After two months of non-summer weather (some of which was downright cold), Chicago has finally settled into its traditional drowsy-heat, and with the heat, for me, come memories of summers past--some of them WAY past. My father loves to travel, and when my siblings and I were young, he and my mother would plan a trip every June. It was usually a two-week extravaganza, allowing us time to drive wherever we were going within the big United States (and a couple of times to Canada) and then back again.
So summers provided not just fun time in our own shady yard, with our own wading pool, but two weeks of travel. I counted once, and thanks to my dad I've been to at least 28 of the States. I've sampled water from a fresh mountain stream; I've looked at buffalo up close (a mite too close); I've seen deer, bear, elk, fox, and other wild animals in their own habitats (I tried to see a moose, but all I found was part of his antler); I rode horses in Wyoming and ate lobster in Maine; I swam in some of the Great Lakes and watched dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean; I camped in fragrant forests and visited truly nightmarish bathrooms in the middle of nowhere.
And, above all, I spent quality time with my parents and the four siblings. In the picture I'm braving the waves with my older sister, Linda, who tended to be my guardian although there were only two years between us.
The picture captures the joy of summer for me: how blue and wide the sky can seem, and how eternal those moments of happiness can feel. And in a sense they are eternal, because they are captured forever, both on film and in my heart.
Happy summer to you--enjoy those summer memories.