Friday, June 22

15 Summer Fun Moments

Apparently, yesterday was the FIRST DAY OF SUMMER. Also quite apparent is the fact that the weather gods of The Netherlands didn't get the memo. Our area of the country ushered in summer with an all day rainstorm, complete with thunder bursts, which followed nearly a week of rain. And before that, there was a little rain. And cooler temps than what my brain equates with the advent of summer.

To be fair, if there is balance to these kinds of things, we were due for a little cool down and some rain. We've had a gloriously, untypically warm spring in Holland. I have many days of sun kissed skin as proof, and the camera is full of photos of the kids on the beach. That it all happened BEFORE summer's official start is a bonus I suppose. And you won't hear me complaining about those shots of sun we've had already, and are sure to come again.

However, the gods of the Friday Fifteen have suggested a themed entry this week and because summer is on the minds of all y'all whose summers have already begun, I will do my best to comply.

With the rain falling in earnest outside I will share some of my favorite summer sun moments, past and present. Further, because I am an optimist, I will share what the summer fun just may bring us in future!

(my past)

1. A single quarter in my pocket and a walk to Winder Dairy just a few blocks from our home. My eight-year-old self giddy with excitement as I stepped into the small air-conditioned store ready to spend my money. What would I choose? Popsicle Bullet with its 3 flavors of ice? Creamsicle with orange outside and creamy vanilla tucked in? Or a chocolaty-yummy Fudgesicle?
Mmmm.... Summer delicious on a stick!

2. Slip and Slide in the backyard. After two trips down the plastic stretched out on the lawn, my belly is sore from launching full force down the slide, and my legs covered in grassy bits picked up from the yard. And the air is filled with laughter!

3. Our Ambassador station wagon stuffed to its limits with neighborhood kids, on our way to Fairmount Pool, where the admission was free if you were with an adult. It didn't seem odd that my parents had 12 kids? Oh, no. This was Utah!

4. Early morning rise to fill the canteens, the knapsacks, and slather the sunscreen. Our family hike to the tip of Mount Olympus in Salt Lake City, will take us all day and will be a family victory at the top, each of us signing our name on the postcards, inserting them into the mailbox on the uppermost peak. Jennie was here!

5. A single rope swing, attached to a giant tree of unknown variety. Wrapping legs and arms around the rope, while cousins and brothers launch me outward over the swimmin' hole. And at the count of three, release and crash-splash into the wet for a taste of ice cold pond water. Whee!

(recent past with kids)

6. Finishing up an afternoon splash in the pool with Ian and Emma. Stepping out of the water and toweling down, changing clothes to return to our apartment for afternoon napping. Two-year-old Emma says "Just a minute, I want to do something" then strips the water wings from her arms, jumps from the side back into the water, and.... SWIMS! Emma swims? My baby swims! Who needs those silly things on your arms anyway?

7. Sweating on the sidelines as Ian runs the field, chasing a soccer ball. His Great-Grandpa cheering as loudly as any other at the game. impressed by the stamina of the kids on the pitch. He will forever ask Ian after this game, "How's it going with your soccer, son?"

8. Introducing 2-month old baby Andrew to the backyard pool at our Arizona home. Clad in the tiniest set of swim shorts seen on the planet, I carry this wide-eyed boy into the water first letting it tickle his toes and then seep upwards on his legs until he is immersed in the warmth to his belly button. Snuggling tightly in my arms, he looks up at me and grins.

9. Preparing for what will be my final concert with my students before we move to Holland, I host a backyard tie-dye and swim party. The shirts these kids make will be part of their costumes at the dance performance. And the swimming seems the best way to wash off after coloring our skin with the vibrant dyes. Oh, and the laughter and memories? Yeah, that's good too.

10. Packing the towels, the snacks, the sunscreen, and the juice boxes into the beach bag and schlepping all of that and three kids to Sun Splash water park. There we meet my cousin with 3 of her 6 kids for an unforgettable afternoon of water, sun and fun.

(what the summer is sure to bring us this year)

11. Bike rides to Kijkduin beach. Sand sculptures, buried toes, shell-finding treasure searches.

12. Summer sunsets over the ocean. Toasting the end of the day at a boardwalk restaurant.

13. Exploring the air conditioned insides of The Hague's art museums, for when the summer heat does arrive.

14. A road trip when my parents come, through Luxembourg, toward the Alps. A stay in Praz sur Arly for holiday fun.

15. Photographs. Lots of them. And memories.


  1. What a wonderful list -- a more buoyant version of A Christmas Carol! A Summer Song, maybe?

    My favorites: 3 (all those siblings!), 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, and 15 (looking forward to seeing those!).

  2. Oh anno, I love that title idea! A Summer Song! Lovely.
    Yup. You know the photos are sure to come!

  3. Ah, the beach... I never miss the beach until someone actually has the audacity to mention it! Shame on you!

  4. Ah... slip and slide. I remember so well sliding clear off the end! They make them with blow up walls to catch you now. Where's the fun in that?

    Happy Summer!

  5. great list! I LOVED those plastic lawn slippery things when I was a kid.

  6. jennifer-
    *sheepishly* Inviting you to join us on the beach this summer!

    Ha! So true! Who needs to be "caught" at the end. Half the fun was the grass stains on your belly as you sped off the plastic!

    Me too! Me too!

  7. Don't invite me to the beach. Me in a swimming suit? I don't want you guys to go blind!

    I used to love my slip and slide. It always filled up with grass clippings, though.

    I'll go the beach at night, that way no one will see me and I won't have to get sunburned.

    Happy weekend!

  8. super list! I miss the beach too!!

    I had to smile as I envision all the kids piling into your stationwagain.. sounds like my life.. hecticly beautifuly memories :)

  9. jennie-
    hee-hee! you'd fit right in with the WHITENESS of all the northern europeans at the beach! No worries.

    Man, I loved that station wagon with the backwards facing seats in the very back of the car. Good times.

  10. Oh my goodness, a memory I had forgotten. I too used to take a quarter and head to Hess & Hess pharmacy, a 20 minute walk from my house. That part I remember well (Pop Rocks, Charleston Chews, Zots, Lemon Heads, etc., all for my quarter). But I forgot that hardly anyone had A/C back then and it was always so LOVELY in the store because of the A/C. Thanks for the wonderful stir of memory.

    And the slip-n-slide. My kids are having a blast discovering that very joy this summer. It's a pain to set up but they can't get enough of it. And neither could I when I was that age (remember rolling over every flippin' pebble and noting how it hurt, but yet not even thinking of stopping?)

  11. Jenn, you have a wonderful way of capturing a moment. I share many of the same memories from your past. Gosh, remember when a quarter bought a lot? Fabulous summer list.

  12. Wow, your list brought me back! And the advent of summer is the same here! Pouring rain and way too cool for late June! Happy Summer! ::hugs::

  13. Wow! What a wonderful list of fun-filled summer yumminess! Even in list form, you have such a talent for grabbing us and taking us there with you.

    And yeah... in Utah... being one of six kids meant our family was small. Hahaha. Yikes!

  14. Ahhh... the Slip and Slide. Wow. I miss those. That and playing in the sprinklers in the front yard. The good old days.

  15. Yes, indeed . A wonderful list. i just am reading you for the first time. I am a Dutch person, by birth....but living in the states. Happy summer to you!

  16. That was a neat way to do the Friday Fifteen! Come visit me!

  17. Wow you have got one wonderful summer ahead of you! Of course the highlight for me would be the museum!!!