I wish summer were more like my memories of summer. There were events that you looked forward with great anticipation; the county fair, fireworks on the 4th, long, lazy days at the beach and seeing your extended family. The cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, the people you love that belong to you by blood, the ones you rarely got to see, summer was always the time we renewed our bonds.
I remember well our summer family get-togethers. The whole crew would be there, at my grandparents place. Some of us came from farther away than others, but we'd all arrive, carloads at a time.
These annual gatherings meant fun and laughter, bocce and croquet, walks to the beach and we kids playing while the grown-ups talked. It was "witches brew" in the huge crock keeping it well-water cool and pickles and chips, deviled eggs and macaroni salad.
They were sailing, clamming with our grandfather, long days on Squaw Island beach-combing and swimming and playing. Sand, salt air , sticky from Popsicles and tar on your feet, climbing the carport rafters to watch the bats sleep and falling asleep on the way home.
Over the years, some of those family bonds have become threadbare. Death has severed a few, but not our devotion. Distance and apathy have worn some of them thin. Even so, I don't believe that a one of us holds these memories less dear.
Those were the days of summer.
And I miss them.