Laura Haley-McNeil

7/9/17, Summer!

Hello, Everyone!

Now that we’ve passed the midsummer mark of Independence Day, the summer always seems to go by too fast. Do you feel that way, too? I recently emailed a friend and wished her a wonderful summer. She emailed back and said the summer was passing too quickly. Maybe that’s because we live in a cold state and have cool weather for nine months, sometimes ten months and warm weather for two-three months. We need more warm weather in Colorado.

I was young when my family lived in California, but even after school started, spending an afternoon at the beach was expected. The days were warm, the water was warm, the classrooms were hot. What better way to slide into the school year than to still spend some time at the beach? Back then, we lived near the beach so it wasn’t an inconvenience to spend an afternoon there. And the weekends seemed like summer with the warm weather and everyone in the city trying to stake out a piece of sand for an afternoon swim and picnic. I’m not sure if picnicking on the beach is legal anymore. California has so many laws, I sometimes think that everything is illegal.

Because my family was large, my parents worked hard to make sure we had plenty of activities. We took tennis lessons, which did nothing for me. Games that involve balls were never my favorite. We also learned to swim and would spend afternoons at the neighborhood pool. I loved the water. Dad had bought a small motor and we’d go to a nearby lake where he’d rent a metal boat, attach the motor to the boat, pile all of us in the boat, don’t ask me how, but we were kids so that’s probably why we fit, and then drive us to the other side of the lake where we’d eat a picnic my mother had packed. We’d spend the entire day swimming in the lake. Yes, we’d encounter of few creatures, like snakes, but nothing bad happened. We always had fun.

Somewhere along the way, Dad bought some water skis and tow ropes. I’m not sure if he already knew how to ski, but he spent a summer teaching us how to waterski. Once we learned how to ski on two skis, we graduated to one ski. When we were older, Dad bought a real motor boat and we’d spend every weekend at the lake. With all the practice we had, I should have been a trick skier, but getting up and crossing the wake was the extent of my expertise. Sometimes I’d bring friends with me and sometimes a boyfriend. Unfortunately, I didn’t marry a water skier, so after I married a rarely went to the lake with my family. After my parents decided they were too old to ski anymore, one of my sisters bought a boat and sometimes I’d go with them. They would ski during the week, so I’d take off work early and drive to the lake and meet them there. Then my sister married and moved away and I forgot about waterskiing. Until, one summer I visited a sister who lives in the South. She and her husband rented a motorboat and skis and took me to a lake that was bigger than anything we have in Colorado and warmer. Colorado lakes are filled with spring runoff from the snowmelt and are very cool. We boated around the lake and then I decided I wanted to ski. I tried to get up on one ski, but the skis were long and I’m very short, so it was hard for me to get up and stay up. I came close, but hanging onto the rope gets tiring, especially since I hadn’t done that in a while. So I tried two skis. I actually made it up on two skis and skied a short distance. Thankfully, my sister had the wherewithal to videotape my success before and I fell backward into the lake. By that time I was too tired to try it again. My sister skied next and she did great. It was a fun day and brought back a lot of memories. My parents worked hard to make sure we had wonderful experiences. For that I am deeply grateful.

I hope your summer is amazing and warm and that you’re spending it doing what you love, whether it’s something active like tennis or water skiing or just plopping down on the beach or in your lawn chair and pulling out a book and getting lost in the pages. Have a wonderful summer, Everyone!