Sunday, July 23, 2006


In my first decade, I remember summer was:

Making silly jumps off the end of our dock.
Skiing behind my dad's boat.
Going to the marina for gas and getting to buy candy.
Laying on a blanket in the grass while my mom read books to me and my sisters.
Watching shimmering schools of poliwogs and minnows in the shallows.
Walking in the cool, green forests.
Climbing trees.
Getting checked for ticks or leeches.
Being sprayed down with mosquito repellent.
My mother's geraniums and petunias.
Lawn chairs.
The sound of lawn mowers and boat engines.
Walking through the baby trees on my grandmother's farm.
Catching garter snakes and letting them go. Ditto frogs, turtles, salamanders, bugs...
Running around in the dark with sparklers.
My babysitters teaching me how to "do the twist" and other cool new dances.
The peaceful passage of time with a fishing pole in my hand.
Playing with my dog.
The "dog days" of August.
Sidewalk sales.

In my second decade, I remember summer was:

Barbeques with my dad's family - bratwurst, corn on the cob, potato salad....
Camping with my mom and sleeping on the hood of our car.
Watching my dad's softball team lose game after game after game......
Late night thunderstorms.
Running around the neighborhood with my friends.
Playing kickball.
Spending lazy afternoons hiding from my sisters with a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a library book.
Wandering around the neighbor's dairy farm while they picked weeds in their garden or milked the cows.
Drill team practices at the park.
Visiting my dad.
Sleeping on air mattresses in front of a fan in the upstairs window at my grandmother's house.
Going to summer camp.
Riding horses.
Playing tennis with my friend Steve early in the morning before the sun came up.
Picnics in the Sandia Mountains.
A & W Rootbeer.

In my third decade, I remember summer was:

Planting my first garden.
Walking down to Old Uncle Gaylord's Ice Cream Shoppe for a sundae made with banana ice cream.
Going to the ocean on hot days, to find the fog.
Planting more gardens.
Hanging lots and lots of diapers.
Visiting my inlaws on the Stockton Delta.
Watching my toddlers as they wandered around the back yard with the hose set on dribble.
Going downtown to the Sonoma Plaza to feed the ducks hours before the shops even opened up.
The bagel shop.
The local 4th of July parade and friendly traffic jams after the evening's fireworks display.
Sitting on a chamomile lawn listening to Tim and Rosemary at the California School of Herbal Studies.
Women's circles up in Sebastopol, Sunday Circles at the Westerbeke Ranch under ancient oak trees.
Sandboxes and dirtpiles.
Sitting around with women friends, someone always nursing a wee little person.
Writing. Writing. And more Writing.
Writing poems.
Summer dresses.
Camping in Mendocino.
Naked ladies blooming, announcing the end of summer.

In my fourth decade, I remember summer was:

Camping with five kids - redwood forests, sand castles, bow and arrows made of sticks and twine, burnt marshmallows, a car full of kids and equipment with not a square foot of empty space.
Going to the Roseville City Pool in the heat of the afternoon.
Living like vampires (only come out after the sun goes down) in El Centro.
Drive-in movie theatres where the kids always fought.
4th of July firework displays where the kids always fought.
Sitting in the yard with my neighbor Laura, drinking ice tea, and watching our collective eleven children.
Sitting at my friend Sandra's, drinking ice tea, and watching our collective nine children, plus neighborhood kids.
Parks, lots of parks.
Playgrounds, lots of playgrounds.
Kiddie pools filled and refilled.
Water balloon fights.
Squirt gun fights.
Banning water balloons.
Banning squirt guns.
Kool-aid and popsicles.
Singing in the car with the kids - Tom Petty, Raffi, Linda Arnold, Paul McCartney.
Marine World. The kids sitting in the front seat at the whale show and getting soaking wet. Joe getting pooped on by a bird.
Joe always falling in the water wherever we went.
Discovering a real desert oasis.
Sam throwing up a giant red Slushie in the back seat of the car in middle of the desert.
Watching for rattlesnakes.
Buying summer sandals and tennis shoes for the kids.
Jeff's Hawaiian shirts.
Growing more gardens.
Watching fires burn across the border in Mexico.
Coyotes howling at night.
Annual camping trips with our friends Kathy and Mike.

In my fifth decade, I remember summer was:

Trips up and down the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Vancouver.
Fog and sand and filling the car up with shells, stones, driftwood, seaweed.
A few last camping trips with teenagers.
Driving cross country so my kids could finally meet my midwestern relatives.
Spending every day at the county fair.
4-H animals.
Going to the river with the kids.
Letting Jeff take the kids to the river so I didn't have to watch them jump off the bridge.
Sam going off with his fishing pole.
Driving Joe off to college, me crying almost all the way home.
Soccer camp. Football camp. 4-H camp.
More gardening.
Kids climbing the maple tree like long limbed monkeys.
The year Joshua died, spending most of the summer in the hammock, watching the sun move through the sky above the maple leaves, being surprised when it set behind the western ridge.
The smell of smoke and the constant threat of forest fires.
Driving home late at night from Reno.
Halley's comet in the sky.
Watching the Leonid meteor showers with William.
Visits to Washington state friends.
The sound of helicopters.
Redoing the raised bed gardens - buying wine barrels, and more wine barrels, and more wine barrels.
An apple tree filled with sun ojos for Litha.
Making grand barbequed feasts.
Making thousands of gallons of sun tea.
Positioning fans through the house.
Reading late into the night, waiting for a breeze.
Water slides, water guns, water balloons.
Hiding the water guns.
Making the teens pick up all the broken water balloons.
Making the teens pick up all the empty Otter pop wrappers laying sticky all over the house.
Banning Otter pops.
Visiting every skate park Sam could Mapquest.
The screen door opening and shutting and opening and slamming and opening and shutting and opening and.......
Teenage music.
Motel 6's.
Hanging clothes.
Getting a new clothesline.
Jeff's radiation treatments.
Sam moving out, me pouncing on his empty room for my own.
Painting rooms.
Hanging out at my mom's house in the trees, doing jigsaw puzzles late into the night with her.
Game nights with Dave and Debbie in the yard. The boys drinking coffee, the girls drinking margaritas.
Mexican food.
Jeff and Al sitting in the front yard.
Swearing "this is the year" I'll reclaim my gardens from encroaching weeds and grass.
The smell of dry grass and pine pitch in the summer air.
Already planning for Halloween by midAugust.


Blogger :-D eirdre said...

You missed one ;-P
PS - Timi says they have FREE REFILLS in Pittsburgh!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Laume said...

Refills aren't summer specific. Phhbt!

5:15 PM  

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