Friday, June 10, 2011

Ahh Summertime

Isn't it funny how certain months of the year hold such a special place in our hearts?  I'm not sure why summertime is the time of year I feel most content, but it always has been my favorite season.

With the first warm days, I can almost feel the breeze blowing in my hair as I race down hills on my banana bike, or smell the delicious scent as I would run inside my grandmother's kitchen to see what type of cake or pie she had made that day.

Joy, over at Savvy City Farmer just did a post on the way she grew up and those precious memories she clings to, and I could relate to many aspects of her upbringing.

It's funny, if you were to ask me about certain months each year growing up, there is little I could tell you about them.  Maybe because we didn't have any birthdays in those months, or there weren't any big holiday celebrations that hit home, but ask me about the time from May until September each year and I can reminisce all day long.

Even as an adult, summer was always my favorite time of year because it meant my kids would be with me all day everyday, I treasure that time we had together now that they are both grown.

If you asked me about summertime growing up, I could regale you with tales of playing baseball in the field across the street, running barefooted on hot blue chip asphalt to catch the ice cream truck, and about playing freeze tag and green light red light until daylight gave way to twilight when the hunt for lightning bugs would begin.  I would tell you about my mom marching us into the tub each night to scrub our feet and the dirt and grime from a day of playing hard, and how she stroked our hair each night checking us for ticks.

As I grew up, summer became the time when we didn't talk about school, or need to take notes, we could just be and hang out with our friends acting silly and talking about everything and nothing at the same time.  Working minimum wage jobs and spending time crabbing or water-skiing on our days off.  We thought those days would never end, and sometimes we wished they would.  We wanted to be grown ups and live in our own homes and not have to come home by 2 am after dancing all night or sailing all day.


Once, when I was in college, my sister and I went sailing with some friends late in the afternoon.  We ventured pretty far out in the Chesapeake Bay, and as we turned to head back to the marina the motor suddenly quit on the boat.  This was the mid 1980s so there were no cell phones, and the radio on board decided to quit working too, along with the wind which is why we were using the motor to begin with.

For hours, we were adrift trying to make our way back to shore, and the hours went by so that when we finally did dock it was almost 3 am.  I can still remember the look on my mom's face when we got back home and how frightened and worried she was.  But what we saw was how angry she was, because we were young, invincible, and we knew we could handle it and that we were ok, so why should she be worried?!  Now that I'm a mom, I understand. 

She knew something we didn't, that life is short, and more importantly it's very fragile and can be gone in a second.  Where we saw invulnerability when we looked in the mirror, she saw naivety and a lack of life knowledge.


Just like my mother, I will always worry, but I have to also let go the same way she did.  I've learned to let my kids have their own summer memories, ones that I hope will be as moving as my own.

Ones where even the smell and taste of ripe blackberry will transport them back in time.  My only hope is that like the berries which seem so plentiful this time of year they will realize that they are only ripe and full of flavor for a very short time.   I hope they memorize that sweetness and drink it in and that they will savor each phase of their lives.  That they will find their own time of year that says "ahh" to every fiber of their being the way summertime does to mine.

Embracing who you are and where you come from is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.  We can't turn back the clock, and getting stuck trying to cling tight to the little and big hands is futile and will only leave you stuck in time instead of continuing on your journey.  Just as we can't speed up the clock in hopes of erasing the bad times, each bit of time is what makes us who we are and takes us to the next place we need to go to in life.  People, things, pets, and places will change, and you will miss them all, but if you have your memories, then you have it all.

What season speaks to your heart and takes you back?


  1. I have never thought about what childhood memories are attached to what month but I think mine might be more summer filled too. I just bought farm stand blueberries a few minutes ago. Have a great weekend Kat. ♥O

  2. Many of my fondest childhood memories are of the summer months. Building sand castles, visits from grandparents, and all of the care free fun moments. Have a great weekend.

