The Scents of Spring

Four years ago, I wrote a post called the Scents of Summer and it’s still one of my favorites. You know how sometimes you smell or see or hear something and it just takes you straight back to your childhood? That’s what the post is about.

Last night, it rained. I walked outside to see how hard it was raining and I could smell the rain and for some reason it took me right back to being a kid for some reason. So I thought it would be fun to write about the scents that remind me of spring.

The Scents of Spring For Me Are:

The rain

Warm wind that blows the scent of Italian Cypresses around (we had about 40 of them around our pool at the house I grew up in and so it always smelled like them)

photo source

photo source

Jasmine and magnolia trees

Soil and freshly cut grass

Wet cement

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But so many other things remind me of spring, too. Warm, windy days. Eating dinner outside. Working in the yard with the radio playing. Digging in the soil and planting seeds. Warm days and cool nights. The feeling of excitement because summer’s right around the corner. Playing outside from the time we got home from school until it was time for dinner.

I absolutely LOVE summer, but as I get older, I find that I prefer spring more. The weather is milder and not just hot, hot, hot for months at a time. The time changes so the evenings stay lighter longer. The excitement of school ending and the lazy days ahead. Everything blooming. The excitement of the baby birds hatching (the same nest above our front door has had babies every year for the last 5 years!) Just the fact that everything seems to be coming alive after a long winter.

What sights, scents, and sounds remind you of your childhood springs?

I Think I’m Too Old For Las Vegas

If you live in California and drive to Las Vegas, you know that this sign always means that you're on your way to a weekend of fun!

If you live in California and drive to Las Vegas, you know that this sign always means that you’re on your way to a weekend of fun!

This past weekend, Jason and I went to Las Vegas with family and friends to celebrate my littlest brother’s 30th birthday party. Well, lots of my family and friends bowl on a league and they were having their “sweeps”, or final games of the season, in Vegas. They’ve done it for years, and while we haven’t gone in quite a few years, it’s always a blast.

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My mom (right) and some of our favorite friends wearing their lucky bowling socks…balls and pins. Both my mom and Dena won a ton of money with their mad bowling skills!

But here’s the problem with Vegas. My 40 year old brain shuts off and my 20 year old brain takes over. I forget that I’m too old to stay up gambling and drinking and partying like a rock star all night. I forget that I need to eat 3 meals a day, and that I need to drink a ton of water. I forget that I need 8 hours of sleep. I forget that when I do party like a rock star, I can only do it one night, not two.

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So my 20 year old brain took over this weekend and coming home on Sunday I was exhausted. Now, nearly a week later, I’m still trying to catch up on sleep and recover from a weekend of too much partying and not enough of doing anything healthy.

My siblings and I at the end of a very long day and night.

My siblings and I at the end of a very long day and night.

It was a blast, a huge blast, and I loved every minute of it.

But next year? I think instead of hanging out all night with the 30 year olds, I’ll be heading to bed at 10:30 with the other old people.

Summer Vacation When I Was A Kid

Remember summer vacation when you were a kid? It sure was different than summer vacations today! Here are some differences that I've noticed.

Waaaayyy back in the day, long before kids texted their friends if they wanted to talk to them and “playing” actually meant going outside and, well, playing, I was a kid. I remember summer vacation, and wish my kids could know the same ones,too.

Summer vacation memories are still some of my favorite memories from my childhood. I spent my days outside during the summer time (and after school when we were in school) playing – not sitting in front of the TV with a video game.

I played ‘Statue Maker’ and ‘Simon Says’ and ‘Freeze Tag’ on the front lawn with all the other neighborhood kids, not Minecraft.

I was a kid that rode my bike or walked all over the neighborhood.

I read books under the tree in our front yard.

I was never home, and definitely never inside, most days during the summertime. I don’t even think our parents knew where any of us were. There were a ton of kids on the street where I grew up, and we all just kept moving from house to house.

