June in SoCal has been mild, but with each day tiptoeing into July, we are headed for spikes in temperatures that could set our hair on fire. In other words, it’s sum-sum-summertime.



Fortunately, we get the dry kind of heat in this part of California. I say fortunately because me and humidity do not get along. Regardless of dry or humid air, when the thermometer heads north of 100 degrees, (which it is predicted to do by leaps and bounds over the next few days) I don’t care whether it is north, south, east or west, it is HOT! 



Growing up in Los Angeles summers, my mom used to make me take timeout indoors between noon and 2 p.m. Back then it was because of smog. Nasty stuff. The enforced “quiet time” in my bedroom gave me time to think and daydream. Once I became a mother and used the “quiet time” technique with my kids, I realized that special time still afforded me time to think and daydream. It also made me realize that my mom probably loved her time alone without the distraction of a little kid, too.

We didn’t take “vacations” as such, but we’d have barbecues or on Friday nights,drive up to San Jose to visit our family and cousins for the weekend, or do day trips around Los Angeles.

I still remember the two summers I got to go to camp. The first when I was ten and that was a beach camp and the next year I got to go, through the YMCA, to the mountains. I remember being scared to death to go off alone with strangers to camp, but each time I survived and managed to enjoy myself. Looking back, I love my mom so much for signing me up. I know she did it because she wanted to give me an experience she never had, and once I got over my fear, she gifted me with sweet memories.                                                           


In the same way, I pushed my kids to do things I never had the chance to do growing up, and I hope, now that they’re adults, they appreciate those opportunities.

My favorite memories of summer were getting to go back outside after dinner to play with the neighborhood kids until dark. We’d play croquet, or tag, or devise some complicated game that no one really understood, but would give us a chance to run wild and scream and laugh. Getting a few mosquito bites were worth it, and after taking a bath and going to bed, I’d take my time falling asleep, so I could replay in my mind all the fun I’d had. Bites and all.

Anyone enjoy Christmas in July? If so, I hope you’ll consider reading THEIR CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. Who knows, maybe it will trick you into thinking it isn’t hotter than hades outside.

No matter what your summer plans are, I hope they involve fun, sun, adventure, and don’t forget to save time for reflection and peace…


What did you like to do most during the summer as a kid? I’d love to hear your stories.

Until next time, make it a great one!


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  1. Laurie Bodshaug says:

    I grew up in Wisconsin in the 60’s. Summer days found me on my bicycle riding all over town (What a different world it was then) Mornings usually had us in summer school for a few hours where they had enrichment classes in art, drama, and music along with the remedial classes. Swimming lessons at the public pool, beach days on Lake Michigan where the water got up to a comfy 75 degrees, supervised daily playgrounds at the elementary school where we played 4 square, softball, checkers and did arts and crafts; Mr. Softee making the rounds of the neighborhood, all day movies on Saturday at the Roosevelt (gotta love the Annette and Frankie movies) and summer nights where the parents in our newer neighborhood sat on the front porch while we all played tennis or dodge ball in the street. After the parents went in, we were allowed to stay out until 10 pm playing kick the can, Green light, Red light, or round the moon, but we had to be under the streetlight one house down. 10 pm found our parents calling us home. There was a core group of about 16 kids aged 7-12, and we always found something to do. When I was 9 I discovered the community Children’s theatre, and I spent a couple years being in Fairy tale plays on the big stage of the high school, and we also had a trailer stage that was taken to various playgrounds to perform for them. One day a week I would ride to my grandmother’s house. She lived across from the Children’s library and I spent many hours reading and completing the summer reading challenge. We were too busy to get into much trouble! The fourth of July was spent at the big Parade in the afternoon, and then to my mom’s parents house for a cookout with all 18 cousins running amuk over the”farmette” to celebrate my Grandmother’s birthday. We’d eat cherries off the trees and end the night sitting on the big hill in the back watching the fireworks over the lake. In August over my birthday week, my dad would take my sister and I on the train to Indiana and we’d spend a week with his parents. Grandma never had girls, so we got to do girlie things like shopping, lunching at the department store tea room, and getting a head start on our back to school wardrobes. Grandma liked to dress us alike, I always got the blue version and my sister the pink. For my birthday she’d bake an angel food cake with pink frosting, and homemade pink lemonade flavored with a jar of maraschino cherries. The next day we’d celebrate my sister’s early September birthday with strawberry shortcake. When we got back home, we’d get to go for one day to the Wisconsin State Fair where carnival rides, grilled corn, cream puffs, bratwurst and Baked potatoes were favorites.
    It all sound pretty idyllic, and it was.

    • I smiled through your entire comment. Such a rich and wonderful way to spend your summers. I love angel food cake, and my mom used to make it for me, too. With, of course, pink frosting. 😉 I also got into “youth theater” in my early teens. They did a production of West Side Story, and I wanted to be a dancer when I grew up, so I lied about my age (I was 14 and you had to be 16) and got a part as a back up dancer. When I went back to school that September, the man who ran the summer youth theater also happened to be a substitute teacher, and lo and behold, he subbed for my class. He was very surprised to find out my age, but think he also liked that I went to such extremes to get into his summer production. 🙂
      Good memories, huh?
      thanks for commenting!