    Susan and Bentley

  3. First I have to comment on the beautiful images!! Amazing and now I am hungry!!! I just bought blueberries and fresh pineapple so I have to go and eat some now. That goes to show how great your photography skills are. I too loved the summer, camping, fishing and hours in the water!!! Great memories!! Kathysue

  4. I have some lovely memories of summering with my grandparents at their house in the English country. My Granny would send us every day to help the farmer next door. You couldn't sit idle when there were fields to bring in!

  5. Oh I LOVE that Trace Adkins song. As usual, this post is so beautifully written and oh those luscious images of yours have my mouth watering! xo ~Lili

  6. That's a song I'd never heard before - very moving.
    I don't know where my children's 12-18 years went - they flew by. As for me - summer meant Cape Breton and all my aunts and uncles, the smell of pine trees, the crinkle of a bag of chips and the smell of wood smoke from my grandparents' big stone fireplace. Wood smoke has never had the same scent since then.

  7. I have much the same memories as you only on the opposite coast. As a child summer was seemingly never ending. My mom would shush us outside after breakfast and we only returned for a quick lunch and we were off again until dinner. No video games or tv marathons. Just us kids and our imaginations...oh yeah, and that banana seat bike! Beautiful post.

  8. What a beautiful and heartfelt pot. I, too, love summer and have many memories of ice cream trucks, playing in the sprinkler with neighborhood friends and riding my bike everywhere...good times.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend.


  9. Oh my gosh your berries and cherries!

    be u tee full

    xo kelley

  10. Summertime is it for me, to! I have such wonderful memories of warm summer days...a quilt under the tree reading books I walked to the library to check out! Baseball games...swimming at the pool...popsickles! Lots of good things! LONG days...but never boring! (I bought cherries today and they are SO sweet!)

  11. I have always loved summer too... it's when I feel my best, look my best, mentally I'm happiest. Love summer berry pie, too.

  12. Oh Kat this post ignited pretty memories of childhood birthdays, my mama always singing along with the Irish hour on Saturday radio....her dipping strawberries into the sugar bowl for me....thank you for a visit to a fond memory (and your photos are so lovely!!!) I hope your summer is off to a memorable start!

  13. Let us all hope that this summer is one of the best, leaving us more in our memory store to cherish.

  14. That last photo with the bowl is just so lovely. For me, it would be spring and the scent of lilacs. And then there's the fall, and that's even more wonderful.

  15. Terrific pics! One of my favorite parts of summer each year is berry picking. The kids always go with the "one for me, one for the basket" method of berry picking, and come back with juice stained lips and chins. Love it! We're still a few weeks out from prime picking time here, but I'm already looking forward to it.

  16. each season holds intense childhood memories for me because we lived outdoors all day back then

    thanks for making me ponder some of those precious thoughts today

    hannah and I polished off a package of Ranier cherries yesterday.<3 YUM

  17. Sniff, Sniff-love Trace Adkins and love that song!

    Happy Weekend!


  18. Summer is my memory season for sure! I would grow roses and bring them to my grandmother. She would put them in her special vase and call me a few days later to tell me she was still enjoying them! My grandmother was an invalid for having polio when she was 12, so everything that was pretty was a gift to her. She gave me that vase shortly before she died because she said she wanted me to continue to beautiful roses in it and remember her! sniff, sniff

    We always ate berries together too! When I saw your pictures I immediately thought of her! Thanks for the memories!!

  19. Kelly J/Hunters HillJune 14, 2011 at 8:07 AM

    Summertime is absolutely my most favorite time of year and I am often taken back to hot, hot summer days trying to stay cool on my grandparent's breezeway, waiting for my grandfather to bring in fresh fruit and veggies from the garden .... no matter how hot it was my grandmother would still make rhubarb stew and run the oven to make a rhubarb pie .... I really do miss that.
    Yes, summer IS the best time of year hands down!

  20. What a beautiful post Kat. Summertime brings back so may memories for me and what seem to always last forever when we were young now only seems as long as a blink of an eye. Ice cream trucks, tag, swimming, the lake, everything that I love in life now was made during those times. :)
    Thank you for sharing.


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