Monday, July 4, 2011


As George Gershwin would say, "Summertime, and the livin' is easy. Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high."

One of the beautiful things about being born and raised in California was that the summers were ultimately free of schedules for my brothers and I. Without much notice, Mom would load us all up in the back of the station wagon with a picnic lunch and drive us to the beach which for us was only 30 minutes away. We would spend the day there exploring tide pools, collecting seashells and building moats for our sand castles. No internet whatsoever. If we managed to not argue a whole lot and gave my Mom a sense of peace for the day, we would be rewarded with a stop for an ice cream cone on the way home. Occasionally, we would get a week at our church summer camp and every year my Mom planned our annual road trip to Washington to see the relatives, but for the most part, we were free to do what we wanted. Some of the best memories I have of summer had to do with picking sweet fruit from local orchards, making zucchini bread with the mega-loads we grew in our garden, staying out after dark and playing "kick the can" in the neighborhood, ice cold lemonade, and homemade ice cream that we had to crank forever (I'm convinced now that was all part of making it taste so good).

Moving to Texas 10 years ago gave me a chance to give some of those same childhood memories to my own kids and whether it was blowing bubbles into a warm breeze, taking a dip in Barton Springs Pool or enjoying a bowl of homemade ice cream, I think the memories they hold onto will be just as special to them as mine are to me. I'm jus' sayin'!

Fresh Strawberries rinsed and awaiting to become shortcake

Fresh Peaches ripening in the Texas sun in our backyard

Canned goodness from the garden

Icy cold lemonade on the back porch

Watching your feet move in the wet sand

Finding a quiet place in the back yard with a good book

Fresh melons from the vine