I have this memory...except it is more like a snapshot than a memory...so maybe it is the memory of a picture I once saw. Anyway, in this 'memory' I am in my Grandma and Grandpa Fulton's front yard - the driveway to be exact. Their driveway was a mixture of dirt and gravel. It had just rained and there is a large mud puddle in the driveway. And there in that mud puddle are three little girls...me, Rosa and Rita...stripped down to our undies. I couldn't have been over 4 years old.
Now I am about 7 years old, and my extended family has gathered at the river for a camping trip. My clearest recollection is sitting under the awning of a camper with my Aunt Kathy - and food! Snacks and sodas and fried fish with french fries. The Jenkins family really knows how to feed you.
In my late elementary years, my favorite place to go was out in my Grandpa Fulton's pasture where a small seasonal creek transported me to another world full of mystery and romance and quiet.
As a teenager, our family's main summer activity was to head over to Lake Chicot where we would camp for the weekend and water ski from sunrise to sunset. It took Mr. Oden a whole day to teach me how to get up on skis. I couldn't do it when everyone else did...so he took me out in his little fishing boat and patiently instructed me over and over again until just before dark when I was finally able to make the water plane from beneath my feet. I never looked back.
When Meagan and Kelli were small, Jim traveled for work all the time. He would be gone for eight days and home for six (really 5, since he had to travel back to his job site on the 6th day). His employer sent him to a long term project in Cantonment, FL and we were able to go with him. We spent six months during the off season on Pensacola Beach in a beach house. The girls and I went to the beach EVERY DAY (rain or shine) and were tanned like California Girls that fall and winter.
After the loss of my Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins, Jim and I were given the opportunity to purchase the fish camp on the Saline River that my great uncles built when I was a young girl. My grandparents had owned it before they passed away along with my dad and his sister. My aunt wanted me to have the chance to create memories there with my dad like she had with hers. We enjoy going there still!
These are the memories that flood my mind when I think of summer. Notice they all contain one similarity...WATER. Jim says I have an odd attachment to water. I love sitting on the deck in Surfside and watching the waves wash over the shore. I love sitting by the lake and watching my children learn to ski. I love sitting in the boat out in Galveston Bay...and to my husband's chagrin, I don't even need to be fishing to be content...just looking out over the water.
Now, do you want to hear the crazy part about my attachment to water?
I am scared to death of it! That's right...SCARED TO DEATH! I can ski only because I have a life vest on. I can enjoy the boat, but that life vest is on my body if we are moving and near me at all times that we are not. I can swim IF I know I can touch the bottom or where the sides of the pool are.
So there you have it...confirmation that I really am 'messed up'. The thing I am drawn to is also the thing I am most afraid of. "Like a moth to a flame", I guess
I have to fill y'all in on a funny coincidence. As I was writing this post, I heard a text message come over my iPhone. I finished typing my memories before checking that message. When I got up and grabbed my phone, guess what was there? A GORGEOUS view of a resort swimming pool with the white sandy beaches of Florida in the background! My friend, Robin, is on vacation and was just sharing the view from her room this morning! I'm soooo jealous!
2 years ago