A String of Summer Memories

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Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.” ~Author Unknown 

Yesterday’s blog writing about summertime in Steamboat Springs, Colorado set-off a string of magical childhood memories of growing up in ‘burbs of Baltimore in the 1950s and 60s. When I return to that time and place in my mind,  it is so fulfilling that I enjoy remaining stuck there; not rushing back into present day life. 

Our neighborhood was outside Baltimore City limits, developed as part of the post WWII surburban boom. The community was filled with children to play with. In our family, as was the case in most others, kids were shooed out the door to play and not allowed to spend much of the day in front of the TV. Had we spent the amount of time in front of screens as kids do in this digital age, it would have given our mother apoplexy. Instead of being inside, our summer days were filled with: 

  • Spontaneous BBQs and games of softball with neighborhood families.
  • Running through the neighborhood playing flashlight and catching fireflies (lightning bugs as we called them).
  • Basking in the sun until our skin turned a lovely shade of toast.
  • Playing in the stream that bordered our family’s multi-acre wooded property.
  • Gathering green moss and piecing it together to make moss mattresses, in the woods, resembling patchwork quilts.
  • Doing swan dives, cannonballs and back-ward flips off the diving board in our family pool.
  • Listening to hits of the 1960s on my treasured transistor radio. It came complete with a wrist strap.
  • SummertimeVacation Bible School at the church my Dad built. http://bit.ly/jA0Cpp.  
  • Selling colorful tissue paper flowers, we had made, outside the neighborhood store
  • Taking a drawing class at the YMCA (I was no better at drawing than playing the clarinet). Some things are just not meant to be! 

Childhood times may be gone, but they need not be forgotten! Have you ever considered independently publishing your life story as a “love letter to future generations?”   Begin telling your life’s tale today! Don’t know where to start? There are companies that can help you along the way.  http://www.telling-your-story.com/seminars.htm

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Steeped in Easter Tradition

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Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things but in terms of ideals.” ~ Charles M. Crowe

It is only two weeks away from Easter. The other day I walked into the drugstore, and just seeing Easter candy lined up on shelves, set off a fulfilling range of nostalgic Easter memories harkening back to my childhood days of growing up in the mid-Atlantic part of the United States. 

Before Easter, on Palm Sunday weekend, my grandmother would take my two brothers, my twin sister and me shopping for new Easter outfits to wear to church. She would deck us out from head to toe with new spring dress-up clothes for Easter morn – including Easter bonnet, of course. Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, people really “dressed” when they went to church! Easter was the one Sunday of the year that my grandparents would come to our church, the church my Dad built, and not their own. http://www.mpchurch.org/. They wanted to see their four grandkids all decked out in our new Easter finest. After church, we all went back to our house for a big Easter mid-day dinner (in the dining room- of course.) The icing of the day was the Easter bunny cake that my Mom made for us, each year, covered with fresh grated coconut for it’s fur. We always looked forward to a repeat the next Easter. Traditions reigned in our house! 

There is one more fulfilling memory that is ever so clear in my mind of my childhood days of going to church and Sunday School. Having grown up in Maryland, where dogwood trees were plentiful, we learned about the symbolism of the dogwood tree, and it’s blossoms likeness to Jesus dying on the cross. The four petals of the flower form and represent the cross, the brown stains at the tips represent the blood of Jesus and at the center of the blossom, there is a likeness of the thorny crown. I wonder if this story of Easter is still taught to children in Sunday Schools in this day? 

These memories evoke some of the most beautiful times in my childhood. If there was one wish that I could make for our world today, it would be a return to the wholesome basics of life –strong families, deep faith, truly meaningful friendships and businesses built by families together,  lasting generations deep. 

There is a store, steeped in family tradition, where all kinds of things golden and olden can be re-discovered. Track down nostalgic merchandise from your treasure trove of beautiful memories from your childhood, by visiting www.vermontcountrystore.com.