Summer fun means a lot of different things to different people. It can be swimming, camping, boating, fishing, beach time, vacation spots, gardening (flowers or vegetables), sitting under a shade tree, or reclining inside under the air conditioner.
Summer fun activities seem to change with age. At one time my very favorite things to do included a trip to the lake for water skiing, sleeping in a tent, maybe even climbing a mountain or taking a walking trail through the woods.
When our children were young we would manage to get-away for a weekend or two each summer. We would pack up the car and the kids, drive several hours and “rough it." We slept in a tent, cooked outside on a campfire and stayed in the water most of the day. We did not go to a restaurant, we took our food keeping everything cool in an ice chest.
Most of the time, it would rain at least once and everything would get wet. I don't know if sunblock was not popular in those days or we just could not afford it; but we always came home with sunburns. For me a little sunburn was no big deal. I turn red for a day or two and then brown. For my husband Dale it is and has always been a major problem. His skin turns red, forms water blisters, and he has to go to the doctor. When he forgets and goes out in the sun again, he burns all over again.
One year we went camping/floating on the Current River in Missouri. He wore his shirt, jeans and water shoes. He was prepared for the sunshine. When he was floating, sitting across the inner tube, he had two or three inches of exposed skin from the top of his shoes to bottom of his pant legs. Again, he came home with a terrible burn. The water blisters came and he had to go to the doctor. He has the skin type that never tans. He learned another valuable lesson on that trip -- don't go sockless.
I am sad to say my tent days are over. I can't imagine sleeping on the ground at this stage of my life. Also, I don't want to cook my own food outside with the all of the bugs.
Roughing it is for the young or at least the young at heart.
I hope our kids remember our camping trips with fond memories. It was all we could manage at the time and we did try to make it fun.
Since they have grown up and have families of their own we have had some wonderful vacations together. We have stayed in cabins, motels, and lodges in Florida, Washington D.C., Tennessee, Texas and Missouri.
We were coming home from Texas in 2003 or 2004 when we decided to make a side trip to the the Diamond State Park at Murfreesboro. We had the two older granddaughters with us. We rented the equipment and they loved digging for a diamond. It was in August and it was very, very hot. We had been to Sea World, The Alamo, River Walk, and the San Antonio Zoo and I enjoyed all of it. I cannot say digging in the dirt for diamonds was something I enjoyed. I did enjoy browsing through the gift shop. Needless to say, we did not find a diamond. I would like to go back when the weather is much cooler and give it a second chance. The park was really nice, it was digging in the heat I did not enjoy.
It doesn't matter if it is Disney World, Branson or the hills of Tennessee, my favorite vacations have been when both our children, their spouses and all of our grandchildren join us.
The grandchildren are all growing up and busy and it is more difficult to get a time for all of us to get a week off at the same time. Our annual vacation week seems to have been put on the back burner over the last couple of years.
I am the record keeper. I have always had my camera in hand and have picture albums filled with our vacations. Through my pictures, I can enjoy the trips over and over again.
Summer is here and I hope to make a few more vacation memories before I get too old to travel. Hopefully I still have a few miles left in me.