During summer vacation, the only rule for my sisters and I was that we all were expected home when we heard the call for dinner (or when we got hungry…whichever came first), and again when the street lights came on.

I had a pool in my backyard. In the morning, we’d get up and put on our bathing suits. We would be in the clear, cool water from morning till night. I don’t remember even using towels to dry off. We would just run around in the backyard when we were done swimming, and the water evaporated in the heat. Or we’d lay on the concrete to warm up and dry off.

If I wasn’t in the pool, I was running through the sprinklers, playing car wash with the hose and my bike, or making it rain with the hose while everybody ran around in the rain.

I used my imagination to play; we’d play house and store and drive-thru using the little window in the living room that opened up to the backyard.

I was a kid that lived in a house where TV was a reward, not a babysitter. If there was something on that we wanted to watch? We had better been sitting down at the right time to see it or we’d miss it.

I wasn’t allowed to lay around or play on a computer all day. We also didn’t expect for our parents to keep us entertained all day. I was expected to keep myself busy and “find something to do”. And most of the time, I was go-go-going from the minute I woke up in the morning until the moment I went to sleep at night.

Summer vacation sure has changed. My kids want me to provide 24/7 entertainment and are not happy unless we are doing something or going somewhere. I wish they could know those lazy summer days.

What is your favorite summer vacation childhood memory? How were your childhood summers different from your children’s?

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #4: How is Summer Vacation different for your kids than it was for you growing up?

 

I wrote this for Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out, too!

Waiting For Fireworks

IMG_20150704_203828_resizedShe has goosebumps; as the sun goes down it gets a little chilly.

“Mom is it time yet?” she asks for the hundredth time. Almost, I say.

The other kids are playing, calling to her to come jump on the trampoline, have a cupcake, get back in the pool.

Traces of frosting have dried on her tanned cheek, and she tries to lick it off with her frosting-stained tongue.

Her eyes twinkle with anticipation. She can hardly stand still.

She runs to the counter in her dirty, bare feet, hair still dripping wetly down her back after playing in the pool all day.

She climbs up the stones carefully so that she can wait.

She wants to be right in the middle of the counter that all of the kids will pile on to when the show begins.

Patiently she sits watching for the first colorful burst.

“Mom look!” She sees them out in the distance, miles and miles away but undeniably what she’s been waiting to see.

In just ten more minutes or so, she’ll see them directly above her head. She’ll be squirming and squealing with excitement, and I will enjoy every minute of watching her and the rest of the kids watching the fireworks in awe of the beautiful colors and patterns.

Summer Lovin’

I’ve written about my love for summer many times, especially my memories of it as a kid. The other day on Facebook, I saw this post and decided to share it. I tagged all the people I still know that grew up on my street with me because it brought back so many memories of being a kid.

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I shared it on May 18th. Since then, it’s been”Liked” almost 500 times. I guess that this photo brought back memories for lots and lots of people!

So I thought it would be fun to bring back some of my favorite posts about summer. Here they are, in no particular order.

This one is still one of my all-time favorite blog posts because it takes me right back to childhood: The Scents of Summer

One of my favorite sounds in the world: Waves

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A typical summer day when my parents both worked and we ran amuck looked like this: When I Was A Kid…

And of course this one about how summer’s and childhood freedom has changed since we were all kids: Summertime

My sister Angie and I. Who remembers these tiny little pools and the way old school photos turned orange?

My sister Angie and I. Who remembers these tiny little pools and the way old school photos turned orange?

I’ve even written fiction about a summer day: The Wall. It’s dark, but then again, all my fiction is dark.

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I’ve even shared a few summer cocktail recipes like the PERFECT Summer Cocktail, Peach and Orange Sangria, and One Glass White Sangria. I’ve got another one in the works too, so stay tuned!

What are some of your favorite summertime memories? Whether it’s a scent, sound, taste, or sight, I hope it’s a good memory!