Summer Memories by Sharon Cullen
The place was small, just three bedrooms, and we squished my family of four, my aunt’s family of three and my grandma into this place with one bathroom and no air conditioning.
Friday nights were spent unpacking, taking a quick boat ride and eating dinner. Saturdays we’d get up, eat breakfast, pack our lunches in a big blue and white cooler and hit the lake in our bathing suits. I can still feel the hot, humid air, the cool breeze as the bow of the boat cut through the white-capped waves.
As I got older Dad would let me “drive”. I was well below the legal age to drive a car but out on the water those rules didn’t apply. Oh the power I felt as I piloted that boat around the lake, the wind blowing through my hair, the sun baking my skin to a golden brown (that was way before the mandatory use of sunscreens, of course).
We’d stop to anchor and eat our lunches. Sometimes my dad would tie up the boat in front of the locally owned donut shop and I would hop out to buy a dozen just-out-of-the-oven warm donuts.
Saturday nights we would all pile in the car and go to church. Even though it was summer we were never allowed to skip church. I hated that part most of all. I wanted to play, to be near the water, to sit in the boat, not sit in a hot un-air-conditioned church.
After church we went to dinner. The restaurants at the lake were locally owned and locally ran. There were no fast food, no chain restaurants. The menus consisted of turtle soup and stuff with crawdads in them. Local cuisine at its finest.
If there was time afterward we would take the boat out for a night run. Night runs were different than day runs. You couldn’t go “full throttle”. These were nice, leisurely rides. If it was the 4th of July we would idle on the lake and watch the fireworks as they were set off over the water, sprinkling their bright sparkles down on us.
At night we would gather around the kitchen table and play Euchre. At a very early age I became a very good Euchre player. After that my dad would sit outside in his lawn chair, the Cincinnati Reds game playing on a portable radio at his feet as he smoked a cigar and looked out at the lake.
Sundays were meant for cleaning and closing up the house where it would sit, waiting for us to return the next Friday.
We stopped going when I was sixteen and my dad’s job transferred him to a different part of the state. Soon after my grandma sold the place because it was too much for her to take care of and age became an issue for her. I started working in the summer, I got a boyfriend, I went to college, got married, had kids, but those summer days remain with me as a litmus to what summer really should be like.
And if I close my eyes and think hard, I can still feel the sun baking my skin and the wind in my hair as my dad raced around the lake at full throttle.
What are your fondest childhood summer memories?
About the Author:
Sharon Cullen is the author of the historical romance, The Notorious Lady Anne (on sale now), Loving the Earl (available fall 2013) and Pleasing the Pirate (available February, 2014). She’s also published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance.
Her other job descriptions include chauffer, laundress, cook and mediator to her three very busy kids, her husband and two dogs. She lives in southwest Ohio with her brood although her dream is to someday retire to St. Maarten and live on the beach.
If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books.