Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Can't Resist...

I just can't resist responding to Miriam's prompts about summer on her AnceStories2 blog. It is absolutely my favorite season.

*How do you feel about summer? Is is a favorite season, or do you prefer another?
I love summer! I love to walk out of a building without having to put on a coat or sweater. I love the colors of the season, bright green lawns, clear blue skies, pink roses, yellow day lilies, purple iris, red geraniums, aqua pool water, and orange Popsicles. I love having my windows open day and night and listening to the birds sing, the dogs bark, and the kids playing. I love a chocolate covered frozen custard cone on a hot summer night. I love driving down Hines Drive with my sun roof open and Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, or the Doors cranked up. Most of all I love the long days of sunshine.

As a child, I always enjoyed the unstructured time that came with summer. I liked listening to the crickets on a hot summer night. We always slept with the windows open because we didn't have air conditioning back in those days. I liked swimming in our neighborhood pool, playing at the nearby park, and laying in the sun and listening to WKNR on my transistor radio. (We didn't know about the dangers of skin cancer back then.)

*What are your favorite summer activities? Do you enjoy being outside, or would you rather curl up with your air conditioner?
A beautiful summer day calls to me. I really enjoy being outside especially with a camera in my hand. My favorite summer subject to photograph is water... beaches, waterfalls, ponds, pools. I also enjoy taking in festivals, art fairs, and any place vintage cars are on display.

As a child I loved to ride horses (didn't get to do this too often but when I did it was almost always summer), swimming or running through the sprinkler, bicycle riding, and going to the drive-in with my friends.

*Do you have a favorite summertime sport to participate in or watch?
I enjoy swimming and I miss having a pool in my backyard. I like to play disc golf too.

I learned to water ski when I was 11 years old and did a fair amount of it over the years (it's been 10 years since I've skied though).

*What is your typical summer outfit?
My typical summer outfit is a tank top and capri-length khakis. I also love to wear white and go barefoot. White is my favorite basic color, especially with a light tan. The summer color pallet (pastels and medium tones in cool shades) is what looks best on me. So I have the easiest time shopping for clothing in the summer. :-)

When I was a kid I loved to wear sun dresses, shorts, and sandals. Some days I practically lived in my swimsuit.

*Do you take a summer vacation? Where do you normally go, and what kinds of activities do you do there?
As a child, I almost always got sick when we traveled (I can't tolerate well water and bottled water was unheard of back then). Consequently, I came to dread travel. Over the years, I've gotten better and have had some truly enjoyable vacations. The best were the family vacations... taking the kids to Disney World in Florida, meeting my cousin from Poland at Niagara Falls, and the month-long car trips I've taken across the country (in 1972 and 2001).

*What is your favorite summer holiday, and why?
I guess I'd have to say that my favorite summer holiday is Memorial Weekend simply because it is the beginning of summer and I know I will have roughly 120 days of bliss to look forward to. :-)

*What kinds of summer foods or drinks do you enjoy?
My favorite summer foods are ice cream, toasted marshmallows, nectarines, raspberries, cherries, peaches, watermelon, plums, strawberries, ice cream, burgers, chicken, and salmon on the grill. Oh, and did I mention ice cream ;-) My favorite summer beverages are Diet Coke (good any time but especially good on a summer morning), iced tea, lemonade, and a sweet red wine on the rocks (Sangria works too).

*Share some favorite memories of summer vacation from when you were a child.
I really enjoyed going to Bob-Lo Island and Cedar Point amusement parks. I don't know how many times I went to Bob-Lo but it was quite a few. The Parks and Rec Department in Dearborn used to sponsor weekly field trips from the local neighborhood parks. A favorite destination was Bob-Lo Island. We (my friends and I and the park program coordinators, no parents) took a charter bus from the park (left probably about 8am) to the boat dock in downtown Detroit. From there it was an 18-mile boat ride aboard one of the steamer ships to Bob-Lo Island. After a day of riding all the rides we'd board the boat to cruise back to the dock in Detroit. The bus would be waiting for us and we'd arrive back at the park about 8pm.

Cedar Point Amusement Park was a lot of fun too. It's about a 2 hour drive from the Detroit area to The Point. I went there more as a teenager than as a small child. I enjoyed the swirly rides like the Tilt-A-Whirl, the Scrambler, Round Up, and the Alpine ride. The water rides were a blast too. I always got scared on the Ferris wheel and the roller coasters but I went on them anyway.

Any day I got to go swimming or hang out at the beach was a good day!

*What are your least favorite things about summer?
Poison ivy, mosquitoes, sun burn.

*Do you enjoy summer storms?
I never used to. As a child I was terrified of storms. I remember hiding in closets during thunderstorms and refused to go out of my house or backyard if there was a severe weather watch. Then the fear sort of evaporated after I gave birth to my first child (I have no idea why that was). Ever since then I've been more intrigued than frightened by storms. Now I actually sit around with a camera in my hand trying to capture a photo of lightening in an approaching storm. No luck yet!

*What is the hottest summer temperature you remember experiencing?
Oh we've had some some days over 100 degrees here in the Detroit area. I remember one day in particular when we were at Bob-Lo and it was over 100 degrees. But without a doubt the hottest temperatures I've ever experienced were in Phoenix, AZ in July and August. Both times that I visited Phoenix it was over 110 degrees the entire time I was there and I loved it. I would very much like to live there (even if it does get cooler in the winter ;-) .

*Do you have a memory of a cool or cold summer? Has it snowed on the Fourth of July in your area?
We haven't had snow in Detroit on the Fourth of July, THANK GOODNESS! The coolest summer I can remember was the year we bought our house with the swimming pool and central air. Of course :-7

*What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the summer? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during summer?
My mom's birthday was July 10th and we always celebrated with an outdoor party of some sort. Sometimes we'd spend the day on my brother's boat on the Detroit River, or at the beach club that my other brother belongs to. I've hosted my share of backyard barbecue/pool parties for my mom as well as various birthday parties for my husband's family too. I miss those parties. Now the pool is gone and mom is gone and we don't do much celebrating in the summer. This year we did have a graduation party for my son though :-)

*What summertime hobbies do you pursue? If you are a genealogist, do you travel to ancestral locations during this season?
I pursue my photography hobby as often as possible in the summer. I really enjoy going on photo shoots.

Genealogy is a year round hobby for me but I'm more likely to trek around cemeteries in the summer than the other seasons. I like to make day trips to local places that have a significance to my family history or personal memories. My family has lived in the immediate area since they first immigrated to the U.S. so I don't have to travel far. One local event that has a family history tie-in for me is the annual Pierogi Festival at Sweetest Heart of Mary Church in Detroit. It's the church my ancestors attended. By the way, the festival is coming soon so if you're in the Detroit area put it on your calendar!

My best friend Karen and I water skiing on Hubbard Lake (Michigan). I'm the one on the right :-)