What are Your Summer Memories?

On my childhood farm in Pennsylvania, summer meant hours of doing nothing. But in truth, my siblings and I did everything. It was a time for cartwheels and downhill tumbling on the soft green grass in our rolling front yard. A time for hiding my nose in the thick grass and drinking in the sweet aroma. The grass gave us the only blanket we needed for an afternoon nap. Summertime on our 100 acres meant three months of days and nights to cherish life.

My sister and I played with our baby dolls—not Barbie dolls, but real baby dolls—under the fir trees on the hill. We served them tea and cookies for snacks and put them down for naps. After Daddy and Uncle Bill built our playhouse in the orchard, we spent most summer nights there under the biggest apple tree. I loved the soothing sound of soft rain or the branches of the tree whispering across the tin roof. (To the left, Uncle Bill plays his banjo for Emery and Virginia while they roast hotdogs at the campfire.)

Picnics in the orchard were commonplace in the summer. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or all three in one day found us at the picnic table. Breakfast consisted of Mom’s pancakes and hot applesauce along with Daddy’s hot maple syrup, finished off with strawberry shortcake. Sometimes, we took our picnics to the hayfield to meet up with Daddy and my brother, Rodney, where they were mowing the hay. We laid out a blanket under a tree in the hedgerow, emptied the old wicker picnic basket of bologna sandwiches, potato salad, apples, and homemade cookies.

In the barn, we jumped from the high beams into the prickly loose straw. Summer was the time for birthing kittens, and we searched the haymow until we found them. Then we took the kittens to the backyard and sent them down the slide Daddy had made from leftover linoleum flooring. Sometimes we cuddled them in our laps and gave them a secure ride. We were sure they loved our slide as much as we did.

But summer wasn’t all play. We followed Mom out to the hillside with buckets attached to our belts to pick wild blackberries and raspberries for pies or jams. Sometimes our quest led us to the strawberry patch on another hill or for black caps (just shorter blackberries) down by the woods. Our parents made sure we helped with the planting and weeding of the huge garden, but I never saw this as work because we did it as a family.

We explored our woods, swam in neighboring farmer’s ponds, climbed trees where we read books by the hour, and camped on the hill under the stars.

What did you do in your summer months as a child? Write it down for your generations to come. For more stories like this, check out my book (paperback, Kindle, or audio).

Categories Legacy, Legacy Writing Prompts, Summer Memories | Tags: | Posted on June 9, 2014

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1 Comment

  1. by Christine Henderson

    On June 13, 2014

    What lovely summer memories. Thanks for sharing!

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