Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Vacation

by Christie Kelley



The kids are done with school now so it’s officially summer vacation time. We live in a wonderful neighborhood that has access to a tidal river that feeds the Chesapeake Bay. In our common area, we have a spring fed pond for the kids to swim and white sand surrounds it. Without a doubt, it is the perfect place to spend a summer. Now that my youngest is 12, he can go down to the pond with a friend (as long as a lifeguard is on duty). He did it for the first time this week. It felt really strange letting my “baby” go. But it did free up my time for work so I was happy.

When I was growing up, my cousins had a heated in-ground pool that we usually had an open invitation to come over and swim. My father would take care of their house and pool while they went away for a month every July. So we would go swimming every day that was nice. But to this day, I wonder why they would have left their house for a month when they had a great place to spend their summer.


Summer for me was hanging out usually with a great book to read. It wasn't planned and organized with camps and other things to do except for our one week family vacation to the beach. I see so many kids that are in camps from the first week of vacation to the last and wonder if they really enjoy their vacation from school. But I was lucky that my mom worked for the school system and had summers off. My kids are lucky because both my husband and I work from home so they can choose a camp if they want to but aren't forced into it. My oldest is going to a college for a computer game design camp for a week and my youngest is taking afternoon sailing lessons. Both sound like fun for them.


In addition, this summer the kids are going to my mother’s house in upstate NY for a week while my husband and I spend 10 days in Italy. Now I just have to figure out things for them to do while we’re gone so they don’t drive my mother crazy.


So if you want to be in the drawing for a copy of Every Time We Kiss, tell me about you summers as a kid. What are your plans for this summer? Extra credit for ideas to keep the boys from driving my mother crazy!




86 comments:

Gillian Layne said...

Summers as a kid were haying, playing with fireflies, and camping! Now I prefer a room with an air conditioner, but nothing beats the stars reflected in a moonlit lake and real lemonade and s'mores by a campfire.

Gillian Layne said...

How much room does your Mom have? You could turn them loose with old boards and let them build a fort--another fun summer farm project. My brother usually enjoyed any project that involved hammers or mud.

Emmanuelle said...

I've always lived in Paris suburb so there was never a lot of outdoor activities. Summer was mostly hanging around with my cousin and my friends. During those 2 long months my parents and I would visit a part of france for a few weeks (2 or 3 depending on the years). My favorite region of France is Brittany. I loved to go there and still goes sometimes. Some summers my parents sent me to camp wich I hated because of all the sports...
This summer I'm going to spain so there will be a lot of relaxing and a lot of time to read, by the pool or on the beach...sigh... is this august yet ???

Lynz Pickles said...

Yay, summer! Well, first and foremost, I went camping with my parents for at least two weeks a year. I've always lived in Toronto - in a wonderful, peaceful area, but it's the city nonetheless - but when my grandmother's family first moved to Canada from Britain, they settled in a small northern Ontario town called Chapleau. My great-aunt lived in Chapleau until she died, and we'd camping near there every year so we could visit her. Chapleau's about eight hours north of Toronto, and it's so refreshing to get away from the city! After my aunt died, we started going to farther away - our farthest destination was about twelve hours away.

One of my other favourite parts about the summer was when my cousin Travis would come to visit for a week. He and I would take over one of the rooms in the basement - we'd make the ENTIRE ROOM into a fort. You couldn't see an inch of carpet by the time we were done. We'd make bedrooms, a living room, a TV room... and, of course, a Lego area. That was crucial.

Apart from those three weeks, the summer was spent with my best friend, Vesna. We'd play dollhouses and Barbies - I won't even start on how insanely complex the worlds and characters we created were. Suffice to say that we were both highly proficient readers with overactive imaginations, and that sometimes we had to keep track of bloodlines to make sure we didn't have any incest in our longer-running stories. I also had a tiny, constantly freezing above-ground pool that we practically haunted, playing mermaids and princesses and circus and all sorts of stuff in. We'd go in at nine in the morning, get out for a quick lunch, get back in, get out for a quick dinner, get back in, and stay in until after dark.

This year I'm going camping with my parents for the usual two weeks with my parents... that's something I'll never outgrow, though I tease them by saying I will. I'll probably still spend a lot of time with Vesna, but the sleepovers with Travis stopped years ago. I might go visit my relatives in Ottawa, and I might try and stay with some friends in Québec for a bit, since I rarely get to use my French anymore and my accent's getting rusty. And apart from that, I'll read. A lot.

