Monday, July 02, 2007

Fun Monday # 3 - Summer Days...

Fun Monday this week is being hosted by Jenni over at Prairie Air. The mission this week?

"The topic for this Fun Monday is summer memories. Besides a few of your favorite summer memories, I'd like to hear what summer means to you. Is summer all about fireworks, watermelon seed wars, catching fireflies, days at the lake, family vacations, or the perfect swimsuit? What sights, smells, sounds, tastes, feelings do you associate with summer?"

Summer is and always has been my favorite time of year. There is something about the sunshine, the smell of barbecue in the air, and daylight into the wee hours of the early evening that just says happiness to me. I get giddy with anticipation in the months before summer arrives, and am delirious throughout June, July and August. THIS is what life is about.

By the way, yes, the above picture is of me, on a beach somewhere in Portugal. I pretty much grew up on the fact my earliest memories of summer are hazy, but center around my childhood home on a beach in Portugal. I remember going to the beach daily with my mom, who at that time was a stay-at-home mom, but remember little of the details. I remember playing in my back yard, which was sandy as the beach, and walking through sugar canes and other strange plants to get to the beach. I remember that I practically lived in my bathing suit at that time. I don't think we owned a camera back then, because I don't remember ever seeing pictures from that house, that time in our lives. From what I've been told, that was a pretty rough time financially for my family, I don't remember it that way though, I remember the summer.

My greatest memories of summer though focus on my pre-teen and early teen years. For several years in a row, my parents, with my brother and I in tow, and my uncle and aunt, with my two cousins in tow, would spend a week or two every summer in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We would stay at the same little inn, with individual cottages, and normally my two cousins and I would get our very own cottage, next door (or if we were really lucky a few cottages away) from our parents' own cottage. Theirs with the kitchen, ours just a little room with a bathroom. We felt so grown up to stay there on our own. There were years other relatives and friends stayed with us as well, but every year the three of us had our own little world in the mountains.

During the days we would explore The Lost River, or visit "The Old Man in the Mountain". We would hang out in the swimming pool, cook-out and play badmitton behind our parents' cottage. There were the water gun fights...No fair using a pot of water, uncle V! And playing in the rain in our bathing suits. Cute boy crushes, trips to the corner grocer to buy teenie bopper magazines with posters of New Kids on the Block.

At night there was the campfire with ghost stories and singing, and marshmallows to roast. Crazy fully clothed dips in the pool, listening to music and choreographing our own dances. Fantasies about the cute boys, staying up all night talking about our dreams...we never slept those days. I wonder if they ever fixed that light we almost set on fire?

Even the car rides to and from would turn into an adventure, trying to spot certain color cars, license plates from different states...remember "saco azul"? You had to be there, trust me...

And then there were the fire works on the Fourth of July. Because it was always the week of the Fourth that we'd go up there, and we'd watch the fireworks reflecting on the lake, sitting on top of my father's minivan. "Bee-u-ti-fuuul"...

Those will always be my favorite summer memories. So many feelings come attached to these, that I get emotional just thinking about it. It feels as if a lifetime away now.

Summer for me now is still about family, and cook-outs, adventure and exploring, the sunshine and being outside as much as possible. My parents just got a new pool, so this summer new memories will be created for sure. But I do miss those old summers in the mountains.

(I'm hoping to add pictures to this post later tonight when I get home).

For the list of all the Fun Monday participants this week, be sure to visit Prairie Air.


MommaBoo said...

What wonderful summer memories. And your pic...cute as a button!

Thanks for sharing!

Happy Fun Monday

Jenni said...

Hey! It worked! Your link finally worked! I don't think Blogger hates you as much as it does me.

What beautiful summer memories. We had rough times financially while I was growing up, too, but my brother and I have a different perspective about it just like you. I think that's an important thing to remember now that I'm a parent. Don't get so stressed about the money and what you can or can't *buy* your kids. It's the love and the good times that make the memories worth holding onto. Kids just know that instinctively, but we must get dumber as we get older.

Molly said...

Summmer at the beach or at the mountains are wonderful memories. Even if you do not have pictures, you have memories.

Kaytabug said...

That was a very sweet post. I enjoyed everybit of it! I totally agree with Jenni...I am glad I was reminded of that!

Anonymous said...

I thought about "Saco Azul" recently myself, I was talking to a friend who grew up in Lincoln, NH, and I mentioned some of those same memories. I kept Saco azul to myself though.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.