Summer is the best season. Well, at least it is when you grow up in Upstate NY, and you have to deal with 9 months of winter. Summer is a respite from the cold. A short break from the snow and cold and heavy sweaters and boots. Summer is long days and starry nights and the feeling of warm grass under barefeet. It’s when cousins from far away come to visit for long stays and we sleep in tents and we swim in chilly lakes. Summer is exploring the woods and swatting away mosquitoes and the smell of suntan lotion mingled with OFF!
For me, summer is a more feeling than a collection of memories. It’s when I’ve been the happiest. Maybe something is wrong with me, but my memories from childhood seem to be fragmented. There are little glimpses of things here and there, but most of my memories are built on photographs and stories that have been told to me. Except for summer. My summertime memories are the clearest.
Summertime brought my cousins from Indiana. Even though they are some of my more distant cousins, they were always the ones I liked the most. We’d all gather at Aunt Gladys’s house for days. Her house was always full in the summertime. Countless cousins and aunts and uncles and family members I never knew seemed to descend upon her house in summertime. Her door was always open. I only lived a few miles away from her house, but, when my cousins were in town, I never remember going home. We swam in her pond every day and ate hot dogs and hamburgers for every meal. Every day ended with soft-serve ice cream cones from season scoop shop.
Summer nights were mischievous. The adults would work their way through a case of Bud Light while the kids ran barefoot through the dewy grass. We’d roast marshmallows around the bonfire and drink way too much pop before bed. At some point the cattails soaked in kerosene would show up, and thankfully no one was ever hurt.
Summertime was carefree. It was full of imagination and adventure and wonder and magic. Laughter and love and playing tricks and teasing. Summer was candy and ice cream and burning off all the extra sugar through endless traipsing through the hills and valleys of Upstate.
Soon all that would remain of summer were red itchy bumps that the mosquitoes left behind and the charred ash of the bonfire. Our feet would be rough and calloused, but our spirits were full. That would have to be enough to get us through the next 9 months until Summer returned.
This is the eighteenth post in my 30 Days of Blogging series! Want to join in on the fun?