The topic for the 76th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is “How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Favorite Summer Memory from Your Youth.” When I think of my favorite summer memories, I don’t think of the “big” events – vacations, trips, camp, etc. It’s the soft, fuzzy memories that come to mind – the ones about family and traditions and the lazy summer days that only seem to happen when you are a kid.
My cousins and I spending the day at our maternal grandparents’ house and riding around the farm in the back of Papa’s truck. He would take us out into the pasture and let us drive, one by one, even when we were nine or ten and could barely reach the pedals. When we got hot, we’d go swimming in the creek, or if we were really lucky, Papa would take us up to the beach at Carter’s Lake.
Sunday afternoon softball games in the front yard at my grandparents’. My grandmother always cooked Sunday dinner for the whole family when I was kid. Back then, we couldn’t wait for the eating part to get over so that we could go out and play. We would find good-sized rocks to use as base markers and set up the field while the women cleaned up the kitchen (who remembers what the men did?).
The sound of the electric ice cream maker churning on the back porch, waiting, waiting for that first sweet taste.
Sunday evenings at my paternal grandparents’ old house, watching in anticipation as my uncle sliced up a cold watermelon. The kids would sit in the yard to eat, so that we could spit watermelon seeds in the grass. It’s more than thirty years later and somebody else lives in that house. I wonder if they ever have watermelon vines come up in the yard?
When I was kid, I thought those traditions would last – that I would continue to see aunts, uncles, and cousins every week. But the pace is faster now and people are caught up in their own lives and families. The lazy, hazy days of summer are gone and all that remains are the memories, like faded snapshots in an old album.