Favorite summer memories from your childhood? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-04-2013, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes a certain smell, or sound just takes you back! I love that. Hopefully my kiddos will have some fond memories of living rural, but traveling from their childhood. And, hopefully enjoy their free range childhood. What are your favorite summer memories from your childhood?


~Mama to my boys~ to a teen, a tween & a toddler and surro-mama to twins and their sister

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Old 06-04-2013, 02:35 PM
 
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Our summer vacations were Yosemite and local camping, and I have hundreds of cherished memories from those times. And also just the silly stuff my brother and I and our gang of neighborhood kids would do, like taking cardboard squares to a nearby dry-grass-covered hill and "sledding" down.

I'm carrying on the camping and Yosemite traditions, but I don't practice free range with my kids, despite my great memories of it when I was little. I think part of it is logistics -- my mom worked full time, whereas I'm home and available, so I just head outside with them when they want to play outside. But also, all that time spent in tall, dry grass as a kid sort of freaks me out now -- I can't believe I didn't come home covered in ticks and snakebites! wink1.gif That is still one of my very favorite summer smells though -- that sweet, hot, grainy smell of dry grasses.

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Old 06-04-2013, 06:08 PM
 
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  • Setting up the tent at multiple campsites (we usually stayed either one night or two, before hitting the road again).
  • Seeing various forms of wildlife along the road, or in the campsite (although the time it was a bear in the campsite was a little unnerving).
  • Exploring tide pools.
  • Helping with haying on the farm of some family friends.
  • Playing in the yard - watching bugs, studying snails, slugs, etc., swinging on the swingset, playing in the sandbox.
  • Trips to the dump with my dad (yes - the garbage dump - it was fun, although I'm not sure why).
  • Exploring the woods at different campgrounds.
  • Hiding out in neighbourhood "forts" - usually the hollow space at the bottom of a large bush.
  • Hiking/walking the local trails (esp. the canyon) with my mom.

 

I'm sure I could think of some others, but those are the first that come to mind. I grew up in a suburban area, but it was more rural in character than what we usually think of as the "burbs". Our family took a 2-3 week camping vacation every year - drove a couple hundred miles, found a campsite, stayed a night, or two, or three, depending on how much we liked the area, then hit the road again. We frequently met up with out-of-town friends, and/or visited them (one had the farm, another had some acreage with a huge garden, and the others camped with us fairly regularly). My summer vacations were amazing.


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Old 06-05-2013, 06:18 AM
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This is poignant as I just lost my father so I've spent a lot of time thinking back. love.gif

 

Car trips to my grandparents house for family reunion. 

 

Family reunion!

 

Holiday meals

 

Getting my first job  - stuffing newspapers with flyers

 

Learning to ride a bike

 

Feeding chickens and collecting eggs

 

Learning to milk a cow


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Old 06-05-2013, 07:41 AM
 
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Playing hide and seek all over our neighborhood.  We had free reign through all the backyards because no one cared as long as we stayed out of trouble.

 

Walking into town and going to the penny candy store

 

Riding our bikes to the elementary school, then taking the bus to the pool and staying there all day. 

 

Sweeping out the garage and setting up the entire neighborhood's Barbie collection.  Then my dad would come home and make us pack it all up. But we'd do it again the next day.

 

The year we got cable.  1984, the Olympics were on and we were all Mary Lou Retton, we played Nintendo all day and watched MTV every chance we got.  

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Old 06-05-2013, 08:46 AM
 
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10 and younger my sisters and I spent 2 weeks every summer at my grandparents house and part of that was at their cabin in the mountains-- hiking up trails through old growth trees the size of houses, swimming in the lake until we were blue (a lake I would never dare swim in as an adult!), bedtime stories from grandpa with Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear and Brer Sasquatch, so many good memories.

 

Unfortunately, my family moved a couple thousand miles away, and that was the end of those summers (I still have a sizable chip on my shoulder about that).  But for a while, we spent summers baking in the sun at friends' houses, playing in the pool all day while parents were all at work.  We'd do brilliantly fun things like jumping off the house roof into the pool, but usually we stayed relatively sane and safe.  


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Old 06-05-2013, 07:52 PM
 
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Hanging out with my older sister at our house.  We'd create these elaborate pretend play worlds, and play out our stories in the backyard.  We always watched The Price is Right while waiting for the earliest possible moment when it was acceptable to heat up our Spaghettios for lunch.  For weeks we'd check the mail, desperate for the arrival of our dance recital video.  When it came, we'd watch it over and over again until we had all the dances memorized. 

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Old 06-06-2013, 05:54 AM
 
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I love this thread!

 

 One of my favorite summer memories from childhood would be when the whole family would go to my parents summer house in Maine.  We would have a huge lobster and clam roast out on the cliffs at the beach.  We'd have a water gun fight with everyone involved including my grandparents, and we'd spend endless hours exploring the tide pools.  

