A Summertime Memory

A Summertime Memory

He was the last passenger to board the fully booked flight, yet, still lucky enough to get a window seat. My grandson, Chase, at nine years of age, was flying all by himself from San Diego, California, to Denver, Colorado, to visit Ron and I.

How brave!

I could hardly tie my shoes at nine years old! In fact, I can’t recall anything at nine. I remember a few things at ten, but nine? A total blank.

I needed to think carefully about what we could do for a memorable week’s vacation. I really didn’t want to drive for hours in the car to get to an amusement park or travel on a long twisting road through the Rocky Mountains. I concluded we would find enough variety of activities locally.

Since we have over 126 miles of bike trails in our little college city, I decided that biking would be a fun and healthy activity to fill our cool summer mornings. We found a good deal on a used bike for Chase; $50. It’s painted a pretty florescent turquoise with lime-green tire rims. Quite spiffy!

One morning we took off down the trail for what became a four-hour bike ride. We stopped frequently along the way. We threw small stones into the creek; Chase always threw further. We built a fort with dead tree branches but we didn’t crawl under because there were bugs lurking underneath. Yuk! Two found lady-bugs brought us luck. A tiny frog, the size of a thumbnail amused us for awhile until Chase released him into a water puddle. The mini-frog quickly took refuge on a green leaf as we watched him float gently away down the creek. We build rock towers where a large bed of rocks laid along the water’s edge. Chase got his tower up to nine rocks, mine only held eight, then tumbled over. A too-hot sun and a bit of hunger induced us back home. Despite legs decorated with mosquito bites, it was a good bike ride.

Two summer blockbuster movies helped cooled us off from the afternoon heat. We visited a video arcade where Chase scored up enough ticket points to win a neon orange stuffed toy tiger, whose name was christened, “Tiger”, so apropos. An afternoon thunderstorm kept us inside playing with a toddler cousin. And an authentic English Afternoon Tea filled our tummies with scones, tea sandwiches, and hot Earl Grey Tea.

Silly faces in the photo booth

We watched old re-runs of the Twilight Zone series in the evenings eating bowls and bowls of popcorn. Chase liked the episode named, “To Serve Man”. The “friendly” aliens convince the earth’s people to board their spaceships, only to secretly fattened the passengers for good alien meals after take-off. “Eww, gross!” he said.

During the week’s vacation we ate summer food: grilled hot dogs, barbeque beans, pizza, strawberry jello, cold chocolate milk, and two trips to Dairy Queen for dipped ice cream cones.

Yeah, a pretty simple week of everyday activities but so much more fun when sharing them together. I realize that some of my readers won’t relate to this post. That’s okay. I really wrote it so that, unlike me, Chase will have at least one week of memories in his ninth year of life.


As I was packing his suitcase this morning, he said, “I had a really great time, Grandma!”

“We did too, honey”. But I was also thinking, “bittersweet”; somewhat like the lemonade that kids sell at their stands in the summertime.

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