No filter or edits. I took these images during our…

No filter or edits. I took these images during our…

No filter or edits. I took these images during our walk today. Happy Fourth of July to our American community members!

As a child, we often spent this holiday at my grandparent’s house. We rarely saw my father’s side of the family. The 1950s goldenrod-colored house sat on a deep lot, with a postage stamp front yard featuring plum trees and a chain-link fence. Concrete stairs led up to the front door that immediately opened onto the living room.

My grandmother was not fond of us and kept the furniture covered in plastic; we weren’t allowed to touch anything in the house. My grandfather, Gene, passed from lung cancer when I was ten. But I have strong memories of how he liked to play silly games with us kids when Joyce wasn’t in the room. We’d bring him jars of canned foods from the basement and pretend we couldn’t open them. “Hokus pokus, diddly okus. Rotten tomatoes and tin CANS!” And with a flourish, he’d open up the treasures inside.

The family BBQ festivities would always take place outside, on Gene’s huge covered terrace he built off the back of the house. Tiki lights and plastic-colored owls hung from the beams and the kid’s picnic table, also made by my grandfather, was under the giant oak tree, its arms reaching out over the lawn.

The highlight of the afternoon was always the food. BBQ ribs, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Potato salad, fresh corn on the cob, tomato slices from the garden, and homemade cornbread. Gene loved canned black olives; the kids would take handfuls of them and pop them onto our fingertips. Hailing from Oklahoma, sometimes Joyce would make her fried chicken or ambrosia salad. And I always loved my mother’s pies – her blueberry cream was especially popular.

But my favorite summer moments aren’t the holidays – they’re ones just like today. The sounds of lawnmowers, birds & cicadas. The smell of fresh-cut grass. Dozing off in the sunshine. And a feeling of relaxed, slow laziness.

What are your favorite summer moments?


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