Emmanuelle: parlez-vous l'espagnol? Je suis en train de l'apprendre, et je l'aime beaucoup. C'est très amusant. I'd love to go to Spain one day, you lucky thing! I've been to Mexico but it's just not the same. And the accent - "ll" should be pronounced like "y" and not like "j"! That's how I learned Spanish, and that's how I like it, too. Hmph.

On an unrelated note, I wonder if I'll ever leave a short comment here? You banditas need to stop writing such interesting posts, because I always end up feeling chatty and writing too much after reading them.

Natalie Hatch said...

It's winter here, so no swimming for us. With two year old twins and a mischievous 4 yr old when we do get to go swimming it's a logistical nightmare.

Beverley Eikli said...

The sound of the ship's bell always conjure up our thrice-annual holidays to our beach cottage on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Mum would ring the big brass bell on the deck to tell us it was time for dinner and my sisters and I would stop fossicking for crabs and building sand castles on the beach below and scramble up the cliffs - with very big appetites!

PinkPeony said...

Christie...Italy sounds molto wonderful!

I loved summers as a kid. I went to summer camp and swam on the swim team. We played outside until it got dark. Our neighbor would set up a Slip N Slide on his lawn and let all the kids ruin his grass for an afternoon. The smell of grass, chlorine, and the tinkle of an ice cream truck always reminds me of summer. My mom and dad would have a luau in our backyard and the women would wear mumus (sp?) and the men would be in Hawaiin shirts...and they would inhale the fried wontons I spent all morning folding.
Congrats on the GR, Gillian! :)

Helen said...

Congrats Gillian have fun with him

Christie yes it is winter here in Oz and I am loving it.

Our summer holdidays here in Australia always include Christmas. Schools here break up the week before Chrissy and return late January they have 5 weeks off then and the schools have holidays at Easter 2 weeks July 2 weeks and September/October for 2 weeks.

When our kids were young we used to go to the beach for the last 2 weeks in January and of course there is Chrissy and visiting family and picnics and the movies and watching movies but we always had loads of fun.

Christie have a wonderful time in Italy I hope the kids have lots of fun with the grandparents.

Don't enter me in the draw I already have a copy of your wonderful book it really is a fantastic read.

have Fun
Helen

Suzanne Welsh said...

Christy, I loved summer vacations as a kid.

From the time I could remember, we knew what our one week trip would be. We'd all pile into the car, and drive 10 or so hours through southern ohio, eastern kentucky and a snippet of western Virginia, then we'd see the sign, WELCOME TO TENNESSEE. This meant about another hour and we'd arrive and grandma and grandpa's house in the mountains of the Blue Ridge.

The place had it's own smells, sights and ambiance. We'd fish for crawdads for bait for my grandpa and dad to trout fish in the Nolichucky River. We'd hike through the mountains, picnic with cousins, visits aunts and uncles, (hey my dad had 17 brothers and sisters, my mom 9). I could explore my heritage in the family homes of my great aunts and uncles. And I could read while sitting on the porch watching the people drive up and down the mountain! (It was rude not to wave at complete, or almost complete strangers....sometimes they'd just stop in to say "hey" and usually ended up being some cousin four times removed!)

The rest of my summer was spent with my little sister going to swimming lessons and spending the days at the pool, Or hanging out with my best friend Marion, playing records and talking about boys! Sometimes we'd go camping, or fishing. And one week of summer was always Vacation Bible School with my church friends...(mmmm Greg! but he's a whole other story!)

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Gillian, congrats on the GR. I did forget about the fireflies! I used to love capturing them in an old glass jar. And I'm totally with you and the AC. I'm really a heat wimp.

Christie Kelley said...

She has a pretty small back yard. Plus my kids are 12 and 17 so really only the 12 year old would be interested in the fort. But thanks for the idea!

Christie Kelley said...

Emmanuelle, I've never been to France. Italy will be my first time in Europe. But seeing different parts of the your home country is a great way to spend summer vacatoin. We've taken the kids to several different states in the US. It's so much fun to find out different things about your own country.

Christie Kelley said...

OMG Lynz, I hope you don't leave a short note. I loved your post. It brought back great memories of playing Barbies with my best friend. I don't think we worried about bloodlines though.

