Summertime! It’s here! It’s here! Well, technically, it’s almost here. The days are long and muggy, anyway. BUT after the winter we had in the northeast I am swearing not to begrudge a moment of heat or humidity.
This week we find out how our blog circle spent summers as a kid. Yay!
For most Jersey girls, summers meant a trip (or several) ‘down the shore’. When I got older, I did spend the occasional weekend ‘down the shore’ but I never set eyes on a boardwalk during summer until I was in my late teens. Summer, for me, meant manual labor on my Uncle’s Farm.
My Uncle owned the Sanford, Maine farmhouse where he, my father, their brother and their sisters were raised. Every summer he’d drag a bunch of kids from my church up North to help him do whatever he needed to do to get the old house through another winter. Daily tasks included painting, rebuilding the parts of the farm and out-buildings that were crumbling (something was always crumbling), weeding the garden, planting trees, cutting down trees either to maintain the fields or to restock the supply of firewood, and, my favorite, using a log splitter to cut up the logs. The farm had a wood and electric cooking stove, a pump by the kitchen sink and walls that howled when the wind blew hard. More often than not, I pretended I was actually from an earlier time. Perhaps one of the reasons I write historical romance? 🙂 In any case, being there meant work. Really hard work. But I was with imaginative friends, so everything was a blast.
How did we get through the days? While we worked, we made up alternate lyrics to popular songs (to Surfin’ USA, we sung ‘everybody’s gone stacking’; to Song Sung Blue we sang ‘Pick a blueberry berry, want one?’). When we were finished whatever was on my Uncle’s list for the day, we played as hard as we worked. When I was younger, that involved using old furniture in the barn to create a live-size play house, daring each other to climb the beams and jump into the hay and rolling down the hill in old tractor tires. Incidentally, not as much fun as it sounds–it hurts. Sometimes, we took the inner tubes down to the river and swam or we built a campfire in some conveniently situated boulders we called the ledges and tried to out-Stephen King each other. At the end of August, the Perseid meteor shower lights up the Maine sky. I can vividly remember lying side by side with my friends picking out shooting stars.
Not the classic kick-back-and-relax summers, but I wouldn’t trade a single memory. The scent of old wood and pine trees still makes me smile.
Visit the stories of the other participants here:
Contemporary Romance Writers Jamie Wesley – Kat Cantrell – Priscilla Kissinger – Lauren Christopher | Paranormal romance writers Kay Hudson | Romantic suspense writers Carol Post – Sharon Wray | Novels with romantic elements Natalie Meg Evans – Jean Willett | Sweet & Faith-based romance writers KD Fleming – Kristen Ethridge | Historical romance writers Kathleen Bittner-Roth – Wendy LaCapra