10 July 2011

Summer Memories: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

Summer:  What was summer like where and when you grew up?  Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

I have spent my whole life living in Michigan.  Michigan's four season climate is wonderful.  Summer weather can be cool, rainy, hot, or humid.  We get it all, except for snow!  We get enough of that during the winter.

As a child I don't remember too many really hot days.  The normal temperature for Michigan in the summer is in the 80's.  I love it when we get 70 degree days.  My family usually headed to the beach on Lake Huron when it was hot.  It could be hot in town, but when you hit the hill toward the lake a nice cool breeze hit you.  Time at the beach was spent sun bathing, floating, or swimming.  One of the neat things my sister, Linda, and I would do would be to find this cool rock in the lake.  It had steps on it.  Some years the water level was too high and we couldn't find it.

A few of the ribbons won during the summer of 1968
1st Place Swimming-Holding my breath underwater the longest!
4th Place in a Tennis Tournament

I remember being busy in the summer after we moved to Harbor Beach.  Harbor Beach offered summer recreation classes and I took a few of those.  During the summer of 1968, I took swimming, archery and tennis.  Swimming took place in Lake Huron.  The water could be pretty cool during some of those morning classes.  Classes weren't cancelled, though.  I remember swimming in rain one morning.  Archery and Tennis were held kitty-corner from our house at the old school playground.  I just jumped across the creek and I was there. 

When I think of summertime food I think of locally grown fruits and vegetables.  There is nothing like butter dripping from fresh corn on the cob, or the luscious taste of fresh tomatoes, sliced with a little salt.  Sliced cucumbers in vinegar, or a sour cream dressing are delicious as well.  Michigan is know for its' fruit crops, too.  Strawberries, sweet and black cherries and blueberries are in abundance during the summer in Michigan.  All of these fruits make delicious pies or desserts!

I remember a trip home after going to the Fredricks family reunion one year.  It was my mom, sister Linda and I.  My mom had bought a lug of black cherries, one of my favorites.  We were allowed to eat them on the way home.  We spit the pits in a bucket.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven. 

I still enjoy the various home grown fresh fruits and vegetables today.  Now that I live in a city I have to visit the Farmer's Market.  Blueberries are gotten at LeDuc's blueberry farm in Paw Paw, Michigan.  Just this week I bought 25 pounds!  I freeze them to have all winter long.

Now, that my mouth is watering, I think I will go have a bowl of fresh Michigan blueberries.  There is nothing better.


  1. I really miss summers in Michigan since we moved to Atlanta a few years ago. My husband and I were just talking about the cherries we used to get in abundance and the strawberries and don't even mention the corn right out of the garden. And the lake. sigh. thanks for bringing back the memories!

  2. Michigan in the summer is the best, but Atlanta is a pretty nice city too. Black cherries are in season now. Yum!