Summertime memories

Youthful summertime memories emerge this time of year as I watch my grandchildren doing some of the things that I did as a child. Little Annika is finding joy in catching lightening bugs, Jake can spend hours just riding a bicycle, Noah loves to play in the creek and if there is a toad, frog or turtle in the yard, Madie will find it.

This week we asked some folks to tell us their favorite summer pass time and I wasn’t surprised with the answers, but I could have written a complete story about each answer. People just love to reminisce about their youth even though things might have been less than perfect, we all long for the “good ole days.” One man said that he loved to play in the woods as a child. He said that World War II was in full swing and he and his friends would stage battles between the Germans and the Americans. I have a feeling that we can guess the outcome of most of those battles.

A woman told me all about the good times her family had at a fishing lake. They would camp in a little cabin and their weekends would be filled with fishing and spending time with one another.

Several of the people I questioned said that swimming was a favorite activity and told me about the community pools where they would meet friends.

As I watch my grandchildren play, I realize that grandpa and grandma’s home is creating some great memories for them to hang on to.

When I think back to my grandma’s house, I can still smell the coffee in her drip-o-later, I can taste the toast and even remember the smell of the soap in her bathroom. My sisters and I used to roll down the hill in her backyard and try to walk a straight line back to the top. I can remember the feel of itchiness on my skin created from the grass. If I close my eyes and think about it, I can remember playing games in her yard with my cousins. There were always enough of us to play Red Rover and Mother May I?

I have been thinking about what my answer would be if someone asked me my favorite summertime activity as a child. Although we often went swimming, and I loved to walk in the woods and fish, I think my favorite was playing games in the yard with my sisters and cousins.

I have a photo of my dad, his brothers and their friends when they were young men. It was probably taken about 1937. These young men were known to “borrow” watermelons from neighbors gardens and this photo shows all of them eating large slices of the summertime treat. Life wasn’t easy for them, they were living through a depression. They worked long hours in the fields and had very little money in their pockets, but they found ways to enjoy life. My dad has many happy memories from his childhood and each generation seems to have similar memories. What a blessing!

If you can’t get out and catch fireflies or hop on a bicycle and take a spin, if you don’t dare put a bathing suit on your body anymore and you don’t have any desire to roll down a hillside, don’t be dismayed. God gave us memories for a reason and now is a good time to rely on those memories of by-gone days. In your mind you can relive what it felt like to be a child and be thankful.