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20-Something Bloggers is hosting a blog swap! I was pleased to receive Jennifer, from Bottle Up the Crazy. The theme was Childhood Summer Vacation, and I was so pleased to read about Jennifer’s childhood memories! You can find my post over on Jennifer’s blog. Read, comment, and definitely check out Jennifer’s blog! You won’t be disappointed.

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I can still remember sitting in homeroom, counting down the minutes until summer break. The last day was always fun, but not for the reason you’d expect. You see, the last day was clean-up day. I was a strange kid who loved organizing and re-organizing desks and lockers. The annual purge of papers and notebooks was something I looked forward to. Like I said, strange kid.

Before summer camp, my mom would drop me off by my grandparents’ house where I’d spend the day with my two cousins. Often times my gramps would start filling the pool up early in the morning so it was lukewarm by the time we arrived. Some days he’d even make a tent out of blankets and the clothes line to give us some shade.

We’d spend the afternoons digging in the dirt, collecting as many worms as we could. We’d take big bowls and fill them up with dirt so we could keep the worms we caught as pets — outside of course. It never occurred to us that they’d just slither away, ignoring the blankets of moss and decorative flowers we’d strategically place in there. I can’t even imagine picking up a worm today.

Summer nights were spent chasing fireflies and playing hide-and-go-seek with the neighborhood kids. Or re-enacting whatever sports movie was popular that year (Little Giants, The Sandlot, Mighty Ducks…).

As we got a bit older our parents signed us up for summer camp. It was held at a nearby park and only lasted until the early evening. I’ve never been to an overnight camp, but I imagine you’d find me cleaning up the cabins and organizing the first-aid closet.

Day camp had its perks: swings were within spitting distance, there was a pop machine that only cost $.50, the arts and crafts room smelled like rainbows, and the park district had Guess Who (you know, for rainy days).

The downside to this was the mile walk to another park that had an outdoor pool. This park required bathing caps. I don’t know if you’ve ever worn one, but rubber and long hair was a horrible mix. Plus, I didn’t know how to swim and if you didn’t meet the height requirement (which I never did), you weren’t allowed in the pool.

Why bother bringing me along at all then? Just leave me in the arts and crafts room. The beads could be separated by color by the time the rest of the campers came back. Our park did have giant sprinklers that we could run through, so we were able to cool off, but it wasn’t nearly as impressive as a pool.

Summer nights were spent chasing fireflies and playing hide-and-go-seek with the neighborhood kids. Or re-enacting whatever sports movie was popular that year (Little Giants, The Sandlot, Mighty Ducks…).

When you’re young, summers seem to last forever. Now, back-to-school banners appear before you’ve had a chance to BBQ. It seems that summers stopped being something special once jobs came into the picture. Admittedly I’d probably go crazy with nothing to do all summer, but I wouldn’t mind a couple of weeks dedicated to unplugging and chasing fireflies.