Ode to Summer

Here in New England, our temperatures dipped below freezing last night, which isn’t really that unusual for May. We’re always warned to avoid planting tender annual flowers before Memorial Day because until then, there’s always a chance of frost.

Actually, I’m kind of relishing these last few cooler days. Summer is going to be here any second, and truth be told, I don’t look forward to it as much as I used to. I really wilt during those very hot and humid days.


But I LOVED summer while I was growing up. The heat wasn’t really an issue then, because we used to spend the summers in a little cottage near a lake. We would get up early, have breakfast, pack a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a big jar of kool-aid, and head for the beach. We’d stay in the water swimming until our lips turned blue!

On the lake, there was a wooden raft with a diving board. It was a big deal when a kid became a good enough swimmer to be allowed to “go to the raft”. 🙂 We’d swim out there, dive off a few times and then head back to shore, where we’d literally flop onto a towel and have lunch. Swimming made you hungry and those hastily prepared sandwiches always tasted so good after a swim. Of course, our mothers insisted that we wait an hour after eating (warning us we could drown if we swam on a full stomach). During that hour, we’d create elaborate sand castles with multi-level moats, and car sculptures, and an occasional “sand cake” (a pail was used to mold the cake, with leaves, sticks, and pebbles as the decorations!).

On cooler summer days, we’d ride our bikes, or grab a sand pail and go blueberry picking. (We usually ate as many berries as we gathered, but somehow there were always enough for my mother to make a blueberry cake.) When it rained, we spent hours with coloring books and crayons, or playing cards, or board games. It was a wonderful, simple, carefree time.


The painting you see above, hangs in our home now. Several years ago, we were at a charity event, where all proceeds went to benefit a community art museum. I absolutely fell in love with this painting. It so reminds me of many happy summers in my life. Sir Beads and I were lucky enough to be the high bidders and it made us feel good to also be helping the art museum. We both strongly believe that art should be encouraged and supported as much as possible – especially now that more and more schools, with shrinking budgets, are having to cut it from the curriculum.

These days, the best part of summer for me is the time we spend with the extended family. There are more events and gatherings than in winter, and I cherish the chance to reconnect with the ones I love. I get through the muggy days dreaming of autumn – my favorite season! 😉



Ode to Summer — 8 Comments

  1. Hi Sweet Crystal!

    I just loved reading about all your wonderful summertime memories, and delightfully, they also brought back some very dusty ones for me!
    Wasn’t it just the best when we were small enough to not have a worry in the world? When making sand castles, playing tag, coloring, playing Barbies…and a smushed, warm peanut butter and jelly sandwich was just the best thing…it still is really! 😉

    I think your painting is so darling. The little girls bathing suit is so sweet with that little bow in the back. I’m happy you were the lucky high bidder!

    You write soooo beautifully Crystal!

    Sending a big hug,
    Paulette 😉 xoxo

  2. I love summer. I grew up in Michigan City on Lake Michigan. I went to the lake everyday. Back then, you could walk anywhere in the city in about 20 to 30 minutes, or you could take the bus and that would take just about as long as walking did. I have such wonderful memories of life at the beach.

    As I get older, the heat of summer does take its tole. I get a little less done outside. We have the air conditioner on a little more. But summer is and will always be my favorite season. I dream of living in a year round summer environment. O, I know the grass is greener, yada yada yada. I don’t care. Give me the sun, 85 degrees and a lawn chair by the pond. Happy Days!!

    xx, Carol

  3. Beautiful picture. I have a picture of a 5 or 6 year old girl sitting on a blanket on the beach looking out at the waves and sky. She’s wearing sunglasses and her blond hair is spilling down her back. It reminds me of my daughter and the many trips we made to the beach.
    Ahhh beautiful memories of a time long ago.

  4. My family had a club house on the river. We would go every weekend during the summer with my cousins. It was a great time. One of our favorite treats was to leave licorice in the bag in the sun. It would get warm and soft and it smelled so good.

  5. You’re such a good writer 🙂 I wish I had half the talent you do…

    Personally, I’m freezing!! It’s SO cold here. Next week I’ll be whining to you about how hot it is heh 🙂

  6. I agree with spamgirl…

    I hope that one day I will get the chance to feel all four seasons…

    Which means I have to go to Europe or UK or anywhere which have four seasons in a year…hehe… (further study abroad is the best way to do this!)

  7. Summertime meant being outdoors with my friends/neighbors. When I was growing up, the neighborhood basically stayed the same…Now, our society is so mobile that it makes me pine for my youth. Thanks, Cindi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.