You're probably looking forward to that special family vacation that makes so many lasting memories or, if the budget in a tight economy precludes it, at least some free days to do things you want in a leisurely and relaxed fashion. Whatever your pleasure, there is something about warm days and short sleeved nights that seems to be so agreeable to all of us.
I always remember summer as a time for the beach. Our family was fortunate to have a cottage on the Atlantic shore and we children and our mom spent most of the summer there. My dad, the breadwinner for the family, would travel back and forth to our permanent home each week for his business and we always looked forward to his arrival each Friday night but were sad to see him leave late each Sunday afternoon. He was a hard working doctor but I remember that on a Saturday afternoon at the shore he would float for hours in the crystal clear Atlantic, sorry later when he came inside as beat red from the sun as a freshly steamed lobster. But he lived to do it again on his next weekend visit.
We kids spent endless hours walking the beach, swimming in the surf and surfcasting. I loved to spend the early morning surfcasting. Under the slowly lightening sky just before dawn, we would make camp with our lantern and fishing gear and dream of the huge catch. Alas, we were happy to catch a small blue or croaker or even Ocean View spot, and even this smaller collection fried up well with bacon and eggs for a special breakfast treat.
A year round neighbor who was a commercial fisherman would put his fishing nets out before dark twice a week and pull them in before sunup the next day. On those occasions, he would let us ride along in the jeep as we checked the nets several times in the evening and as I got older I was even allowed to work with him on the Boston whaler when we would put out or bring in the nets. A heavy truck on the shore was used to pull the nets in after the offshore anchors were released and then we would scurry to remove all the fish and sort them in bushel baskets for market before the sun rose.
Within an hour, the refrigerated fish market truck would come to haul them off to market and we would trudge home exhausted with all the fish we could carry. No wonder I've always loved seafood. I don't care what the food police say, there is nothing like an old fashioned Southern fish fry.
The only thing bad about summer at the shore was its end. I can remember in late August, when the nights began to cool and the days were noticeably shorter, my mind would start thinking about the drudgery of the classroom to come as a replacement for my time on the beautiful beach. Labor Day marked the day for our departure and I can remember arriving home and noticing how small our yard looked in comparison to the openness of the beach beside the endless sea.
Oh, well, I got over it within a day or two and I knew that in nine months the circle would be completed and it would be time again to return to the place that I still to this day remember so well. I hope each of you have wonderful memories as well as future plans for your summer. Whatever you do, have fun but be safe, for summer is the time of so many accidents that are avoidable. Be careful out there.
Since it is the Memorial Day holiday weekend beginning tomorrow to kick things off, don't forget to take some time to remember those who gave their lives so that the rest of us might be free. I'll have more on that later in a separate posting.
Until then, God bless you all and have a wonderful summer. It is just another seasonal gift from a Gracious God who loves us so.