Saturday, June 12, 2010

In the Good Old Summertime

Saturday, June 12, 2010
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?


SIS BJ said...

Hi Krys

Though I hate hot weather, childhood memories of summer sound mush like yours. Minus the ocean.
We used to ride horses and camp out in a camper in our yard. I still love to build a fire and sit out all night with a beer in hand. The world is much quieter at night and I love it.

Tori Lennox said...

Oh, summertime as a kid. I think we all probably had way more fun as kids than kids do nowadays. My cousins and I did all kinds of things our parents would probably get in trouble with Family Services for now. (That sentence was very awkward but you know what I mean.)

Catching fireflies wasn't one of them, but the 4th of July meant SPARKLERS!!! Sometimes we'd hold two or three in each hand at one time! LOL! Playing on a flatbed trailer about the size of a pickup truck bed. It had a single axle and my cousins & I would all run from one end to the other making it tilt back and forth. I broke my wrist with that little escapade. :)

Krys said...

BJ: I've only ridden a horse once in my life but it was quite an experience. The camper sounds like fun. And you're right, there's just something about the night.

Tori: Okay, OUCH! My mother and Aunt have both broken their wrists in the past year. I know what you mean about Family Services, childhood was a lot more gung ho and dangerous when I was a kid. I loved the 4th of July! Sparklers and fireworks, picnics, what a great time!

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Krys,

I must say that I am shocked that there are fireflies in Florida. I've never seen them here. Last summer my youngest son caught some fireflies when we were in Indiana and brought them back to Florida in hopes of starting a population that he could enjoy.

I, too, love campfires and roasted marshmallows. My marshmallows are more like burned beyond recognition. Love them that way.

I also love the stars and as a young teenager used to throw a blanket on the ground and look up at the night sky, picking out the different constellations.

Ahhh, to be young again!
Thanks for the memories!

SIS Bren

Beth Ciotta said...

Wow, Krys. What great memories. Many of mine are similar to yours. Growing up in Indiana, at night, the air was alive with fire flies. I was fascinated by them. I also used to love laying out on a blanket and staring up at the stars. I did not love the mosquitos.

Roasted marshmellows, also a summer kid fave. Like Brenda I like mine pretty burnt!

Sparklers! Thanks for that reminder, Tori. They were a thrill to be sure.

I have to say my fondest childhood summer memories revolved around both sets of my grandparents. My Grandma and Grandpa Miller owned a house trailor in a recreceational park near a lake. They would take us there (at the time it was just me, Bren, and our brother, Bobby) on many weekends. I'd help my grandma tend to her flowers--Marigolds and Petunias. Sometimes they'd take us down to go swimming in the lake. Other times we'd go out on Grandpa's pontoon and fish. Lots of memories there. Lots of fun.

Other weekends, we'd stay with Grandma and Grandpa Childers. This involved shucking corn and snapping beans from the garden while sitting on the patio. Campfires, kid games and roasted marshmellows. Something called a slip and slide (outdoor water fun) and walks in the woods. Good times!

Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Krys!
SIS Beth

Elle J Rossi said...


Great post. I think we all had similar summers. Independence Day is still my favorite holiday. And I sense a theme here, but my marshmallows are also charcoal black before I can eat them.

Staring at the stars? BJ and I use to climb out on the roof to do that.

Horseback riding, 4-wheeler driving, bailing hay...ah then scents and memories are incredible.

Swinging on vines in the woods, mowing the lawn with the Wheel Horse. Grandpa Boots always wanted me to mow in 2nd gear. He said it did a better job. Whatever! 3rd gear was a lot faster!

Mary Stella said...

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.

Krys, I live on a harbor in a small town in the Florida Keys. There is almost no light pollution at night. I look forward to the main meteor showers, like the Perseids in August. The local papers always tell us the best time and night to watch. I'll set my alarm, get out of bed in the middle of the night and go sit out in my yard with my face up to the sky just to watch. Love it!

Krys said...

Wow, great memories everyone! Looks like no matter who you are and where you're from, people really do have more in common then they think!

~Sia McKye~ said...


Like you, catching lightning bugs and my mom would always let them go after we went to bed. Maryland was home base for me growing up, summers are hot and humidity even hotter, so we tended to cook outside in a firepit my dad built. It was where we learned to waltz and ballroom dancing, courtesy of my parents who would demonstrate them to the sound of music--records on the portable (ha!) Motorola in the firelight. We told round robin stories. Another activity was playing hide and seek. We coud run around a bit more because the nights were marginally cooler and we got to scare the bejeebies out of each other.

I remember going night fishing too,

To this day,I clearly remember doing night fishing with my grandparents--this include a fish-fry.

A lot of fun things.

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