Build Summer Memories!

Summer is fast approaching! Start building memories now as the sultry temperatures and warm, lazy days begin to transform us into vacation mode! And don’t stop the momentum once the summer solstice finally arrives on that magical day…June 21st… richly enhanced by the fact that both my late husband, Nick, and my nephew, Al, were born on that date as well!

You know, dear readers and, hopefully friends, after having shared so many blogs together, summertime memories never die. Maybe, some others fade and/or extricate themselves from our memories, but not the ones we forged as young ones during our summer vacations. For me, those memories are as vibrant and alive as they were then! And, whether you can admit it right now or not, your memories are imbedded in your heart, too!

So I am going to tell you another true story from my youth…perhaps enriched a little by time, but still very much based upon an actual memory, which will always remain with me…and now, perhaps, with you!

This memory is of the last day of school back in the 1950s when I was just a little girl. Help me capture a special memory and see if it rekindles one of yours!

As a child, I felt excited, joyful and even special on my last day of elementary school each year because I was able to leave school a week early since my dad helped out with the running of my grandparents’ summer roominghouse. Imagine beginning summer vacation a whole week early!

I remember bringing my teacher a huge bouquet of American beauty roses straight from our family’s garden in Brooklyn. With the roses I handed her a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a note from my parents so that my report card could be sent to our summer home at Rockaway Beach. In return my teacher would smile and wish me a great summer!

Then it was over, and again, that feeling of great joy engulfed me as I skipped most of the five blocks towards my home. When I arrived, Mom and Dad were usually on the porch waiting for my sister and me to come home. Now that I was there, it would probably just be no more than a few minutes before my sister would be walking down the block.

As soon as my sister arrived, a few tears in her eyes from several poignant goodbyes to friends and teachers, the car already having been packed with all our things, “Rockaway Beach, here we come!”

How can I describe that overwhelming joy I felt as a child? Some feelings are difficult to put into words, but I will certainly try!

I could feel my heart beating a little stronger and definitely faster! I was, of course, smiling ear to ear! Probably, my face was one big smile! My rather clammy hands might have trembled a little from the excitement of the moment and my happy thoughts!

What did I think about! I visualized great beach days, where I would swim, jump with the waves and float peacefully if the water was calm.

Then I thought about seeing the fireworks on the boardwalk on Wednesday nights and then enjoying snacks from the concession stands! Maybe a hotdog on a bun with just a little sauerkraut and mustard with French fries! Or the scrumptious taste of homemade doughnuts and/or custard and ice cream!

Thoughts of holiday parties would float in my mind! The Fourth of July and Labor Day! I could picture staying up late, dancing in my fanciest dresses, eating delicious catered food and being allowed to have as many soft drinks as I wanted and, of course, desserts of all kinds from pies, cakes to puddings of different types and ice cream!

My last thought of bliss would be Playland, where my dad would take my sister, my cousins and me every summer. The rides were fantastic, as well as the Fun House and Davy Jones’ Locker. Of course, the snacks, soft drinks and cotton candy from the concessions were delicious, too! Dad was definitely our hero!

Yes, these are wonderful indelible memories of many years ago! They are intertwined with the very idea of summertime! They bring me peace when I am upset and joy when I feel down and help me to believe in a happy God Who will one day make beautiful memories like these a constant reality!

So, please, go on and build your own private, special and very happy memories!

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