Some of these summer fun activities are still available to a late-20-something, full-time working woman like me. I enjoy the air conditioned movie theatres, the trips, the BBQs and lakes when I have the time or when friends and family are around to join up with. But some of the lazy, leisure time will never be the same as when I was growing up as a child, then as a young teen.
True enough, I didn't really have a summer job until after I graduated from high school, besides the odd babysitting, but I truly, heartily enjoyed every moment of my summers growing up.
My mom played a major role in helping us to have good summers. She worked part of the weeks but when she was off, she would take us everywhere....museums, lakes, beaches, mini golfing, and any other fun or touristy place we wished to go! She would pack sandwiches, or picnics or let us get fish and chips or some other yummy treat. We have had countless sunny days people-watching on seaside shores, or walking along beaches, with me always collecting rocks and shells.
Camps more often than not, took up at least one week for each of us; kids camp or teen camp or when I was really little, family camp on Sylvan Lake. I always made new friends, played new, fun games, grew closer to God and always had a terrific if exhausting time!
Living in such a beautiful city, we always had streams of company stay with or visit us. From family and friends, we showed them the best side of Victoria, taking them to the prettiest spots, the nicest parks, the most lovely walks around. Mom always made spectacular meals as we all gathered together to enjoy some chatter and catch up on one another's lives. I always treasured my summers.
One summer in particular, my dearest friend became a summer ally as we made each day an adventure, whether at the beach, or overnight with sleepovers and fun movies. That summer my mom's side of the family arranged to all come and visit, bringing loads of aunts and uncles but more importantly to me, cousins! I loved my cousins! A few were close in age to me, and the younger ones were all so cute and I hadn't seen them in what felt like ages. So amidst our small family reunion of sorts, my pal Elise tagged along as an extra 'cousin'. We packed lunches and picnics, and planned outing after outing....Beacon Hill Park, Elk Lake, Fort Rod Hill, Esquimalt Lagoon (where only Elise and I braved the freezing water to try riding a log in the waves! I still remember how crazy we were!). We did it all and Elise fit in just perfectly!
As I grow older, creating more memories to fill my summers, I remember less and less specifics from when I was a child. I recall more the feelings, the events and the best moments. That summer was a great one, with family and friends so close, and I will treasure it always!
Here are a few photos of a day Elise and I were at French Beach. I don't remember who else came, I don't remember what else happened that day, all I remember is how much fun we had and how splendid summer seemed. Back then, it seemed those long summer days would last a lifetime....I am certain now, that those wonderful days will live on as childhood highlights, memories that will never fade.