Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sweet Summertime

Pictures by friend, T.J. Kopcha

Ah, summertime! Sweet, sweet summertime! I do realize that I sound like lemonade commercial.  But are you feelin’ me?  There is something so nostalgic about summer.  All of my favorite memories are set in summers past. I am not a particularly sentimental girl but it seems that no matter where I am (in the pool) or what I am doing (walking Freddy) the sweetness of a summer moment long past washes over me and I am back in 1987, 1996, 2006, or 2008 (take your pick!) all over again.
Does that ever happen to you?
I may be walking down the street when I catch the scent of honeysuckle and I am transported back to my childhood years in Florida.  Sometimes while slathering on sun block, I can recall summers at the beach house. No matter where we lived, my family has made the trek to Atlantic Beach in North Carolina for a two week vacation every summer. Now a new generation of my family is vacationing there…my kids.  When they squeal with delight and just a bit of terror as a wave hits our intertwined bodies, I remember doing the same thing with my Dad.  Honest to God, I can still remember what his skin smelled like all those years ago. 
While I was stretched out on a lawn chair today, watching my girls play in the water, I felt eighteen again (even if my boobs don’t) and I remembered the delicious days spent in my parents backyard baking in the sun as I leafed through trashy magazines (skin cancer here we come!!). Before I get carried away here, let’s take a look at a few favorites from memory lane.

4.) Picture this: you are 12 and you get to spend two weeks in your favorite, most treasured place in the whole world: Mema’s beach house.  You are surrounded by family; the little boy cousins who beg you to let them play Babies too (they really just want to take Barbie’s clothes off), your Aunt and Uncle, Mom and Dad, little brother, and Mema.  Best of all, your cousin Jamie is staying in her Mema’s house just down the block.  She is who you really want to play with…because she likes to do all the same things: gossip for hours in the ocean, rinse off and put on enough makeup to satisfy Dolly Parton, then sneak off to the carnival down the street.  In this place, there are endless delights for a tween girl.  You are intoxicated by the smell of salt in the air and the flounder and oysters frying in Mema’s kitchen.  This place is where your love affair with the South begins. 

3.) Next memory: you are newly 16 and have just been kissed for the first time.  He is short, blond, moody, and just perfect. Never mind the fact that his idea of a date involves you watching him drink a 12 pack of his old man’s Pabst Blue Ribbon on a baseball field that you had to awkwardly climb a fence to get into!! It’s all in good fun! All that matters is that he drives a car, sometimes returns your calls, and thinks you’re pretty.  What more could a girl want? That summer taught you the meaning of puppy love and it was sweet while it lasted. Sigh. Unfortunately, Liam forgot to mention that he didn’t do long distance (for even a week long vacation).  Oops! Wherever he is today…here’s hoping he made it to rehab.

2.) Moving on…you are one year older and so much wiser in the ways of teenaged boys.  You now have serious game and are working on becoming the heartbreaker rather than the heartbreakee. On a hot summer night, you meet a nice boy who doesn’t talk much but when he does, it is obvious that he is kind.  You don’t know it yet, but you are going to spend the rest of your life with him. He is just as damaged and clueless about relationships as you are, so the two of you are in for a rough ride.  This boy drives a muscle car and drag races for a living (you know, typical high school job).  He also hangs around with all the wrong people.  Considering these qualifications for the job of boyfriend, you decide not to count the “niceness” thing against him and date him anyway.  It is frightening how quickly the two of you fall in love.  With bruised lips you declare that you will always be together…whatever that means!

1.) Fast forward to August of 2006.  You are twenty seven and have just given birth to your first child…a daughter.  She is seven pounds, seven ounces of femininity with the biggest blue eyes and longest eye lashes the nurses have ever seen.  After thirty four hours of agonizing labor, it is now the greatest day of your life.  You realize from the moment she comes kicking and screaming into the world that you would lay down your life for her in an instant.  You and Hubby give her the name that you picked out together when you were eighteen, Savannah.  Even though he has not slept in thirty four hours, Hubby video tapes her and talks to her as she sleeps.  He is smitten, just as he was on that summer night ten years ago.  Waiting for this child, taught you both to trust God like you never had before. 

The pictures at the beginning of this post are from this summer, after our first year of living in Georgia.  As I watch the girls play with their sweet friends in the sun, I wonder what future summers will hold for them.  Surely, they will be full of family, trips to the beach, friendships, summer romance (God forbid!), and heartache.  And Mom will be there through it all to laugh with them, hug them, and pass the tissues. 

What are your favorite summer memories? I would love to hear them! 


  1. Thank you for a quick stroll down memory lane. Remember when we went by ourselves to AB one weekend from Meredith College and it just wasn't the same -- We hadn't outgrown but it was a different day. Hope to see you when you are down --I plan on coming over for the day. The Barbies aren't there (and neither is the Circle, thank God!), but that place will always hold a special place in my heart between our families.

  2. I loved this post. It was so sweet and sentimental, yet true. Most of us have happy summer memories. Thanks for reminding me of them.

    1. Thank you!! This was one of my favorite posts to write.

  3. Sorry I'm late commenting on this one Cous. I LOVED it!!! Added to my list of favs. I LOVE that our children get to relive our childhood memories at the beach-house each summer. It's just magical really--too good to be true! And as for "this" summer; I don't know what I'd do without you around to keep me sane! Thank God for YOU. xoxo