As kids, we spent two weeks, each August, at our grandparents lake house in Vermont. The days were carefree. When I was 15, I had a crush on a boy who was vacationing at the end of the cove. His name was Glenn and he lived in Northport on Long Island, which was a million miles away from Massapequa when you don't drive! We talked on the phone and wrote letters and then, school started and I never saw him again; and yet, I can remember so many details.
When I was 12 (I think) it was the summer I babysat three little girls, one of whom was a newborn. That could also be the summer (although there were a few) Barbara and I, along with Charlie and John, and whomever else was around, would ride our bikes for hours on end to creeks and steams and be gone, often miles away from where we lived, day in and day out.
When I was 13, I broke my left arm on July 6 climbing (falling) over a fence at the beach club. I had a cast from armpit to wrist. I got a 10-speed bike, which I wasn't allowed to ride, as a get well gift. (Really mom, what the hell?!) Well, of course, I did ride it. And of course, I did get caught. (Don't wave to your father when you are riding the bike you're not supposed to be riding...) I believe I may still be grounded for THAT...
There were hours spent at the Biltmore Beach Club. And TOBAY. And Jones Beach. At Zach's Bay. On Mr. B's boat. At Pat's house on the bay - the stories I could tell from those days are rich, detailed, manic, filled with young teenagers in love, all on a mission to rule the world. Oh, and I learned to play guitar and played it all the time with Heidi, who I haven't seen since high school.
One summer, I pretty much lived at Carolyn's - we lounged by the pool working on our tan, reading books, listening to music, taking breaks for eggs with onions and American Cheese.
The summer of 1979 was the summer I learned how to drive a stick-shift in a giant truck, a Ford F150 named Bertha, on a mountain in Vermont with the instructions, "Drive or we die..." I had zero plans of dying, so, I drove. That was one of the most magical times of my whole life just based on the depth of my love, the innocence of youth, the sweet man I was with, and the wonder of being surrounded by nature in a cathedral we had all to ourselves.
The nostalgia of our youth can't be replaced; the memories are bright, vivid, and indeed, all that. As an adult, with the onset of all our responsibilities, summer no longer has the same meaning as a teenage summer.
In June 1981, I started my job at the phone company. I put on my big girl pants and started commuting into NYC. My life changed radically from that day forward.
In June 1997, I had my darling Bella girl and really, breast feeding a baby in the heat, with sweet little 15 month old Peter running around, remains blissfully accurate in my mind.
The summer of 2012 will go down as the summer I started to find myself again. I doubt I will ever be able to repeat it; I don't think I would want to.
It remains one of the most fragile, beautiful, heart-wrenching, amazing, delicious, delightful summers I can ever remember as an adult. Thanks to Cathi for sharing her beautiful home in East Hampton with me (and others) so that I could work on myself. Thanks to Carol Ann for her house on the Cape, where, less than a year ago, The Glass House Retreat was conceived on a lake, with a book and a few glasses of wine. It was the summer of my adult teen years...
What about YOU? What are some of your memories? AND, aren't you really, REALLY glad we didn't have social media?! ;-)
Here's to 2013. Let's see what it brings...
Soft and warm on a summer's night
You're the only one -- I told you - the only one I love
The lovely one, I'm thinking of