Childhood Summer Memories [VIDEO]
Think back. Way back, to the days of your childhood summers. There should be a flood of memories, at least, something that makes you smile. I don’t know if spending your summers somewhere else, but summers in East Texas were pretty great to reflect back on.
There are lots of things that are disappointing about adult summers. First, and worst, you have to work through them. Instead of enjoying the heat running through a sprinkler eating a popsicle, you are the person stuck in traffic headed to the packed Walmart to buy the sprinkler and popsicles. All of the adult responsibilities leave less time for summer.
When we were kids, summer seemed to last forever. The last day of school was the most celebrated event of the entire year. Freedom, at last, had come! We were free to forget everything we had just learned and roam the earth as little wild things.
Though waking up for school days had always seemed like torture, the summer morning sun could not come faster for our patience. We were aching to get outside and explore. I was raised in a house were you did not need to be forced outside to play. Though I am sure my parents had the door locked, we never even tried to go back inside. I was lucky enough to live in a more rural area of East Texas. We had what seemed like the whole world at our finger tips.
With pastures full of adventure surrounding our two acres, there was never a dull moment. If we got a bit tired of seeing the same never ending expanse of land, we could ride our bikes down to our friends house. No matter our location, we were busy having fun.
One of the most important things to do during the explorations was to find all of the sweet natural treats we could. Surrounding our house were countless natural black berry bushes. Peeking through thick brush and finding something like the cluster of black berries in the image below would make us shout out in joy.
Laying in the shade of the trees, my brother and I would eat our bounty of berries and soak in the world around us. We had no worries in the world. We were surrounded by warmth, possibilities, and the sweet smells of summer. The aroma of grass, mud, and honey suckle filled the air. I believe I have experienced perfection in these moments. The clean air and quiet noises of the country on a summer day cannot be beat. Those sweet smells cannot be found on the hard concrete streets in the city. One doesn’t not understand the greatest smell in the world until they have smelled sunshine and honey suckle.
Do you remember these? They filled the air with a thick sugary perfume guiding you to their stretching vines. Once you found their small white and yellow blooms, you had found summer gold. Sucking the honey from their petals was the best taste. These were always a part of the summer day plan. Gather as many honey suckles as possible, grab your bamboo fishing poll and bobbers, catch as many crickets as you could, and go fishing in the pond behind the house.
My brother and I went fishing almost every day of summer. I hated having to run through the field with those grass hoppers and crickets jumping around us like little dive bombers, but we needed bait. I also made my poor brother bait my line. I didn’t like the critters jumping all over me, but it still hurt to see them get stabbed with the hook. With our lines in the pond, we sat and waited in the intense summer heat for anything to bite. Normally we just caught turtles and perch, but each was the greatest prize in the world.
Dirty and sweaty, we would head home to try and cool off. What better way than to run through those sprinklers or just spray each other with the hose? It was only then that we realized, no matter how much sunscreen my mother had lathered onto us before we left, we were so very sunburnt. You know the feeling. Your t-shirt sticks to your skin and burns like a thousand tiny needles stabbing you all at once. You itch but can’t scratch without feeling the most heinous pain. Even with cold water running over your body, you feel hot all over.
The only cure was a glass of lemonade, a pound of ocean lotion covering your every inch of you, and a nap in the hammock. I spent hours upon hours of the evening light on my tire swing or in our hammock. I would play my yellow Walkman as I sung along at the top of my lungs. I played every song over and over until I was absolutely fluent with every lyric.
Yep, this was one of the more frequent sing-alongs for the summer time. Its catchy melody kept me humming for many a summer. But, we cannot forget this jam. “Always Be My Baby” was probably the most played song of my childhood. I loved Mariah Carey, she guided me through so many young summer loves.
The summer days spent at home were great, some of the best days I have ever had. But, the days at the lake were even better. I have an aunt that competes in pro bass tournaments. When she came to visit we would get to use her fancy boat. Oh how we loved we aunt and uncle would come visit.
That’s right, time to go tubing! Swimming is loads of fun, but tubing is better. The wind in your hair, the water whipping past your underneath, the ropes your holding onto grinding blisters, and the adrenaline of flying through the air all makes for a glorious day. How much gas do you have in your boat? Good, we are going to need all of that.
I remember so many times zooming past my parents who stayed at the beach area to sit in the shallow water in their lawn chairs screaming out, “Waaawhooooo!” I would stay out there for hours. We would only takes breaks to get hot dogs and hamburgers from the beach grill and then it was time to get right back out.
Those days gave me some of the best memories of the summer days of my childhood. Just thinking about these smells, sounds, tastes, and activities has me right back there. Makes you miss those days and really dislike the adult summer days. Why must we spend our days in fluorescent lighting, eating Lean Cuisines, and smelling the stale air circulating through the AC system?
I want to go back to the good old days, what about you?