I'm not much of a camper. I was a Girl Scout and camped with the troop but almost every time we camped, it rained. One time it rained so hard that the leaders had to take our clothes and sleeping bags into town to put them in the laundrymat dryers. Yuck!

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Natalie, I could't imagine trying to take three kids under 5 swimming. That would be a nightmare!

Christie Kelley said...

Beverley, that sounds wonderful, especially the crab part. We have fantastic little blue crabs in our river that are delicious. I think I might need to go crabbing tonight.

Christie Kelley said...

Pink Peony, my kids loved the slip n slide too. I don't think we had one when I was a kid.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Helen,

I really do wish more schools in this country had the year long schedule. I think 2.5 months off is too long for the kids and they start to forget what they learned.

Christie Kelley said...

Suz, loved your comment. Tennesse sounds great. I've never been there so I'm really looking forward to RWA in Nashville.

And we do want to hear about Greg!

PJ said...

Congrats on the GR, Gillian!

Christie, when do you leave for Italy? Are you taking a tour or striking out on your own? You're going to have such a good time. Italy is my favorite place to vacation. I adore that country!

I grew up on a lake and my childhood summers were idyllic. We hit the water at daybreak and my mom had to drag us in at nightfall. Then, after dinner, we were back out to catch fireflies, roast marshmallows and lay on the dock counting stars. Our days were spent swimming, canoeing, skiing and just chilling on the end of the dock, on the floating wooden raft or in the huge airplane inner tubes that my summer neighbor provided. We didn't camp as a family but from age 9 - 11 I spent two weeks each summer at Girl Scout camp and loved it. During my high school years we went to Toronto for a week each August - a trip I looked forward to all year. Of course, there were numerous sleepovers, county fairs, cookouts, a week at my grandparents' house, Vacation Bible School and just hanging out with friends. There were three "big trip" summers (month long family trip out west, exchange student to Mexico and study/tour summer in Europe) but most of our summers were spent happily "vacationing" right in our front yard.

I already have (and love) your book so please exclude me from the drawing.

Christie Kelley said...

PJ, you're right, it sounds idyllic. That's what I love about living here for the kids. Except, my oldest son really isn't a water boy. He prefers the computer games. My youngest loves to be outdoors and down by the water.

As far as Italy, we're striking it out alone. Pretty scary since neither of us speaks Italian.

PJ said...

Christie, what parts of Italy are you going to try to see?

Christie Kelley said...

PJ, we're spending three days in Rome, 3 days in Florence and 2 in Venice. If you have any recommendations for us, we'd love to hear them!

PJ said...

Ooh, I'm full of recommendations! (grin) I'll email you.

Susan Sey said...

good morning, Christie! We're enjoying our first real week of summer vacation around here too! I have to say, I'm enjoying it tremendously. We had pm kindy this year, & it was such a pain to get home in time for the bus ever afternoon! I'm loving just having long mornings to do whatever & rolling back home for lunch whenever we feel hungry!

As for scheduled stuff, I signed the girls up for M/W soccer & t-ball. One hour a day, two days a week. Just enough structure to keep us on a schedule with plenty of free time for loafing & free play. We're also trying our hand at camping this summer, & have a couple campsites reserved for different long weekends. It's bound to be an adventure with a 2 & a 6 yo. I'll keep you guys posted....

Joan said...

Great post Christie!

Hmmmm...guess my childhood summers were not quite so adventerous. I never learned to swim. My Mom hated the water though she dutifully took me to the local pool for lessons which...barely took.

I remember just playing outside, reading a LOT. We did not take annual vacations but there were two that I vividly remember....Daytona Beach when I was 5 and Silver Springs FL when I was 11.

I'm not a camper either...reference earlier horror stories from Girl Scout day camp.Though my friends and I did "play" camp...we'd put a bucket of water over a "campfire" then spread out over the neighborhood picking plants to put in our "soup"....

Hey, don't laugh! I was famous for my honeysuckle stew! LOL

(and NO we did not eat it)

Rome? Take me!!! Take me!!! Susan and her hubby can drop me off from Ireland!

Gillian Layne said...

Christie, my teens would hyperventilate without some constant access to the internet. Facebook and texting on their cell phones are the essentials.

There are some really good movies coming out this summer, maybe that could take care of some of their afternoons or evenings with their grandmother? Or she could put them to work! Mine would. :)

Kirsten said...

Hi Christie! That pool sounds absolutely wonderful -- our neighborhood is wonderful but very urban. I'd love something like that nearby! And go you on the trip to Italy! Wow!

