The long days of summer are here.
As a kid, that meant running on hot sidewalks through a suburban Southern California neighborhood. It also meant vacations to Oklahoma, walking the endless gravel road to a little store on a lost highway.
Scrapping with siblings over which cousins were going to the swimming hole with who.
Family gathered at the old farmhouse where hot biscuits were smothered with Aunt Willie's sausage gravy sat on the large wooden table filled with breakfast and surrounded by wide eyed city kids.
At dusk we gathered on the wooden porch as spots of tiny green lights appeared in the yard.
We filled jars with fireflies and set them free as the older cousins lit their fireworks.
Wall to wall sleeping bags covered the upstairs.
Children drifted off to sleep hearing the blasts of laughter from voices of reconnecting aunts and uncles.
Their game involved dominoes dotted with stories of growing up during the depression.
At that farm I learned to milk cows, dig potatoes and that I was loved unconditionally by my family.
I don't know if it's the light shifting late on the trees, the patchwork lawn at the half shell or if it's all the activities that brings our community together but I still love summer.
The familiar faces in every corner of town as familiar activities bring us together.
Our children will build their summer memories on swimming, Stewart Park fireworks, art festivals, the fair, and my favorite, Graffiti Weekend.
Raising our daughters in Douglas County, they have grown up believing that Graffiti Weekend is a holiday.
Over the past several years we've had a beautiful '58 Chevy we named Betty Lou.
There is much joy in meeting other car enthusiasts as well as cruising down Jackson for the Saturday night cruise.
We pick up friends and family with children waiting anxiously on the curb. They climb in with eyes wide and grateful to be a part of something so fun.
Of course, the Retirement and Rest Home Tour where folks cruise in groups to facilities throughout Roseburg has residents on hand with misty-eyed greetings as the cars pull into the driveway.
It takes them back to their own teenage summers or driving children to school in a simpler time.
It takes us all back to summers of warmth and friendship and connection.
What are your favorite summer memories?
What are on your must do list for a Douglas County summer?
they have grown up believing that Graffiti Weekend is a holiday.