June brings with it the official start of summer! And in honor of the season that conjures images of swimming, sunscreen, melting ice cream, and lazy days, I’d like to reflect on some of my summer memories as well as make plans for this summer.
I have a lot of summer memories that I truly cherish. But there are a few staples from my childhood summers that stand out more than the rest.
Ice cream: My favorite flavor of ice cream was (and still is) mint chocolate chip. When I was younger, it used to be such a treat to get a cone with two whopping scoops of my favorite flavor. My cold, sticky dessert would melt down the cone, it would run down my arms, and it would drip on my clothes. I’d be a syrupy mess when all was said and done, but in the summer, it didn’t matter. I still love huge scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream in the summer; I’ve just tried to cut out the some of the mess.
Camp: Summer camp was one of the things I looked forward to most throughout the year. The camp I went to is called Camp Roganunda outside of Yakima, Washington, and for however long I was lucky enough to be there, I was truly content. Hiking, swimming, stargazing, and tubing were some of my favorite activities. There was nothing better than being surrounded by the forest and wildlife. I could never get enough of the camp food. Sitting around a campfire, telling ghost stories is an activity I still vividly remember. And the cabins were somehow soothing to me. Needless to say, summer was so much more of an adventure when I went to camp.
The Beach: When I was younger, my family used to drive to the Oregon Coast for vacations filled with breathtaking scenery, nature at its best, and, of course, for the beaches. I found so much joy in spotting the wildlife that was swept to shore when the tide changed and I was often completely captivated by the beautiful seashells that were buried in the sand. But my most important task when at the beach was to build a sand castle. My imagination would run wild trying to create the most extravagant castle anyone had ever seen. While it might be true that my castles were never quite what I was going for, a trip to the beach was not complete unless I gave it a try.
Now that you know some of the memories that used to define summers for me, here are a few of the things I’m looking forward to this summer.
BBQ: Who can go through a summer without BBQ, right? As soon as warm air arrives, I know it won’t be long before weekends are filled with the aroma of neighbors grilling. I’m happy throwing just about any kind of meat on the grill. Hot dogs, chicken, steaks, shrimp – you name it, and I’ll most likely try it.
Reading: When I was younger, I consumed books like my life depended on it. My mom tells the story that when I was in elementary school, I read every book in the school library. And this is not what I like to call a “mom’s exaggeration”, either. Years later, I went back to the library and saw my sign-out signature on every single book that was in the library. So clearly reading was a huge part of my childhood, and that is still most certainly the case. Sometimes life may get in the way a bit, but I always find time for a great book. And I’ve also channeled some of my passion for books into writing my own! As for how the summer factors in, I find that reading a book by the local pool is one of the most relaxing ways to spend my time.
If you’re like me, and you are starting to search for a few great summer reads, I hope you’ll consider my latest novel, “A Deadly Business”. It’s coming out on June 10th, but if you pre-order now, you can get it for just $7.99.
Flowers: I love planting flowers. I may not have the greenest thumb, but there is something so amazing about transforming my yard with a garden. When summer approaches each year, I get so excited when I think about looking out my windows to see an explosion of color. At the moment, I have yellow, purple, and red flowers blooming in my yard.
So, when I think about summer, it’s usually some combination of memories from past summers and desires for the current one. I hope you’ll share some of your greatest summer memories as well as what you have planned for this summer.