This post was supposed to be very short. It was supposed to be about my new summer uniform from Talize: A coca-cola shirt from the Boys’ section, cut-offs from this trip, and brand-new Birkenstocks. The perfect blend of summer time ease and nostalgia.
I was going say that my long shorts make me feel like the fifth crew member from Now and Then, and then I was going to share one carefully selected tidbit from my summers growing up. But as I started to jot down a few of these memories, 27 years of sweet summer moments came forward, making it down right impossible to choose just one thing to highlight. Summer is the best, and if you don’t agree, then you’re doing it wrong. What’s about to follow is some good ol’ fashion self-indulgent blogging that won’t mean much of anything to anyone outside my personal circle. I’m going to be real with you for a second, and admit I got just a little teary compiling this messy list. It’s a good exercise, and makes you realize that even if your childhood was simple and unremarkable, as mine was, summers are magical, and that’s worth remarking on. Here are just a few things about summers passed, in rough chronological order, that I’ll treasure long after the sun sets on summer once again:
Days on days of playing in the park. Season’s passes to the Dick Lacata outdoor pool. Hanging out by the willow tree and thinking we discovered a new species after seeing a cicada lose its shell. Riding our bikes down Dayfoot. Walking to Choi’s Convenience for candy and freezies. Watching the train go under the bridge on the way back. Selling popsicles to the construction workers down the street. Playing soccer on the front lawn until it got dark. Hide and go seek in the yard.
Going to the cottage. Opa bringing us the most perfect scones and doughnuts at the Goderich beach. Opa’s tilly hat. Opa. Making drippy castles. Getting ice cream from the snack shack. Riding and rescuing our inflatable toys from the lake’s angry waves. Walking up the pier and jumping off it. Skinny dipping. Campfires. Feeding raccoons around the campfire. Creating a pathway of marsh mellows to our tent so the raccoons would come by again later. Realizing that was a totally insane idea. Drawing beauty queens in the big sunny front room. Checking for earwigs in the bathroom every night. Celebrating my birthday there every year. Playing badminton. Waiting for our parents to come back from Bayfield with new friendship bracelets. Going to the zoo. Concluding my sister was about to marry a pretty special guy because he had the patience to teach us all euchre.
Camping with the friends I grew up with at the Pinery. Realizing every one of us was wearing double-strapped Birkenstocks. Setting up my sleeping bag inside the tent. Breakfast at Best’s. Floating around the lake on a log. Having a shower after the beach, then waiting for dinner. Eating peanuts. Walking to the beach at night. Looking up at the stars. Naming constellations. Flip cup on a very uneven table. Flip cup victory cheer-offs. 90s sing-a-longs. Waking up to someone making breakfast. More euchre.
Going to Michigan. Getting a giant slap of apple cinnamon bread in Grand Haven. Coffee in the screened in porch.
The birth of my first niece on my birthday. Listening to Sam Cooke as I shuttled her parents back and forth from the hospital.
Camping for the first time with my husband. Camping with new friends and new family.
Realizing that no matter how old you are, vacationing with people you love is one of the best things for your soul.
I think I better stop this list now, because as I’m typing this, I’m thinking of the many other things that I could add. And so, in the interest of keeping this post under 1000 words, I’ll end it here. This summer, may your cokes be cold, your lakes warm (from natural causes, not pee), and your living be easy.