I have such fabulous memories of summer, and they're like a lot of others on the blog -- swimming, loafing around, and LOTS of reading. I recall there were summer days I went through two romances a day. The only thing keeping me in check was the cost of the books!

We bought a little cabin on a lake last year just so our kids could grow up with these experiences too, and I'm so glad we did. Dh works at a school so he has the summer off with the kids, and he's got them out at the lake right now (while I'm home all by myself!!). I'm hoping for lots of lovely lake time this summer!

I do have a book due at the end of the summer, so I probably won't be spending all my time loafing by the shore, but hopefully I will get some time to lounge, read, and swim. :-)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Ah, summer. When I was a kid, my sister and I ran all over the hillsides and through the woods since we lived out in the country and our nearest neighbor was probably a mile away. We didn't have air conditioning, so often it was cooler to be outside under the shade trees than it was to be inside.

I loved the idea of going to summer camp, but I never did. I think the only organized camp I ever went to was a weekend of Girl Scout camp. I remember being upset that my dad came to get me early, and I only learned a few months ago it was because my younger sister had been crying because she missed me. It was 30 years ago, and she apologized. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Gillian, I love s'mores by the campfire. Actually, there's something I've never done -- gone camping. Maybe I can convince the hubby to go sometime this year.

Lynz, we love chatty here. Can't you tell? :)

Suz, your descriptions are making me want to hop in the car and drive over to the mountains. I think the Nolichucky is a pretty river. It runs right by the park where Davy Crockett's birthplace is.

housemouse88 said...

My family enjoyed traveling. I remember one year we took a trip that took us across the state of Virginia. We visited all the historical landmarks such as Mt. Vernon, Williamsburg, etc. I loved those vacations. Have a great day.

Donna MacMeans said...

Christie - What fun reading everyone's posts. I'm taking a nostalgic stroll back to my summers in Maryland. I lived in a row house surrounded by kids of a similar age so we kept each other amuzed through the summer. Kickball, volleyball, jumprope in the alley behind the houses; making crafts, potholders, playing barbies up at the community center. Summer meant the bookmobile would come around and I could exchange books. My family liked to go camping at the state parks one week out of the summer, or we'd head for the ocean round about Rehobeth beach. My parents had a no amenities log cabin built in Pennsylvania. We'd go up there and my brother and I would work at building a treehouse. Rugged living but fun. Of course, we'd also spend time at the local swimming pool. They had a dance floor with a jukebox so during the "adult swims", we kids would go over and dance. Locomotion anyone?

Christie Kelley said...

Susan, 1/2 day kindergarten is a pain. MD finally went to full day about two years ago. It sounds like you have a fun summer ahead of you.

Christie Kelley said...

Joan, I really don't want to know what went into your honeysuckle stew. Just glad you didn't eat it!

Christie Kelley said...

Gillian, my oldest has already informed me that he's taking his PC with him. And my youngest is taking his Xbox.

Christie Kelley said...

Kirsten, your lake cabin sounds so wonderful. I'd love to have one but I guess I'll have to stick with the walk to the water. I'm with you on the book due. My next one is due 9/1 and it's going to be tight. I had hoped to get it mostly finished before school ended but that didn't happen. Luckily, my new battery is coming on Friday so I can at least take my laptop away from the outlet again.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah Gillian! Go you on getting the Bird for the day.

Wow, Emmanuelle on living in Paris...ah...beautiful. :> Then again as a kid, I guess it was just where you lived.

Summers for us were pool time, and playing and vacation bible school. That was about it.

My boys are doing baseball camp and some sports stuff, but we've got plenty of "do nuthin'" days too. They got too busy during the school year, I want them to have time this summer to just be. (Until they drive me insane!)

Its weird to let them go on their own, isn't it Christie? I haven't done it like that yet - my older boy's not old enough quite yet - but I can feel it coming in small ways. *shiver*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW, I second Christie on the 1/2 day kindergarten being a huge pain. Hallelujah that MD went to full day. Of course it didn't help with my older son, but it'll be there for my youngest! Yipeee! :>

flchen1 said...

Ooh, summers were frequent trips to the public library to load up on the maximum each time and to press my siblings into letting me check out more books on their cards. Summers were also hanging out at the neighborhood rec center and park with my sibs--I think we took tennis, trampoline, and some arts-and-crafts classes. Finally, summers were also often full of "homework" that my mom assigned for self-improvement purposes--they started out as workbooks for a grade or two above the ones we were in, and then were essays, and practicing typing and doing practice PSAT and SATs... eeh...

