our “lanterns”. To me, they seemed like magical little fairies.

I also remember the parents in our neighborhood sitting on our front porch talking while we kids played hide and seek.Sometimes we would spy on them but they were always talking about boring grown up things.

One of the things we loved to do, and in retrospect, was really stupid, was what we do when we would hear the Mosquito Truck come by.

I suspect most folks know what a mosquito truck is, but if you don’t, here is an explanation. In areas where there is a mosquito problem, the city will send out trucks that will go up and down the streets spraying a fog of thick, smelly mosquito poison.

As kids, when the truck went by, we would run out into the foggy trail the truck left and play in it until it dissipated.  Not too bright, filling our young, growing lungs with a pesticide. And what was our parents thinking, letting us do that? But it was the late 60’s/early 70’s and America was blissfully unaware of many dangers.

When I was around 12, our neighborhood built a large swim and recreation club down the street and my parents joined it right away.  I spent many hours there every summer, hanging out with my friends, dreaming about the cute boys, and practically living in the water.

Once I was driving and had my own car, I spent much more time at the ocean front since we live just a few miles from the beach.

One of my favorite memories was when a group of friends went out to the beach at night. We went to a part where there were not any tourists and had a campfire on the beach. We roasted marshmallows and told ghost stories and just the way the moon shone in the sky, the whole night felt magical.

Later we went out in the water which wasn’t the safest thing to do that late at night. I felt something humongous hit me in the back of the legs and knock me down. I was sure it was a shark. But my friends told me that sea bass come close to the shore at night and they can get quite large. So it was probably one of them.

We also spent several weeks every summer with my maternal grandparents in the mountains of West Virginia. I hated that. My grandmother was literally crazy. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and so she thought everyone was out to get her. And us.

My parents usually stayed a few days and then left us with my grandparents for a few weeks while they went on a cruise or some other adult vacation. Once they left, we were at my grandmother’s mercy. She wouldn’t let us outdoors most of the time and often locked us in our bedroom with nothing to do. It was made worse by the fact that they lived in a huge, old Victorian house that I swear was haunted. I still have nightmares about that place.

My grandfather had made us an adorable little playhouse, complete with our own little hedged in yard. But we rarely got to play in it because of my grand mother. Ok, I’m supposed to talk about my best memories and those are hardly good memories. But they were a big part of my summers so I felt the need to include it.

Summer is my second favorite season, next to Spring.  I’m a warm weather kind of gal and don’t do well in the cold so I’d be fine with having just those two seasons all year long. I probably should move to Florida or Hawaii.

Thanks if you stuck it out with me through this long diatribe.  I hope I didn’t bore you too much. I’d love to know what are some of your favorite summer memories!

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