Hurt: Summer is time for making memories

The days are getting hotter, the flower pots need regular watering, kids are outside later in the evenings, and freezer pops and sunscreen have hit the grocery shelves. The pools are open, the lawn mowers are running, and the happy buzz of summer has begun. I’ve noted year after year, that a disproportionate amount of our family’s pictures are taken June-August. Summer is a great time for memories.

I can still picture my own childhood July 4th days, full of life and excitement. It was the same scene year after year, and I would not trade it for a thing. Our patriotic neighborhood parade was not too different from Montreat’s, and each year I participated in some way. I rode my bike with decorated wheel spokes, dribbled a soccer ball in uniform, carried a banner or did some sort of act along with my neighborhood buddies.

Earlier in the day, the neighborhood swim club drew many children for pool competitions such as the underwater distance race, the diving board splash and more. A huge neighborhood potluck provided dinner and all the desserts a kid could want, followed by a front lawn movie shown on a sheet at dark. It was a day of family, friends, excitement and a strong sense of community.

I was fortunate to live in a neighborhood in Greensboro with many families and children of all ages. Blocks of houses stood close together off a busy road, one without much through-traffic. Kids rode bikes, played group games in the street and trotted between houses for play dates and sleepovers. Neighborhood cookouts and sharing food with neighbors was common. Our family even shared ownership of a charcoal grill with the people next door.

Other favorite childhood summer memories included card games, strawberry picking, swim team practices, biking to the pool and the 7-Eleven, and family trips to the Western North Carolina mountains.

These special memories are the fuel for me to create similar ones for my children, ages 13, 11 and 9. My neighborhood now may not be like the one I grew up in, but the opportunities are plentiful nonetheless. Within just a few miles, we can reach hiking trails, swimming holes, bike trails, pools, camping spots, creeks and other great recreational facilities. I feel so fortunate to live in an area where so much is available. To me, these are the things childhood memories are made of.

Each year, I am creating new memory opportunities as my children grow toward new interests and abilities. We’re repeating activities that in the past have made for special memories too. I am hopeful that those memories will be treasured when they are older and can look back.

A few of the things on our family list of activities for this summer - camping and tubing at Davidson River, eating ice cream at the Huck, going to the Friday Night Barn Dances, rock-hopping at Montreat creek, lap swimming at the Black Mountain pool and helping at the Montreat Second Loaf food ministry.

Our summer memories sustain us. They fuel us to make the most of the summer days we have. How about you? What’s on your memory-making wish list for summer?