As for occupying your sons, maybe give them some time and a budget to brainstorm some things they want to do with their grandmother--maybe both some projects they can do to help your mom around her house or yard or neighborhood (they're old enough to actually be useful ;)) and some fun things they'd like to do with her in her town (maybe some fun "touristy" things?) You could also suggest a few things that they might think are "uncool," but they might still find fun under the guise of accompanying your mom (if she's amenable to that). Or maybe there's something they've been wanting to learn to do (or you've been wanting them to learn to do)--a couple weeks is about the right length of time to do that. Is there a class they can do while at your mom's?

Anyway, have a fabulous trip and summer, Christie!

Congrats on the GR, Gillian!

Christie Kelley said...

Trish, your summers sound like fun. Love the story of you father picking you up early from Girl Scout camp because of your sister. Too funny! My sisters would have said stay longer!

Christie Kelley said...

housemouse, that sounds like fun too. I love Virginia and used to live there. Now home is Maryland.

Christie Kelley said...

Donna, sounds like you have great childhood memories of summer too. I was so lucky that I lived within walking distance to 3 libraries. I spent my summers walking to the which ever one I wanted and getting more books (mostly romances of course).

And I love Rehobeth and Bethany Beach!

Nancy said...

Gillian, congrats on taking home the bird. I hope he won't give you trouble.

Christie, my memories of childhood summers are watermelon, fresh tomato sandwiches, grape popsicles, and the smell of new-mown grass. There was a pool near our house, so I spent a lot of time there and usually was the color of toast by the end of June. I also spent a lot of time reading library books.

The best summer I ever had was the one I spent in Oxford at age 21. The Anglophile history geek in me loved walking through ancient stone gates and into areas tourists never saw. I visited the room where Churchill was born and stood by his grave, explored Tintagel with friends, one of whom was a fellow Arthurian nut, sat in the booth the Inklings used, and stood on the banks of Loch Ness. It was a dream summer.

This year will be fairly quiet--trying to do the revisions and writing that my school duties pushed back and partying with the banditas at National. We'd hoped to go to England (which the boy describes as "England that I have no memory of" since he was last there 9 years ago, an eon at his age; subtle hints are not his strong point), but the economic downturn torpedoed that. We did spent a fun few days at Disneyland.

As for the kids--I don't suppose they're into jigsaw puzzles? That'd keep them relatively calm for short periods, at least.

Christie Kelley said...

Jeanne, letting your baby go some place alone for the first time is hard. Even with a second child because my kids are so different. My oldest has a great deal of common sense, not so much the younger one.

Have a great summer!

Christie Kelley said...

flchen, I have to laugh at the common theme I see running through the comments--the library! Life long readers start early.

I loved your idea for keeping the kids occupied while with my mom. Enjoy your summer!

jcp said...

Summer just endless to me as a kid with noyjing to do exceot read and tell my mom how bored I was.

Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, a summer at Oxford would be heavenly. I'll bet you had great time!

I love the puzzle idea. My mom has a great dining room table, perfect for puzzles.

Christie Kelley said...

jcp, I remember how endless summer felt when I was young. Now it goes by far too quickly.

Treethyme said...

I spent my summers at Lions Park Pool until my mom made me stop going because I was getting too sunburned/blistered/freckled. Those were the days when you could buy sun tan lotion but not sunscreen.

After that, my friends and I would ride bikes down to the bridge over Salt Creek. The big kids (teenagers) would make out under the bridge, and some artists had made explicit drawings on the concrete supports with Magic Marker. There was a daily parade of younger kids climbing under the bridge to get our sex education.

Everything centered about best friends in those days. My brother and his best friend mutilated a stack of my Beatle cards and buried them in the yard. This called for drastic retaliation.

My best friend and I filled a baggie with a little of every condiment in her refrigerator, then we added a spritz of everything in the medicine cabinets -- spray deodorant, shaving cream, toothpaste, perfume, lotions, etc.

Then we got on our bikes and rode past my house, where my brother and his friend were playing in the driveway. We lobbed our baggie of PFB (Poison for Boys) at them and raced the hell out of there before they could catch us.

