Summer Memories by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1“Summer’s here. I’m for that. I’ve got my rubber sandals, got my straw hat…” James Taylor

When I was a kid summer meant working on the farm and chores but also bike riding, roller skating, playing in the creek or the pond, and catching fireflies at night. My siblings and friends played hide and seek in the dark and tag in our yard. We swung on the tire tied to the branches of the maple tree and played fetch with the dog.tireswing3

My daughter’s summer experience is different from mine as we live in a subdivision with few kids her own age and she is an only child. Still, we splash in our community pool, enjoy fireworks at the park, and occasionally ambush my husband with squirt guns or water balloons when he pulls into the driveway after work. When she was younger we spent a lot of time on playgrounds and in sandboxes. Since my daughter is a mosquito magnet she doesn’t spend as much time outside as I did but that never stops us from having a great summer.

This past week we’ve been house sitting for our neighbor which is easy. We pick up the mail and leave a key out for the cleaning service. We get the awesome perk of using their swimming pool while they are away. Willow and I have taken full advantage of this treat and have gone swimming almost every day.

There is a small frog living in the pool this summer. We’ve named him Thomas. Willow catches him at the beginning of each pool session, gently cupping the frog in her hands. We chat with him a bit before letting him go in the cool grass. Until this week, she had never caught a frog before, something I did on summer froginpooldays on our farm. The frog delights her and I’ve enjoyed watching Willow’s excitement every time she brings Thomas to me so we can admire him.

We also have a new responsibility while watching the neighbor’s house. A tiny wren built a nest in a cloth grocery bag they keep on a shelf in the garage. Each night after dark we close the garage door and open it early the next morning so the momma bird can take care of her babies. Willow had never seen newly hatched birds before and has enjoyed checking their progress each day. Their eyes aren’t open yet and they sit up with open mouths each time they hear us come near. She is charmed by their behavior and small, down-covered bodies. We are careful not to interfere with the momma birdsadmoma and the babies are growing bigger each day.

While the circumstances are different from my childhood experiences, I’ve enjoyed watching my daughter discover the simple joys of catching a frog and watching fluffy baby birds with beaks opened wide. Summer memories come in all shapes and sizes and I’m thrilled she’s added these to hers.

What are your favorite childhood memories of summer?

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This entry was posted in baby birds, frogs, Humor, Memories, playing, Summer, swimming, tire swings, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Summer Memories by Erin Farwell

  1. sstamm625 says:

    Lovely post, Erin. I love the picture of the frog in the pool. I remember running barefoot through the grass, catching fireflies, playing horseshoes, or making homemade ice cream. And there was all the wonderful fresh food from the garden. We preserved so much, but corn was my favorite. I remember a big galvanized tub full of cooling corn on the cob waiting to be cut off and frozen. Of course we had to eat some of it while it was still warm.

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    • erinfarwell says:

      We did the same thing! And canned tomatoes and froze broccoli and cauliflower. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot how my childhood memories are different than what Willow’s will be. If nothing else “home” is an entirely different place. Thanks for the comments. 🙂

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  2. Doris says:

    Erin,

    How I remember all those wonderful parts of childhood. We had frogs./toads, cats, dog and a large yard and ‘safe’ town to just let our imaginations run wild. Thanks for bringing them back. Doris

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  3. My favorite summer memories are of happy times in Kendrick Park. Please look for a post about this Tuesday on my blog at http://abbiescorner.wordpress.com.

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  4. erinfarwell says:

    I will definitely check it out. Thanks Abbie.

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  5. Mike Staton says:

    When I still lived in N.C., I would take night walks through the neighborhood and listen to the frogs singing their songs. It’s a very comforting sound. Odd … you’re the second Writing Wrangler to talk about bird nests and baby birds.

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  6. Nice post Erin. I think I had a childhood much like yours. My sisters and bother and I did pretty much the same things you did. Our favorite was to take a lunch into the woods on the back forty. There was a little spring there and we had our lunch and drank from the cool clear spring. Then we’d play hide and seek or look for frogs and tadpoles in the river about 1/2 mile away. Summers were awesome!

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  7. Wranglers says:

    Like Mike, one of the memories of spring for me is the frogs singing, in the pond in the ditch beside our farmyard. And the fresh smell of moisture at night when out checking for spring calves. Summer was sun and hayfields and pastures. We were blessed to live on farms during part of my kids’ growing up. My one daughter rescued salamanders from our window wells and gave them rides to the lake on her bike. Both daughters raised bottle lambs and rode horses and fed baby calves. I’m so pleased I was able to give them some of the experiences I’d had as a kid. But, each generation makes their own memories which mean much to them too as they age. Life is vibrant wherever it happens. Great post. Neva

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  8. erinfarwell says:

    Thanks, Neva. We had chickens on our farm so it wasn’t nearly as exciting but we had plenty of rabbits, birds, frogs, toads, etc. Always something to do and explore. And you’re right, each generation will have their own memories and hopefully they will be good ones.

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  9. katewyland says:

    I wasn’t lucky enough to live on a farm, but back in MI we lived on the outskirts of town, with a pond in our backyard and little streams where I caught pollywogs. I remember long twilight lit evenings with lots of fireflies. We kids roamed freely–just needed to be home for supper.

    When my kids were little we lived in suburbia, but near a stream. We also had a swimming pool and our first summer a frog must have laid eggs in it. (The house had been empty for a while, so the water didn’t get disturbed.) We had masses of tiny frogs in the water and the kids spent a good portion of the day scooping them out, before they ended up in the filter. Then they’d pull their wagon over to the stream and dump them in. (Unfortunately, not all the babies survived but we tried.)

    I also have wonderful memories of camping trips with the kids.

    Fun post.

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  10. Nancy Jardine says:

    Your summer memories are lovely, Erin. I didn’t live on a farm but the open countryside was quite near to escape to. I was a bit of a chicken though and don’t remember ever wanting to hold a frog, or a spider, or a cow or any creature though looking was good. I think you’re doing great things to create lovely memories with Willow.

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  11. erinfarwell says:

    Thanks, Nancy – I try but you never know what’s going to stick, do you?

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  12. Great childhood memories. I grew up on a farm and loved it! Imaginations back then didn’t have batteries and plug-ins. We had to do it the old fashioned way: make it up. Sounds as if you are having a wonderful bonding summer with your daughter, a summer she will always remember. Thanks for the post.

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  13. Wranglers says:

    I have so many summer memories, but I loved watching my kids get theirs, and I really enjoyed watching the grandkids and now I’ll get to see the new joy again. Cher’ley

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  14. Gayle Irwin says:

    Loved your post, Erin! I lived on a small farm in Iowa from age 10 to 17, then moved west. I’ve been blessed to have parents who enjoy nature so much and passed that on to me. Now, I’m still blessed to have a cabin in the woods where I can experience nature up close and personal every summer. Yes, there is something about those birds, frogs, foxes, deer, and other day a falcon! It’s fun to share such treasures with family for the memories last a lifetime. So glad for you and Willow to share this time — and thanks for sharing with us!!

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