Aug 092013

Lazy days of summer cloud watching Here in the northern hemisphere, the lazy days of summer are starting to transition into the “Back to School” scramble. It’s my least favorite time of year—I hate to see the fun end and I loathe seeing my son go back to college.

Though I can’t recapture the feeling of exhilaration that most kids feel on the last day of school, I can remember it. And, I can write about it. You, too, can share what the lazy days of summer (or winter in other parts of the world) were like in your youth.

Outdoor lazy days of summer fun:

lazy days of summer fishing with dadFor me this isn’t quite the “duh” that you might think. My kids, nieces, and nephew know what my husbands’ summers at “the lake” were like, because we all go there. They’ve heard hundreds of “back then” stories. However, their summer time “at home” is quite different from my generations’ summers at home. We didn’t have organized sports or summer camps. We climbed trees, played in the creek and roamed from house to house. (See Not so Lazy Days of Summer.) Though there was a swimming pool we could go to, often we just volunteered to wash the dog or car when we got hot.

Did you have access to a lake- or beach-house? Did you ride the waves or fish for hours? What did you do that kids today don’t get to do anymore? Go to the drive-in movie? Swing on the tire swing? Write about those lazy days of summer fun.

Vacation Traditions

Many families go to the same vacation spots year after year. Even if “grandma’s house” isn’t considered a vacation Mecca for the rest of us, write about those trips and what you did there. (See Power of Going Back.) If your vacations didn’t revolved around relatives, what did you do? Did you go to the same resort every year? Did you vacation with other families? Were they lazy days of summer fun or were they packed with adventures and activities?

lazy days of summer in a station wagon

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Again, don’t forget to note what’s different. For instance, my husband’s family remembers (note the lack of the modifier “fondly”) trips from Pittsburgh to Louisville in the un-air-conditioned station wagon with the three kids packed in the back. They also remember—this time fondly—their favorite stops for ice cream and recreation.

Toys and Hobbies

How did you entertain yourself indoors? What were your favorite toys and hobbies?  What kept you entertained indoors? Books, Erector sets, or dolls? Were you a collector (anything from stamps to bugs)?

Lazy Days of Summer Foods

lazy days of summer eating blueberries Are there any food traditions intermingled with your lazy days of summer? Though I now cringe to think about it now, my cousins and I had some spirited watermelon seed spitting battles.  At my sister-in-law’s house, grape-picking involved so many bee-stings that her jelly was forever after known as “bee jelly.”

Did you get to go blueberry picking or was there a relative that made her famous blackberry pie in the summer? Did you get fresh vegetables from your own garden?  These are all things that made those summer days so sweet.

Don’t Forget the Who’s and With Whom’s

As you write, don’t forget to include with whom you spent time. This will enhance the connections your loved ones will have with your past.

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So what did you do on those lazy days of summers (or winters) past? Leave a note in the comments; it’ll help spark the rest of our memories.
© Laura Hedgecock 2013

  2 Responses to “Lazy Days of Summer: Bring ‘Em Back Alive”

  1. Laura, how easy you make it sound to recall those young and carefree days! It could be an exercise all in itself!
    With our 2 lads we took them to,various parts of South Africa, to the bush, the mountains the sea. My childhood was also much like that,
    to the mountains, to the sea and to the bush all as a way of getting out of the city. The bush as a way of reconnecting with the wildness within back into nature where it’s wildness was expressed with out. Nothing more peaceful,than sitting on a deck overlooking a river in which crocs lie low and hippos spout about. Elephant on the other side of the river.
    I need more memory sparking… Will haul out the photo,albums..

    • That sounds so idyllic. When I was working in Germany, colleagues from South Africa gave me a weekly calendar. It said “It’s sunny today in South Africa,” and each week had a beautiful picture. I still have it because I still dream of going to some of those beautiful places,.

      Thanks for sharing!


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