Feeling nostalgic about summer

I love that people enjoy different seasons for their own reasons. Personally, I love summer the most, but I appreciate each of the other seasons too. It’s just that there’s SO much more to do in warmer weather than in cold or wet weather! Don’t get me wrong, I love the earthy smell of rain in the air, watching series snuggled up on the couch, drinking good red wine in great company or cooking a feast (with roast and the works for the carnivore in my life) on a cold day – But summer makes me happy!

Summer smells like fresh cut grass, lamb chops on the braai, sunscreen and salty sea air. It prods my memory, bringing back a rush of forgotten times. Summer meant eating ice-cold watermelon and diving trinkets from the pool, playing marco polo with friends, lying on the stoep in the sun to warm up after a swim, eating soft serve icecream at the beach, playing frisbee with my dad and brother…

It makes me nostalgic about my childhood – before my parents got divorced. In summer we’d take trips around the coast on Clarence Drive and spend the day on a (then) deserted Koggel Bay, Rooi Els, Hangklip, Pringle Bay or Betty’s Bay beach. Sometimes we’d stop at a beach, find it was too busy or windy and drive to the next one!

We’d lug the umbrella, coolerbox with juice, hotdogs or braai meat, Nik Naks and Esprit (remember those?!) for mom and dad, towels, bat and ball, frisbee and beach chairs for what seemed like miles at the time to find the perfect spot. If we weren’t stopping at a spot with a designated braai, we’d also lug our skottelbraai with and my dad would fry thick rounds of potato chips for lunch.

I remember my mom applying and reapplying sunblock to our sandy bodies (this often meant exfoliation of grand proportions) and the sun drying the salt water on our skin. I remember collecting seashells along the shoreline and herding hermit crabs to live in our sand castles. I remember how some beaches had thundering surf and we weren’t allowed to swim deeper than our knees for fear of dangerous riptides. I remember how the sand would sting my legs if it got windy and how the wind would fight me for my white styrofoam boogie board – and how I held on for dear life! I remember my brother riding his skimmer board where the waves washed up onto the shore and how I was always too scared to jump on and ride too. I remember brightly coloured zinc ointment on our cheeks and carefully sitting on our towels to stop the car seats getting soaked on the trip home. I remember how happy I felt in those times and the memories always make me smile…

I hope to create a similar childhood for our child when we (eventually) have one, K already knows that he’ll have to kick his beach-going skills into gear! He’s never been one for the beach; he grew up in Johannesburg and is a former flaming redhead with sun-sensitive skin, but we’ll work on the timing, logistics and paraphernalia we’ll need to make sure he and our kiddo are comfortable and sun-safe – I’m so excited at the thought of it!


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