Summer Memories

This post by Jennifer Flaten


Earlier today, I loaded the kids in the car for a trip to the pool. Unbeknownst to me, instead of waiting until we got to the pool they’d already slathered themselves with sunscreen in the living room.


I loaded my greasy minions into the car and we drove to the pool. Driving along, I noticed the whole car was permeated with the smell of sunscreen.


Luckily, I love the smell. It is the quintessential scent summertime. In fact, I am surprised there isn’t a perfume that smells like summer/sunscreen.


When I was growing up, the only pool in town was in the high school. While we didn’t have a public pool, we did have several nice public beaches.


My favorite beach was at Otter Lake.


I remember summers spent floating on black rubber inner tubes. The hot sun quickly heated the tube up so  you’d have to jump off into the cold water to cool off. Before getting back into the inner tube you’d flip it over so the water cooled side was now up.


If you got tired of swimming you could always chase fish in the shallow water. Minnows and sun fish would dart between your legs and nibble on your toes. If you were daring you could go over to the non-beach area, the part covered with algae and look for frogs.


After the beach, on the walk back to the car, you stop at the hand pump and use the creaky handle to pump, pump, pump icy cold water out so you could wash the sand off. Then you’d run shivering to the car and ride home in your still damp suit.


It was never as much fun to haul all the sand toys up from the beach as it was to carry them to the beach.


What is your favorite summer memory?


There is a summer sale on everything in my Etsy shop—-20% off you entire purchase.



7 thoughts on “Summer Memories

  1. What lovely summer memories, Jennifer… I’m afraid I don’t have them. 😉 Summer swimming in the sea, or in a Loch like the famous Loch Lomond was a frigid experience for me – even on the hottest of Scottish summer days…but I survived. There was rarely any lingering in the water because after 10 or 15 minutes I’d be suffering from close on frostbite and would scurry out of the water to get my clothes on. By that time my lips would be blue and fingertips a bloodless white but my dad always rustled up some hot sweet tea since he never went without his Primus stove and his ‘billy-can’.


  2. When I was very young and living in Michigan, we used to go to nearby lakes too. Loved playing and swimming in them. Later we moved to Southern CA and only had the beach, which I never enjoyed. The ocean was cold and salty and the waves rough. With my fair, redhead’s complexion I burned easily too. (Didn’t have effective sunscreens at the time.) So I never became a “surfer girl.” 😉 I did, however, enjoy the mountains. Unfortunately, their lakes were fed by snow melt, so weren’t exactly swimmable.


  3. I’m not much of a swimmer, but we had a pond on our small acreage in Iowa, and I often spent time there fishing, walking, and looking for critters. Childhood summer memories — priceless! Thanks for sharing yours!!


  4. Jennifer, Your summer memories sound similar to mine. Mine also included trips to the ocean. I preferred going to the lake over the trip to the ocean. In more recent years trips to the river have become part of my summers. Some river trips include camping along the river for a few days to capture wildlife photographs, others are just a way to spend a lazy afternoon.


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