A Kansas Summer

Summer in Hawaii isn't much different from Hawaii the rest of the year - warm half of the day and wet the rest of it. It never gets above 91 or 92, or lower than about 65. Tourism is big, obviously, but now instead of only Japanese tourists we're starting to see American high schoolers and families out on their once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation.It's busy, it's bustling, and it's crowded.While my friends are down at the beaches every day, I'm spending my summer working, blogging, and studying Chinese.It's not that I don't love going to the beaches -- I do -- but unless I want to drive an hour to the military beach, it's going to be very, very crowded with very, very grouchy tourists. People eagerly are dishing up $7.00 for a cold hotdog and $5.00 for that small diet coke to go with it -- hey, it's all part of the vacation experience. They have umbrellas, they have new swimsuits, and they have that ghostly pale skin that makes you want to hide.Going to the beaches here, I can't help but appreciate the summers I spent in southern Kansas on my parents' farm, chasing runaway cows and selling funnel cakes at the town fair. (Yes, I was that girl.) There wasn't always a lot to do - but it was easy to find stuff to do. Church camp took up a week, and family reunions took up another. After that it was a free-for-all. My brothers and I would spend hours driving around and listening to music, swimming in our pond, going to the movies, and babysitting our little sister. We'd plan our summer garden starting in February or March -- drawing pictures of where we'd put the tomatoes and the green beans and the beets. We'd get new chicks and sometimes a few ducklings or goslings to go with them. (Which turned out to be a bad idea - baby geese, as it turns out, like to eat baby chickens.)Some of the things we'd do, sure, were related to our ages, but I really appreciate the slow and simple pace of life on a farm. You aren't worried about how much you're going to pay for lunch or how perfect you have to look that day. A sandwich, pair of comfy jeans, and your hair braided neatly is all you need to be happy. Even if we weren't going to the beach every day or driving the best cars, we enjoyed life and we enjoyed being with each other.I'm thinking my kids will end up spending their summers in Kansas with Grandpa Bill and Grandma Lynn, just for kicks. Because every kid needs to know what it feels like to chase a cow before church. :)So, people of Lawrence, share with me your favorite summer memory =)


unicornpop 16 years, 2 months ago

Sleeping outside on a blanket Walking to the swimming pool in the morning with no shoes, and having to make a collect phone call to
my uncle to come and pick us up. Running through the sprinkler at my grandma's Mud baths Days of Our Lives NBC Tournament (Wichita tradition) Summer crafts Picking tomatoes and then eating them with salt Catching locus Tea Parties on the bottom of the pool

Aufbrezeln Eschaton 16 years, 2 months ago

Putting the garage-sale saddle on the propane tank and riding it for hours, every day. Oh, the places I went. . . .gimme a break, folks, I was seven, and an only child ;)

cvillehawk 16 years, 2 months ago

I grew up in Wichita in my kid days, so I remember things like watching fireworks at Century 2 down by the river, to the strains of the 1812 Overture.

Aileen Dingus 16 years, 2 months ago

Walking down the hill to swim in the creek, then wondering if it was worth the trudge back up. Laying on a blanket and watching fireworks. Listening to the bugs as I fell asleep. Laying out on the cap of the truck, slathered with baby oil, hoping to get a good tan. Climbing the tree my mother forbade me to.

And Misty- don't be ashamed of your propane tank steed- I rode a big rock. :)

Nick Spacek 16 years, 2 months ago

In roughly chronological order...

  • Splitting my head open the day before second grade started.
  • Space camp, where I actually had a girl crush on me for the first time. There would be a long break before the next one.
  • Riding my bike off a (small) waterfall into the creek.
  • Getting to go to my first concert without adult supervision and smoking more cigarettes than I ever thought possible. 2 1/2 packs.
  • Driving to and from Lawrence weekly in an attempt to speed up that last summer in my parents' house before I moved into my first apartment.
  • Living in MY first house.

lawrencekid 16 years, 2 months ago

daydreaming on the trampoline, once i promise a plane flew like 20 feet over me. Walking to the pool from Hilltop preschool clutching a rope with handles used to hoard kids from place to place. Running around barefoot outside, then washing our feet off with washclothes to see whose were the dirtiest. Getting a jaywalking ticket on Mass when i was 16 with 5 other people. They were $92 each. There were not cars on a Thursday at 11 pm. Starting our nights at Henry's almost everyday, I think we did this every summer night during high school.

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