The Summer Solstice is upon us, with that longer and warmer days. Summer more than any other season fills me with reminisces, the excitement of no school, day camp on hog island, fort building, bike riding until the street lights came on at 8pm!
It was the time where we were the closest as a family. Growing up in Bristol Rhode Island the 4th of July is the height of all holidays. A parade known to be the oldest continuous celebration in the country. Along with the parade were fire works and a carnival on the town common. However the best part was family, we would all gather downtown at my paternal grandparents and walk to the parade site. My mother would be sure my brother and I were clothed in appropriate red white and blue attire. We would settle in somewhere on High street under the shade of a tree sitting on a blanket waiting for not just the parade but the street vendors with balloons, cap-guns and assorted toys on a stick.
After the parade we would head back to my grandparents where my grandfather made clam chowder, stuffies and clam cakes. There was watermelon for desert. Then there was the trip to the Tee Pees a local beach where Mt Hope Bay and the Kickemuit River met. It was may favorite part this is where my father came to life this was our favorite. He would have us stand on his hands and we’d be tossed in to the chest high water.
After the beach we would head back to my grandparents for a cook out which could include some Portuguese foods like linguica, chorizo and peppers and fava beans. Once we had our fill of another delicious meal we’d head to the town common and ride the rides at the carnival. Dad would also try his hand at winning a game or two. Then we headed for the fireworks, which were always awesome at least that’s how I remember them.
The rest of the summer would seem to linger – there were drive in movies to see. Soft served ice cream to be savored, overnight visits at my cousins. There were backyard baseball games with invisible men on first. Endless arguments and endless fun. I grew up in the best time ever! Where you could sit in the middle of the street to draw hop scotch squares. Wander the fields and woods looking for adventures. We were outdoors after breakfast and only came inside if it was time for a meal, often not even to use the bathroom! You would hear parents calling you home for dinner and everyone had the streetlight curfew.
I miss those days of endless fun and adventures. I recall my first summer as an adult ,it is when summer became just another season.
Celebrate Summer like a kid, no matter what season of life you’re in,