I Declare THIS The Summer of eL!


My life has been full. At only 28, I’ve been fortunate to have enough good memories to be twice my age. Trying to narrow down all of my adventures to my favorite summer is nearly impossible. There are so many great ones to choose from!

Every summer when I was a kid, my parents would load up the family and head to the beach with our fifth wheel RV. I am convinced that the world would be a better place if everyone had childhood memories at a family campground. A five-star, all inclusive resort could not contend with the KOA experience as a nine year old. The days were filled with new best friends, biking adventures, hours floating on the waves with my red and blue raft, hotdogs and s’mores over a campfire, and miles beachcombing for seashells with my mother. When storms came we would play endless games of Chinese Checkers and count water tornados that formed out at sea. Twenty years later, I can still smell the sea and hear the waves crashing against the shore.

When I was older and had abandoned summers spent under parental guidance, my friends and I would pile into the old faithful VW bus and head to New Orleans. Jazz Fest was everyone’s favorite. While many of our activities in The Big Easy are not appropriate for this blog, those trips were (mostly) unforgettable. Thoughts of climbing trees in City Park, the Steve Miller Band and Widespread Panic, sleepless nights on Bourbon Street, and bars at seven AM still make me smile. (And cringe just a little bit.)

…yep, that’s me.

When I grew up and moved to Tennessee, I was a wife and mother before anyone introduced me to the joys of the lake. I’d never been on a boat, other than a canoe on a glorified pond, in my life. My in-laws gave me my first boating experience at Center Hill Lake. All day, every day, was spent on the water drinking beer, riding at high speeds on inner tubes, and “jug fishing”. We slept under the stars and woke up damp with dew to Bloody Marys and smoked sausages. While during that summer I did make at least one trip to the hospital and received enough sun damage to ensure skin cancer in my future, I can’t help but think of the lake whenever I contemplate my “best of summer” experiences.

Still none of these can be titled “My Favorite Summer”.

While it’s fun to glance in the rear view mirror from time to time, I’m focused on keeping my eyes on the road ahead. Maybe this year will be my favorite summer. Maybe I’ll steal an RV and head to the beach with my kids. Maybe we’ll bake in the sun on a pontoon with the Redneck Yacht Club. Maybe I’ll introduce them to Bourbon Street…

Maybe not.

What is your favorite summer memory????


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