Wednesday, July 1, 2009


So this summer is the first time since I was 14 that I haven't had something I had to do.

Sure, I have to take care of the baby. But it's not the same as having to go to work (or volleyball two-a-days, as I did the summer I was 15).

I like summer. And the weather this week has been just about perfect. Warm but not too hot. Sunny. No clouds. Little, if any, humidity. Cooler nights. If the weather was like this in Nebraska all the time, this might just be a way cooler place to live.

Might be.

I was trying to think about my favorite summer memories this afternoon (I've got time on my hands, you see). And I'm not sure I can come up with an accurate favorite summer memories list.

I can think of generalities, for sure. Things like fireflies, sprinklers, bikes, swimming, flip flops, Popsicles, sleepovers. There's lots more.

Specifics, I don't know. Is it possible to have one favorite summer memory? I always have a hard time narrowing things down to one favorite experience or thing. You know, top five lists? I always seem to have some sort of caveat.

I remember the summer I was 5 playing until dark in the sandbox my dad made in the backyard. I remember being terrified of the June bugs that gathered around the back porch light above that sandbox. I remember waiting for the ice cream man outside that same house in Norman, OK. I used to like to get bomb pops. Simple. Yet exciting. I also remember occasionally getting some sort of snowcone that had a gumball at the bottom. My friend of that era and I used to have picnics in her grandma's backyard, too. The meal consisted almost always of Saltine crackers with butter on them. Her grandma would put two crackers together for us, forming a gross sort of sandwich. I liked them at the time, though.

Later, when we'd moved to Nebraska, I have lots of memories of riding my bike to one of the two city swimming pools (where I'd lifeguard throughout my high school and college summers). Jenny and I rode our bike to one of those pools every day one summer. The summer either before or after third grade, I think. Often, we would go to her grandma's house either before or after the pool. Her grandma always offered us Squirt. Jenny and I wore goggles at the pool. We liked to dive for pennies. But sometimes, the lifeguards would tell us not to do that. Jenny also had a slip and slide, and we went to Girl Scout camp together at least two summers, if not more.

In junior high, I spent countless days at my bff's house. We'd sleep late and then I'd wait (usually impatiently) while she took an excruciatingly long time to get ready. Then maybe we'd ride our bikes to McDonalds or maybe Valentino's or maybe just nowhere. We played softball two summers. I was not good. But like with everything, I tried really hard.

As an adult, that first summer in Grand Junction, Colo., is probably the best I've had. It was all just so new and so exciting. And it was a cool place to be.

In Omaha, I guess I associate the various road races I've done the past couple years with summer here.

I wonder five or 10 or 20 years from now how these summers with my children will fit into this haphazard sort of summer memory album.

What are your favorite summer memories?


dane said...

1. Like you, that first summer in GJ. Hiking the Monument, camping on the Mesa, drinking on the Rockslide deck.

2. Going to the South Loop River with my friends in high school.

3. Winning state and playing in regionals with my 14- and 15-year-old baseball team. When baseball was still fun.

4. Driving to St. Louis with Dustin to see Radiohead in a little bar.

5. Now, making campfires in the backyard with Rye. That's pretty awesome.

Jenny said...

1. The summer with you at the pool...going into 3rd grade, I think. Possibly even going into 4th too. Although I don't remember going to my grandma's that often or drinking the squirt. And I don't remember the lifeguards asking us not to look for money. I only remember the coffee can full of coins that we would cash in at the end of summer. I'm so glad you remember things that I don't! That summer was so much fun.

2. Most summers after that, up until 7th grade or so. The days and nights of Summer were endless and so much fun. Neighbors, games, sports, bike rides, music, watching the stars...spending every waking moment outside.

2. The summer I met, fell in love with and planned my wedding with Greg.

3. A trip to the Carolina's that Greg and I took during Mackenzie's first summer.

4. This summer. We're stuck at home, but we're enjoying all the little things that summer is made of.

Jenny said...

** ignore my two #2s please! I went back and added the second one and then forgot to adjust the rest before publishing. oops!