 

Going camping with my parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles in NY state.

 

Spending hours in a tree that had a perfect lounge chair branch reading my book.

 

Picking wild strawberries in the woods behind the house and stumbling upon a tiny little fawn asleep in the tall grass.


 
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:59 AM
 
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Spending time at my grandparents with my two cousins.  My grandparents had a farm and while they had retired from active farming before I was born, there were still plenty of things to explore in the various barns and outbuildings.  Free range doesn't even begin to describe my childhood, we simply had no boundaries and zero restrictions the moment we crossed Nana's doorstep to the outside.  We would set out for hours on end and do the craziest things.  It is truly a miracle that we didnt' get hurt or killed.   Crazy stuff like tying a rope to the rafters and jumping off a 40 foot high barn roof.

 

Someone mentioned smells.  I have a vivid memory of the smell of a corn field on a hot summers day and the way the stalks scratched my arms.

 

It makes me sad that my son won't have those sort of memories.   Because of where we live, letting him run wild the way I did just isn't an option, it isn't safe. 


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Old 06-12-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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I lived on a farm and didn't have any friends nearby, so a lot of my memories involve only me, or me and my parents (sister was much older and moved away when I was little).

 

- Devouring paper sacks full of books on the front porch in the sun (everything from The Hobbit to Babysitters Club)

 

- Picking wildflowers with my dad on the back corner of the farm, it was a bona fide remnant prairie and beautiful in all seasons, but especially summer.

 

- Picking raspberries with my mom along the old railroad tracks.  Or ground cherries at my grandma's place

 

- There was one summer where I had a "boyfriend" who lived in town.  We used to write letters to each other because phone calls were long-distance and if I called him my mom would find out I had a boyfriend when the phone bill came. ROTFLMAO.gif I remember waiting for the mailman to come and running down the hill to check the mailbox.  I'm actually Facebook friends with him now, but I really wish I had saved those letters.  *haha*

 

-  When it got dark and farm work was done for the day, we'd all sit outside in the cool summer air before heading in the house and just talk and watch the lightning bugs, listen to the crickets, scratch the dog's ears.  Sometimes my dad and I would watch the far off lightning of a distant storm.  If it was really hot in the house sometimes we'd all sleep in this old camper we had (that never was used for actual camping when I was around, but it was my playhouse during the day and sleeping porch by night).  Many a slumber party was had in that camper too.


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Old 06-12-2013, 06:52 PM
 
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Playing outside all day every day with my neighborhood friends from morning till late at night.
Going to the beach
Visiting cousins in Florida.
Hanging out with my local cousins

Ryan 08-28-08  & Julianna 5-3-11
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:24 AM
 
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- There was one summer where I had a "boyfriend" who lived in town.  We used to write letters to each other because phone calls were long-distance and if I called him my mom would find out I had a boyfriend when the phone bill came. ROTFLMAO.gif I remember waiting for the mailman to come and running down the hill to check the mailbox.  I'm actually Facebook friends with him now, but I really wish I had saved those letters.  *haha*

 

 

Too funny! 

 

I remember when long distance calls were a HUGE deal.   Long distance calls were NEVER made in my family without endless consideration, as if a single two minute call would bring financial ruin.   


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Old 06-14-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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We had a pool and the smells of chlorine and coconut sunscreen pretty much herald the start of summer for me. My sister and I would baste in Hawaiin Tropic suntan oil -no sunscreen. Gosh I love that coconut smell.

 

Long road trips and camping, and the elaborate 4th of July block parties I grew up with. Burning my feet on hot asphalt is actually a happy memory now! My mom made root beer a couple summers, and they were delicious. 


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Old 06-20-2013, 02:27 PM
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Picking blackberries down the old dirt roads around my grandparents' farm. 

 

Catching turtles crossing the roads after it rained. 

 

Family reunions

 

Summer car trips

 

I love this thread. love.gif


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Old 06-20-2013, 04:07 PM
 
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Oh - it was a one off, but one of my all-time most treasured memories was finding tadpoles. We really don't see them around my neighbourhood (no frogs, either). We were on a camping trip, and had stopped at a rest area for a bite to eat and bathroom break. My sister and I wandered around the area a bit, just to look around, and found this tiny little stream, and it was loaded with tadpoles. It was one of the coolest things ever. I always slightly envied the kids I'd come across in books who had frogs and tadpoles in their own neighbourhoods.


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Old 06-20-2013, 06:01 PM
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Storm Bride, that reminds me of us flying june bugs. We'd catch them, tie a slip knot and put that around them under their wings and fly them around. orngbiggrin.gif


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Old 06-21-2013, 03:51 PM
 
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Wow - I can't imagine doing that with June bugs.

 

One of my least favourite summer memories involved June bugs, actually We stopped at a gas station or something to use the bathrooms - think I was about six  -and when I walked around the back of the building to use the bathroom, the door and wall were covered with June bugs. I'd never seen them before (not that common around here), and they completely freaked me out. I ran back to the car, and my mom had to escort me to the bathroom.


