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When I was a very little kid, up until the time my grandfather died, summertime meant one thing - going out on the boat. My grandfather's pride and joy was this Glasper Cabin Cruiser.

After work on Fridays he'd make sure it was ready to go, loaded up on the trailer and in the driveway facing the street so that bright and early Saturday morning we could head out to Antioch to launch for a day of fishing and playing around the water. Once we were in the boat we always stopped by his duck blinds so he could get out and rake the clam bed so we would have a bucket of bait. Once the bucket was full we were off and racing through the sloughs. I remember thinking that all the sloughs looked alike to me but Papa, he always knew right where he was going.

He would get us set up at one of our favorite beaches and then he would go back out on the boat, drifting a bit further from where were were making so much noise on the beach so he could fish.

I remember that sometimes my aunt and uncle would come out and meet us at the beach so that I could play with my cousin Diane. (I'm on the right.)

When I look at this picture I can remember that ice chest that said Hires root bear on it. It had a green padded seat and my Nana always sat on it. Sometimes my mom and my grandmother would go off to collect wild berries. Me, I liked to collect rocks and clam shells and driftwood. I would make tunnels and rivers and bring the water up to watch it race around the courses I made. I wasn't much for building sand castles but I did like to dig holes. We would roast hot dogs on the beach and drink Coca Cola and stay out until the sun was going down then race back through the sloughs to hit the dock before dark.

Papa almost always caught a bucket of catfish to bring home so once we were all back at our house he would gut and clean them and my grandmother would pack them in milk cartons that she would fill with water to freeze so that we could have mostly fresh catifsh to eat the rest of the summer. Nana's fried catfish was one of my favorite meals of all times.

Summers on the beach in the Antioch sloughs are some of my most favoite summer time memories.

Your turn. What is one of your favorite summer memories?
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 8 comments — Leave comment )
June 2nd, 2009 10:21 am (UTC)
Summers, around my family, meant The Grandparents. (Or, after my grandmother passed, Grandfather.) Even the summer after the trampling, I went to grandfather's. He had everything set up for me in the house, and waved my mother away when she said he couldn't take care of "disabled child".

But Grandfather's big thing was, everyone worked. Now, my mom had that philosophy too, but she harped and nagged and badgered.

Grandfather? He handed you a list. "This is what needs to be done, before dinner/bed." And then he went on about his business. And he never yelled. Ever. He had one of those deep, gentle voices, and he could pitch it to make you feel two inches tall, if he were disappointed in you.

Mostly, what I remember is the freedom. Before I was hurt, and once I was better, I remember the freedom. As long as your chores were done, sprawling beneath a tree with something to eat, something to drink and one of the farm dogs was more than allowed. I remember coming home from tramping through the muddy woods with one of his dogs, and only being told to use the hose to clean up, before heading for a shower, because I was mud to the knees. I remember sprawling under one of the elm trees, with a pile of books to read, and the dogs sprawled around me, panting in the heat.

Mostly, what I remember is my grandfather telling me he'd teach me anything I wanted to learn. I remember asking him once on a trip to town, what sort of books I was allowed to get out of the library. He just snorted and told me "Whatever ya want, I ain't gonna be readin' 'em."

And I remember the smell of a cigar on the summer wind, with the dogs sleeping on the porch, and the smell of roses in the air. Grandfather would be sitting in his chair, reading something, dinner would be done, and the fireflies would be coming out. And everything would be... content. For just a moment, the world would stop and there was peace.
June 3rd, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
I love the idea that your grandfather would teach you anything you wanted to learn. What did he teach you?
June 3rd, 2009 09:30 am (UTC)
He taught me how to hunt, how to fish, how to care for animals. He was also the one that let me in on the secret that books, and ideas, are not evil. How they are used can be evil, but they by themselves are not inherently evil.

He also taught me that there's no shame in not being like my siblings. I'm my own person, and that's cool too.

(The scene when he found out my one brother was gay was hilarious. Here's my elder brother, a Marine, just out of the Corps, coming to tell our grandfather he's gay with his boyfriend. My grandfather was out in the barn, with the cows, my brother blurted it out:

Brother: Grandda, I'm gay. This is my boyfriend J.
Grandfather: *looks up* Uhhuh. Ever been around cows, boy?
J: No...
Grandfather: Have M show ya what to do. *no one moves* Well? Move it boys! These cows ain't gonna milk themselves. Cat! Cookin' dinner?
Me: *trying hard not to crack up* Sure thing, Grandda.)

He also taught me that true faith in a God like figure no matter what they are called is about trust and love, not fire, brimstone and judgement.
June 2nd, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
Beautiful memories. I never really knew either of my grandfathers (feel like I'm missing out). But we visited my godparents in Vermont every summer and took their boat on the lake. I remember cruising to NY and thinking how weird it was, traveling to another state and back in a night! (can't do that here...unless you drive eight hours!)
June 3rd, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
I only knew this one set of grandparents and because we lived with them, we were all very close.

LOL on the driving to another state and back in one night.
June 2nd, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
The cuteness!
June 3rd, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
thanks! :)
June 23rd, 2009 07:22 am (UTC)
Verry good comments, thanks men.|
Thans for your information?
( 8 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

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