Summer is finally here and I am reminded of the many summers I had growing up in Indiana. Indiana has a very short summer as it is located in the north and has a longer winter than summer. So we always looked forward to those short three months of warmth and the length of our growing season.
Mom loved planting tomatoes and they grow really nice in the north. The northern summers are not nearly as hot as the summers here in the South, and of course the humidity is much, much lower in the north.
My first summer here in the South was really difficult for me. I felt like someone had covered me with a hot wet blanket every time I went outside, and breathing was almost impossible for me. However, I have lived down here for more than 20 years now, and when I visit Indiana in the summer I actually feel cold because I have finally acclimated to the increased heat.
But growing up in Indiana was a wonderful experience, and I love returning for visits to my native state. I love remembering my summers as a child and a teenager there.
I remember walking with my friends to the city park near our house and taking a quarter so we could go to the pool. The water in the pool was especially cold in June and really didn’t warm up till about August, when summer was almost over. I remember how my lips and fingers would turn blue because the water felt so cold. No one growing up here could ever imagine how we would dare each other to jump into the freezing water. Afterward, we would lay on our beach towels in the sun and be covered with goosebumps until we dried off; we were so cold.
Most summers, we usually don’t have visitors from the North, but this year will be really special for us. Our youngest son, Michael, along with his wife, Lindsey, and their four children, is planning to visit this month.
We are planning lots of trips to Grand Isle during that time and also trying to line up some great activities for the kids. There will be a trip to Avery Island and also a trip to the alligator farm, which the kids have been asking for and we have been waiting for them to get old enough to enjoy. The children range in age from 3 to 14, so we will have to have a lot of interesting activities planned for the various ages to enjoy. Randy and I can’t wait for this vacation and a chance to show off our southern lives to our family. Of course, we will plan lots of good food for our company to try and will plan on visiting lots of local eateries.
Then after that wonderful visit we will be making our annual pilgrimage back to Indiana in late August to visit family and attend our niece’s wedding there. So it is shaping up to be a busy summer for us, one full of visits, fun with the grandkids and even a family wedding. So bring on the fun summer, bring it on.
— Donna Knight is a freelance writer and artist in Houma. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.