For some, July is the beginning of summer. For me July is when summer starts to feel like more than a passing season--it's a way of life. Tank tops and strappy sandals and the cool scent of sunscreen become regulars players in my day-to-day.
But when the 4th of July comes and goes, I start to worry that summer is in a slow downward spiral towards fall. Tonight as the sun dipped behind the trees, I wondered if it night was coming earlier than yesterday.
Perhaps it is because our big summer vacation was over the weekend. We attended a family reunion and it was weekend of celebration, community, and food.
Tim's aunt and uncle live on a man-made lake in Lynchburg, Virginia, and own every lake vehicle you could possibly want to enjoy. Their pontoon boat, festively decorated by the little cousins, was perfect for lazily drifting in the middle of the lake. I was very brave and jumped into the water to bob up and down on a floating noodle. When a fish nibbled on my finger, I didn't completely freak out--only a small shriek and a few big splashes.
My stepdaughter and niece were masters of the kayaks. The kayaks were fit with pedals that you could pump with your feet to propel them rather than paddling.
While the adults watched the fireworks from the pontoon boat and a dock, the adventurous cousins pedaled their way to the middle of the lake to watch the fireworks.
Have you ever seen such a duo? These are the kind of summer memories that childhood should be made of. It's the kind of memory that digs its heels into your soul--into your history. The kind of memory that these cousins will fondly think of and say to one another in 20 years, "Do you remember that weekend we spent at the lake?"
More about the food (especially the Patsy's pickles) another day. Tonight, I can still close my eyes and feel the sunshine on my cheeks and it's bliss. Neither shorter days nor going back to work tomorrow can shake this summer spirit from me yet.