Summer memories

Ah, summer.  I have a love/hate relationship with summer and always have, but right now I'm focusing on the good things summer has to offer and have been reflecting/remember past summers.  At 30, I can say that my summer memories can be divided into almost five groupings - childhood, pre-teen years, high school years, college years and adulthood.  In each phase, summer was about different things and spent in different ways, which makes sense given they're five different stages of my life thus far.  It's fun to remember though.  Let's take a brief walk down memory lane.  I'm in a good, but nostalgic mood today!

Summers of my childhood were clearly about being out of school.  Running through the sprinkler with my friend J from next door.  Playing at the park by my house with my cousins.  Visiting the wading pool by my dad's work.  Rolling down the hill at my grandma's old apartment with my cousins.  Riding my bike around the block.  Playing Red Light, Green Light in my driveway after dinner with just about every kid from age 5-10 on my block (this happened like one time I'm certain, it wasn't a frequent occurrence but I remember it vividly the one time it did.)  Spending hours at Jes's house playing with Barbies, dolls, or swinging on her swingset.  Taking a family vacation with my parents almost every year or a staycation doing things around town at least one week out of the summer.  Visiting my aunt's cabin near Nisswa.  Playing with friends in my backyard playhouse.  Feeling like the days went on and on and would never end

Pre-teen years
As I started "coming of age" so to speak - we'll say from around 11 to 14, summers changed a bit.  There were still plenty of days I hung out with friends.  Jes and I traded Barbies for hunky men on the TV soap General Hospital that we'd often watch together on lazy afternoons.  I started babysitting a lot and spent two to three days a week over at my cousin's house watching their three kids.  I spent hours on the phone with friends who didn't live in the neighborhood so I didn't see them as often.  I had sleepovers with some of them.  My parents started running the Fun Fest at church so I was drug along to help with a lot of set up for that each year.  I'd stay awake late and read teenage fluff and angst  style books.  I started being allowed to wander the mall with friends.  I still did a fair amount of bike riding.  We still took a family vacation.  A couple of years I played on a summer soccer team.  The days still felt long but started passing in more of a blur.

High school years
Summer changed in a big way by high school.  Sure it was still about being out of school.  But now I was old enough to work.  Old enough to date.  Old enough to drive.  Time with friends was abandoned for time with Nate, save for the first summer we were dating and he was away at scout camp.  That was one of the longest summers of my life.  My bike was passed over for my first car.  Free time was becoming more precious as I worked various jobs.  We still took family vacations, but now I was starting to travel with Nate's family as well.  My family still had a large role with Fun Fest.  I began volunteering at Vacation Bible School.  I attended Music Ministry Alive. The State Fair became an annual tradition with Nate. Summer started flying by faster and faster each passing year.

College years
Summer suddenly wasn't much of anything anymore.  I was a diligent girl who took classes in the summer and worked a pretty steady job.  I got my generals more or less done through summer session.  The only vacation I took the entire time I was in college wasn't with my family or really even with Nate's - it was a trip that just he and I took to St. Louis.  I didn't even move home one summer as I took on the role of Orientation Coordinator and was busy every single day, especially the closer it got to September.  These are the summers I actually remember the least, just because of how much they weren't really like a true summer. It's not to say they were bad summers, but they weren't memorable.

Adult years
Summer now is better than it was in college, but definitely not the carefree summer of my youth.  It still flies by.  But I have had some really awesome times during the summer in my adulthood too.  Even though I didn't love the job, working at Immaculate and taking the kids places like the wave pool or Valleyfair and getting paid for it, spending hours in Gina's office "working" and going on Caribou runs. Planning my wedding, being a newlywed and buying our house. Starting a new job at Fairview.  Pool parties with friends.  Barley Johns and other outdoor patio nights.  Trips to Itasca with Nate.  Brewing beer.  Outdoor concerts.  Golfing.  Obviously no more Fun Fest or VBS, but many fun times with Praise Project.  Family reunions.  Another trip to St. Louis. Becoming a runner. Re-discovering my bike.  Realizing the time does go by so, so fast, and trying to appreciate every single moment as it comes.

If I look at mostly the good, I do find many reasons to love summer.  We just won't factor in the weather, right?  Ha.  Thanks for indulging me on a trip down memory lane.

1 comment:

Jes said...

Oh those childhood summers! Ha! And yes, we can forget about the summer weather and just enjoy the summer fun ;)