Summer Memories

Technically summer doesn’t officially start until the 21st, but the weather around here is telling a different story.

Every year since we moved away, my mind has always drifted back around this time to childhood summers in that little white house on the corner house in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Out of all the great memories I carry with me, those are among the greatest I have.

I remember the mounting excitement in our hearts as the end of school drew near and the days got longer. Soon we’d be free to run and explore; and there was always something waiting to be discovered.

If I close my eyes and inhale just right, I can smell the honeysuckle that grew all around our house. (Incidentally we have a bush that sprung up at our current house too and I am convinced God put it there just for me!)

If I get really quiet I can hear our childish laughter as we rode our bikes around the Shepherd College baseball diamond across the street. The school was my backyard and I always thought I’d go to college there... funny how life turns out, huh? 

I see the intense process of choosing up sides for one of our extended kickball games. We would play until the street lights came on (that’s when everyone had to be home or be on their way home), one of us would write down the score and we’d pick up where we left off the next day.

On the occasional night when we were allowed to stay out a little later we would catch lightning bugs, keep them in mason jars with holes poked in the lids, and set them free the next morning (well, the ones that survived anyway...).

I can taste Red Eye soda and sour cream and onion Doritos - one bag and one bottle for like six or seven of us on a hot afternoon. Or sometimes we'd pool our money, walk to the store (there was only one) and come home with a tiny paper bag jammed with penny candy that actually cost a penny!

Those were some great times… I haven’t been back there in years, but I’m feeling the need to go and to remember… perhaps this summer… All I can say is John Denver had it right - West Virginia is indeed, almost Heaven! Enjoy your summer!