Our aim was bad and the baggie exploded over the corner of the lawn by the curb/driveway. I've been by that house and, interestingly enough, no grass has grown there ever since. Two sixth-graders and a baggie: nuclear waste. Who knew?

Summer took on a whole new meaning in about eighth grade, and then it was all about summer nights and BOYS!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Christie, Someday I'll tell you the story of Greg in a seperate blog. I promise. :)

Trish, I have to agree with you about the Nolichucky River's beauty. I got to see it from almost its source. Didn't know it went past Davy Crockett's birthplace, though. That must be close to my parents' hometown, then!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Nancy, funny you talk about jigsaw puzzles for summertime. My parents have them spread out on their dining room table at winter. Anyone coming to visit can help, and when the snow flies, both parents love to sit and work on them.

Beth said...

Christie, I want to spend my summer at your house! Sounds like so much fun and lots to do *g*

It's been a cool summer here so far so not much swimming, although my daughter and her friend did just brave the 60 degree temps and rain to get into our pool. They lasted about 20 minutes :-)

As a kid, I spent most of my summers at the public pool or hanging out at the park - both of which were only two blocks from my house *g*

I'd also go up to my cousin's house outside of Rochester for a week or she'd spend a week with us which was always fun.

Christie Kelley said...

Becke! Your post was hilarious! I love the revenge for boys.

Christie Kelley said...

Suz, in the bar at Nationals. I expect to hear the story!

Christie Kelley said...

Beth, the weather hasn't been great here either. What's up with this spring and summer? The only good thing is with all this rain, I've barely had to water the new landscaping.

My son wanted to go to the pond yesterday. It was 70, overcast and breezy. Yeah, that didn't happen.

p226 said...

For me, summers were spent at the beach. (Family there.) If I wasn't at the beach, I was in the pool. And if I wasn't in the pool, I was probably trying to find some lunatic way to get myself killed on my bicycle. And if I wasn't doing one of those, I had baseball practice or a game.

My mom threw me out of the house at 9AM every day during the summer. I think that went back to age 5 or so. Kids these days want to stay indoors and play video games and watch movies. Can't be good for them.

But swimming is a GREAT way to calm kids down. It totally saps their energy. They come home mellow, and ready for a nap. I always crashed out after a day on the beach. And after I woke up from the nap, I wasn't very energetic until the next day, which hopefully involved more beach time.

Nancy said...

Christie, of all the things my parents ever did for me, that summer in Oxford rates among the best. It really was a dream come true.

If jigsaw puzzles don't work, do you (or your mom) have room for badminton? We used to play that in the summer. The dh put up a set last year, but the dog took off one night in pursuit of a rabbit, crashed into the support cord, and snapped the pole. Luckily, she wasn't hurt, but that was the end of badminton.

Nancy said...

Suz, I love jigsaw puzzles. I like to have one out when I'm stuck. While I'm working its pieces, my brain seems to work the problem.

The boy gives me a jigsaw puzzle every birthday and Christmas. I also buy them on vacation. So far I'm three behind on working them, thanks to my insane semester, but maybe I can catch up this summer.

He likes to choose difficult ones, but after the sepia-tone "White Tiger in Snow," I asked the dh to rein him in a little. I like a challenge, but not one that takes me a month to work out!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Nancy,
Have you found jigzone.com yet? Warning, highly addictive!

Claudia Dain said...

Ten days in Italy! Wow, have a fantastic time. How lovely that 'grandma' is willing to take the kids for so long. That's pure love.

terrio said...

Christie - You live in the perfect neighborhood! Sounds wonderful.

When I was a kid we didn't do much. No vacations, no pool. We spent a little time at the lake where my grandparents had a house boat. When I got to HS it was all about marching band and band camp.

My kiddo spends 10 of her 11 weeks off in AR with her dad. She leaves Friday evening and I'm already feeling weepy. The poor thing lives at the beach and spends her entire summer on a farm in the middle of a county that doesn't even have a traffic light.

Minna said...