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Old 06-23-2013, 11:46 PM
 
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After my step-dad mowed the front lawn, my sibs and I would create nests for the croquet balls and pretend to be birds.

 

Going blue-berry picking

 

Making cities in the sandbox and flooding them.

 

Later  childhood - spending lots of time reading in my room

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:44 AM
 
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As a young child: running around barefoot all summer, playing in the cul-de-sac, playing in the backyard on the swingset, merry-go-round and see saw, running through sprinklers in our bathing suits.  Eating popsicles outside, and they'd melt on the sidewalk as we were eating them because it was always so hot.  Staying out late at night, catching lightning bugs and making shadows in the street lights.  The tomatoes in the back yard, the little plastic kiddie pool.  And then at one of our houses, my dad made us a little pool out of scraps from wood and linoleum.  

 

Strawberry shortcake, it was always a summer treat that we loved.  And getting to buy ice cream from the ice cream truck on occasion.

 

My parents driving us from Virginia to Green Bay, we'd lie up in the back of the car window or down on the floor during the day, trying to sleep, but then we'd fall asleep at night.  My parents, when they were younger, would drive all night, pulling over at truck stops to get coffee.  I remember the sounds of trucks going by on the highway, how stuff would cool down in the night and there would be condensation on the windows, and I'd look blearily out the window at the big street lights and ask if I could have something, and my mom would tell me to go back to sleep. Then once in Green Bay, we'd stay at this little motel, the Valley Inn, when we couldn't stay with my grandparents.  They had a pool with a slide, and we'd get to go to breakfast at the motel, which I loved.  And there was a big wading pool at the park near my grandparents house, and my grandfather would walk us to the park to feed the squirrels. He had a lava lamp, and I loved that thing.  But they had no A/C, and as we got older, we found that hard to take.  It was hot in Green Bay too, and there were a lot of mosquitos.

 

For awhile we had babysitters who came all day in the summer while my parents were at work. They would make iced tea and sandwiches for us for lunch, and they would watch tv, but sometimes would take us swimming or out to places sometimes; sometimes to the county fair. I loved visiting all the craft booths.

 

When I got older, I mostly stayed in the A/C and read books, but I'd go out sometimes and just feel the heat radiating off the pavement.  When I met my husband, he always had the A/C so low at night that I was freezing, so I'd go out and sit on the porch in the dark and it would be 90˚ at 9 o'clock at night.  But once I moved out west, I lost all that humidity, and it's not that hot in the summer here...it was in the 60's today!

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:46 AM
 
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The year we got cable.  1984, the Olympics were on and we were all Mary Lou Retton, we played Nintendo all day and watched MTV every chance we got.  

I was 17 that year, and it was my last summer home before going to college.  I watched those Olympics all darn day, even the stuff I didn't care about, like all the rowing events.  I didn't care as long as it was the Olympics.  But I also loved General Hospital, and was happy they were still showing it during that time.

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Old 06-24-2013, 09:48 AM
 
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I remember the sounds of trucks going by on the highway,

 

***

When I got older, I mostly stayed in the A/C and read books, but I'd go out sometimes and just feel the heat radiating off the pavement.  When I met my husband, he always had the A/C so low at night that I was freezing, so I'd go out and sit on the porch in the dark and it would be 90˚ at 9 o'clock at night.  But once I moved out west, I lost all that humidity, and it's not that hot in the summer here...it was in the 60's today!

 

 

Sleeping in a motel, the first time I heard sound of trucks down-shifting on the freeway startled me and I couldn't go back to sleep. After that I loved the sound and it evoked that strong happy feeling of being on a road trip. 

 

Same here with the AC.  I'd go sit on the front step and revel in the feeling of my toes heating up.  I'd zone out and stare at the honey bees all over the flower bed.  Actually, I still appreciate warming my toes up after being in an air conditioned house.  Don't get me wrong, I love the AC.  It gets up to 114F here, which is miserable even without the humidity.

 

I'm in Sacramento and it's been raining off and on.  We're supposed to get record-breaking rain today.  Are you getting any of this storm? 


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Old 06-24-2013, 06:27 PM
 
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I forgot about berry picking. Mom used to punch holes through the opposite sides of big juice cans (at the top), and string them with twine. We'd hang them from our necks, and then pick as many berries (usually blackberries) as we could find. I'm sure we picked at least twice the amount we brought home.


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Old 06-24-2013, 07:11 PM
 
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I'm in Sacramento and it's been raining off and on.  We're supposed to get record-breaking rain today.  Are you getting any of this storm? 

 

Apparently getting any rain here at this time of month is considered record breaking, but they were only forecasting about 1/4".  I haven't seen much yet, mostly just sprinkles.  But it's gray and cold. I went and picked cherries this morning.

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