Sweet Sweet Summertime….

My oldest daughter left on a mini vacation with her best friend Friday morning. They are headed to LA to visit her friend’s grandparents,who live practically next door to each other, and hang out on the beach. I have to admit I felt a bit envious as I watched her pack her car and drive off with a backwards wave.

It seems like forever since I was that young and carefree. I use to be able to pack my car up and take off to the beach or the mountains on a whim with only a few dollars in my pocket and a Rand McNally in my hand in case I got lost. I drove from Chicago to California twice by myself without a second thought. Of course, my grandmother practically had a heart attack when she saw what I was driving ( a ’68 Dodge Dart that drank oil and died on the way back in Reno, and a ’74 Ford Pinto that had more rust than sheet metal holding it together), but I was oblivious to all the awful things that could have happened to me on my trip.

When the girls were little my husband bought me a Pontiac station wagon–a mid-size one–and I decided to go visit my friends in Denver. I had two babies–Jordan was just shy of two and Sierra was 3 months old–a new-used car, $75 to get there and back on, and a restless heart. I hit all sorts of weather on that trip–hail, rain, wind, snow–and discovered that my heater didn’t work as I headed over Vail Pass in a snow storm without chains. It was a great trip! My aunt was appalled that I was even considering traveling with the girls by myself and I had to listen to a well-intentioned lecture before departing. I respected her enough to let her have her say but it in no way deterred me from my plans. Once I set my mind to something it’s pretty hard to get me to change it!

Watching Jordan drive off made me reminisce about the past and the wonderful summer vacations I have experienced over the years. My dad is the reason I love to travel. I have seen most of the Midwest from the camper in the back of his ’68 Chevy step-side 4X4 truck. One of my favorite memories is going camping at the lake and getting to ride in the back of the truck all the way up there with the boat on the rack over us. It was so awesome! Nice and shady and we all kicked back on sleeping bags and just watched the miles roll by.ย  I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t get much better than that!

Staying up late, playing hide and seek in the corn fields until it got too dark to see, picking peaches and pears and eating them right there before Mom could scold us to put them in the box so she could can them that weekend, playing in the sprinklers on a hot day, riding my bike all over town, sleeping in the back yard on a big plastic sheet and sleeping bags–these are all memories of summers gone by. I look back at them and realize that my childhood was truly a magical time, spent in a safe, sleepy little town that time had passed by.

What are your favorite summertime memories? Did you grow up out in the country, in town, or maybe you are city born and bred. Did you go on family vacations to the lake or did you get to travel the world? Maybe you went to camp and hung out with other kids who were strangers when you got there and life-long compadres when you left. What made summer time special and is it still that way for you today?

PS–I got to spend the day at the park with my grand-daughter Friday afternoon. Her mommy had to work and since Jordan left on vacation Nanna got to stay home from work and play! Here’s a picture of her with her hair natural–little bit wind-blown but I just love love LOVE her curls!DriDri at the park1I think this will become a favorite summertime memory for sure!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ The memories aren’t any less sweet as we get older–we just understand quicker than most that we are making them and treasure them even more! Off to make some new memories with DriDri now–enjoy your weekend!