We don't have fireflies here, but we do have glow worms. I just watched them, I didn't catch them.
As a kid I used to spend a lot of time in my cousins' summer cottage. Swimming, going to sauna, burning the bonfire on Midsummer Eve -which we'll be celebrating very soon here. Unfortunately one of those cousins was around my age and he didn't visit the cottage very often, but he was fun to be around.

kim wilde - you came
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqCLGWz9-SE

Pave Maijanen - Lähtisitkö
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLlNe6vyokI

Nik Kershaw - I Won´t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (original)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqqXMXpyAkE&feature=related

As it's been raining here all day:
Singing in the Rain
We don't have fireflies here, but glow worms.
As a kid I used to spend a lot of time in my cousins' summer cottage. Swimming, going to sauna, burning the bonfire on Midsummer Eve -which we'll be celebrating very soon here. Unfortunately one of those cousins was around my age and he didn't visit the cottage very often, but he was fun to be around.

kim wilde - you came
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqCLGWz9-SE

Pave Maijanen - Lähtisitkö
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLlNe6vyokI

Nik Kershaw - I Won´t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (original)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqqXMXpyAkE&feature=related

As it's been raining here all day:
Singing in the Rain
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmCpOKtN8ME&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmCpOKtN8ME&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mDTn-QvO9I

Tawny said...

Oooooh, summer as a kid. Amusement parks and swimming pools. My absolute favorites :-) Sleeping in, reading all I wanted and hanging out with friends. Hmmm... I haven't changed much LOL.

Christie Kelley said...

p226, I agree with you on the too much indoor time now. Both my kids were big outdoor boys. Once my oldest hit 14 that's when he became the indoor gamer. Although at almost 17, he still will go out and play some form of manhunt with his friends at night.

My youngest just turned 12 and is really frustrated that his best friend broke his arm and can't swim right now. My son would be in the water from 10-5 if I let him.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Claudia, I can't wait to get on that plane! I'm booking my train tickets in between checking the blog today.

Christie Kelley said...

terrio, my husband always talks about marching band summers too. My oldest son did it in 9th grade. They went to a college 3 hours away for a week. He had such a blast.

It must be so hard not to see your daughter for so long. It sounds like she'll have a great time but I know I would be so lonely. Try to enjoy your summer anyway!

Christie Kelley said...

Minna, it's been raining here all day and only 65 degrees. It doesn't feel like summer at all today.

Christie Kelley said...

Tawny, as far as sleeping in...my oldest boy didn't get out of bed until 11:30 this morning. He's fully enjoying summer so far.

Nancy said...

Suz--jigzone? Intriguing. Must check it out, thanks!

Minna said...

At summer we used to play badminton (less hazardours for the windows than for instance tennis) and petanque.

Mungo Jerry - In the summertime
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbdyrRlYR2E

Weather Girls - Its Raining Men
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGLZqDXau98

Nancy said...

p226, the dh's mom kicked them out early every summer morning, too. They came in for lunch and then were to go back out. He grew up in Colorado's Front Range before it was so heavily developed, and they had a pond with a rowboat behind the house, so there was plenty to do.

However, he also included suicidal bicycling in his plans. He liked to pedal up to the top of the road above their house, take his feet off the pedals (back before hand brakes) and coast down, picking up speed and careening around curves. Despite a couple of nasty spills, he didn't sustain any serious injuries. Or meet any cars, since traffic in the mountains then wasn't nearly what it is now.

He and his brother also liked to climb up the cliff across the road and shoot bottle rockets at each other.

Hmm. This seems like odd background info for a man not particularly fond of boom.

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, one chook for you! Yay!

Christie, what a lovely post. Made me think of summer just as winter really starts to bite down here. I'm dressed like the Michelin Man this morning - it really is chilly.

Sounds like your summers were like mine. Lots of books and the beach. And there were a few things available to eat that weren't always on sale, as they are now. Watermelon was a summer thing, as were cherries, my favorite stone fruit. All the other lovely fruits like peaches and apricots. Summer for us is Christmas time too!

Pat Cochran said...

Summers for me were trips to the library, lots of reading, going to the movies, getting into swimsuits
& getting out the water hose. A
yell to the neighbors and kids would come running to join in the
water play! Simple play, no expense, no batteries needed!

Pat Cochran

Pat Cochran said...

Forgot to mention the best part of
summer: everyone into the car at
the weekend and we would be off to Galveston. Daddy would fish for
flounder off the jetties. Mother
would take us kids to the beach
for sandcastles and "swimming."

Pat Cochran

Minna said...

And this summer? I don't have any plans, except that I'll be looking after my brother's dog for a couple of weeks. Some of my cousins will be on their summer cottage too, and the dog will run there every time she gets the chance, because she has more fun there. She loves to swim after a stick you throw in the water and play with the small dog.

