June 10, 2021

Turn Up the Heat

By Glenn

I love heat. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that summer is my favorite season. I’m always happy to see winter far behind us.

Growing up summer always meant sun, water and travel.   Dad’s government job offered us many opportunities beyond a secure paycheck and good healthcare. His vacation was always a family vacation. 

Sunrise over water

When we were in the United States, Mom and Dad would pack up the car and drive us to Louisiana. Both of their parents lived outside of New Orleans about an hour from each other.

Summer was a time to be outside and rekindle friendships with my cousins.   There was no Facetime or Facebook.  We simply had time together in the summer and holidays.

When we lived in Germany, Mom and Dad always made time and saved money for us to take a Grand Tour.   Our trips were inexpensive, but they weren’t cheap. 

More often than not, we would picnic on the side of the road. The big challenge was keeping the sandwich container on the top of the Coleman ice chest from dropping into the ice. Nothing is worse than a soggy sandwich.

Accommodations were also spartan. Sometimes Dad would pack the heavy canvas tent, and we would find a wonderful campground. When that option was not available, they always found an small guest house or hotel.

Traveling this way made our vacations pack a punch. We saw Paris, Rome and Venice.  We learned about the castles, churches and the Beaches of Normandy.

Jackie and I tried to offer our boys the same treasures.  We camped from East Texas to the Grand Canyon.  We spent time with grandparents and cousins.  We’ve saved money for big trips to Germany, France and Italy. 

This summer we had a unexpected surprise.  Christopher’s Army station put him in South Carolina, while Alexandre’s Air Force assignment ordered him to Florida.   We packed up the car and drove to see them and their families.

Jackie, always the planner, found us an affordable beach house in Florida.   Our sons and their wives joined us as well as our granddaughter and Jackie’s mother. We had four generations living under one roof for a week.  

I love the summer heat.  It is liberating and refreshing.  Summer is a time to see our beautiful country and the world.  Most of all, summer is a time to make memories.

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