Now that summer is pretty much here, I find myself reminiscing about the summers I spent as a kid and the things I used to do. One of my favorite things to do was blackberry picking. There were some woods not far from my house and every summer they would be overrun with blackberry vines covered in juicy, ripe blackberries. The trick was getting enough to make the trip worthwhile while at the same time avoiding as many spiky vines as possible. Sometimes the basket of blackberries I had picked never made it back to the house.
Catching fireflies was another fun activity. Fun for me, not for the fireflies. I remember being transfixed by a jar full of them, their lights going on and off in random patterns. The beach was another mainstay of my youth. There's nothing like the smell of the beach on a hot summer afternoon. I used to put on a swim mask and spend as much time in the underwater world as my lungs would allow. If I could have stayed down there forever I probably would have. I also managed to get quite a collection of sand dollars and seashells. And sunburn. Ahh, good times.
Summer nights were the time for two of my most favorite activities: backyard campfires and watching meteor showers. The county I live in wasn't so developed back then so light pollution wasn't as much of an issue. It was also a challenge to see how late I could stay awake and how many shooting stars I could count. I used to know the names of the individual showers and how many meteors per hour were to be expected. Most of the time I was not disappointed, and I still catch myself looking up whenever I'm outside at night.
I would have a campfire in my backyard as often as possible, and luckily my Dad was the local Fire Chief back then, so it wasn't a problem doing it. Of course there were the obligatory s'mores, roasted marshmallows, hot dogs and ghost stories. There was something very primal about the whole thing, as long as you could forget that all the modern conveniences were just a few feet away.
What did you used to do as a kid during summertime? Do you still do any of them, either by yourself or with your own kids?
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