Who Let the Dogs out??- Baha men
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He82NBjJqf8

Louisa Cornell said...

Gillian got the GR! Hope your girls have a good time with him!

Summer in Italy Christie! I'm so jealous!

Every summer we were stateside we drove up to Pennsylvania to stay with my Dad's mother, our Nana. We got to see all of his family and there was always a big family picnic around the Fourth of July. We would load up in the station wagon - Mom, Dad, three kids and a very fat dachshund. You had better go to the bathroom when we stopped for gas or food because Dad did NOT stop for bathroom breaks. Even the dog knew that!!

You could always have your Mom teach the boys to cook old family recipes. Or she could tell them old family stories and they could write them down. She might even show them pictures to go with the stories. It's a great time for them to learn unique things about their family history.

They in turn could take her to the movies and introduce her to a film genre she might not normally watch. They could teach her some of the sports of video games they like. My Mom goes to the movies once a week with her three grandkids in the summer. (The kids are 18, 16 and 14 and they STILL like movie day with Nana.)

Christie Kelley said...

Anna, sorry you're freezing! It's only a little better here. I can't even have many windows open because it's so darn chilly. And the rain! When will it stop? I know this is our payback for not having snow this winter.

Christie Kelley said...

Pat, that sounds like a great way to spend the summer. Enjoy!

Christie Kelley said...

Louisa, great ideas for the boys. My mother has some wonderful stories of growing up during WWII. My grandfather was a pilot and did a lot of the training of the new guys until he was sent to England. So my mom moved around a lot during her high school years.

Estella said...

I grew up in the country. Spent the summers swimming in the creek and playing with whatever neighbor kids were around.
Have nothing planned for this summer.

jo robertson said...

Great topic, Christie! Summers as a child were lazy, long, and hot. We never went anywhere special, but I loved the freedom of running around barefoot in shorts and halter tops, of staying up late, and sleeping in.

Congratulations on the rooster, Gillian, it's been a while, hasn't it?

Louisa Cornell said...

La Campbell, How can you be cold with men like Kylemore, Matthew, and Julian to keep you warm????

Lynz Pickles said...

Speaking of playing Barbies... my parents always tease me now about the fact that mine were lesbians. It wasn't on purpose! My mother never bought me a Ken doll, no matter how much I begged, so one day my best friend and I decided we needed to make one of the girl Barbies into a boy. We chose one we didn't like and cut off almost all her hair, then dressed her in the "manliest" clothes we could find. From that point on, the other Barbies had relationships with our "Ken" doll. But after a while just having one "boy" wasn't enough, so we picked another Barbie and decided to make her a "Ken", too. Except we liked her hair, so we didn't cut it at all... my mother came down one day to find two Barbies kissing each other and has yet to let me live it down.

limecello said...

As a kid? I read. A LOT. The local library had a summer reading program, where you could set your own goals. I think I've mentioned it here? But the librarians wouldn't let me use the goal I wanted. (100 books in a summer. They made me take it down to 50 - they wanted 25, but I argued them up. I surpassed my original one anyway :P Out of principal.)
Anyway - there was that, playing with the neighborhood kids. Um... oh - summer classes at the local university - kind of like a day summer camp.
A LOT of VBS (vacation bible school) haha - the moms put us all in them. I swear one summer it was a month straight of VBS.
Also "vacations" to visit relatives. Usually in NYC so there was stuff to do. My summers weren't that exciting, but nice. Lots of birthday parties and days at the pool and playing at friend's houses.

Virginia said...

Summers for me as a kid was playing out in the yard. Sneaking off to a wooded area and swinging on grape vines when we where not supose to do that. My brother would build go carts and send me over the hill in then. I am suprized that he didn't kill me in those things.

Right now I am working on the house and doing some painting and I will be doing some work in the yard as soon as I have time to.

Anna Campbell said...

Lynz, I had lesbian Barbies too! The short-haired original one always got to be the boy, talk about man boobs! Louisa, sadly Kylemore and co have taken off for warmer climates with their squeezes. ;-)

Lynz Pickles said...

Well, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one then, Anna! Did you ever feel sorry for the one who had to be the man? I sort of did, but then I remember how ugly s/he was, and suddenly it all seemed fair. Ah, to be young and politically incorrect again...

And if all your sexy men have gotten hitched and left for warmer climates, you should write up some new ones. Except keep them single. And send me one as a gift. Or two, I wouldn't complain about diversity.