Summer days. Summer nights.
Memories of summer days are precious. Especially to Minnesotans — our summer’s tend to be short – blame the weather.
Summer means many things to many different people. For me, I get emotional about it – not psycho or bawl-my-eyes-out emotional – just reflective. Pictures capture but a fraction of what summer truly means to me. Framed and in photo books, pictures from summers at camp, at Grandma’s, at the park, at the beach, at the lake, at Valleyfair, at the State Fair, at cousin’s houses, at friends’ houses, at my house – all are held in a special place in my heart – sandwiched between Minnesota Christmases and Minnesota State Hockey Tournaments.
Stereotypical summer events? Yes. Sentimental about summer? Yes.
If you’ve been here in the summer – you get it. You know that Minnesota summers are different, magical even. The lakes. The camps. The resorts. The golf. The boating. The cabins. The Fair. All are worthy of mentioning. And all are special to me – all have some meaning – big or small.
Specialist of all is what is unseen – what is unlabeled – what marks all of us grown-up Minnesota kids.
The unseen bike rides on Minnesota roads – heavily traveled and never paved.
The unseen boat rides on Minnesota lakes – tourist lakes and private watering holes.
The unseen parades in Minnesota towns – big towns and little towns.
The unseen chalk drawings on Minnesota sidewalks – elaborate and simple.
The unseen explorations in Minnesota woods – city woods and country woods.
The unseen dining at Minnesota restaurants – five star and five dollar.
The unseen car pools of Minnesota moms – to hockey practice and horse camp.
The unseen camping trips to Minnesota destinations – Voyagers and Boundary (BWCA).
The unseen lemonade stands in Minnesota neighborhoods – pink and lemon.
The unseen birthday parties at Minnesota homes – elaborate and simple.
The unseen moments in Minnesota backyards – graduation open houses and bonfires.
The unseen friendships of Minnesota kids – at the lake, at the beach, at the pool and the park, at a camp, at a bonfire, at a swing set.
Summing up summer may be simple for some – well, those non-Minnesota summer kids.
Summing up summer for a Minnesota kid? Words and pictures do not do it justice – no matter how hard we try to explain it, re-create it in photos, and show you – it can only be experienced from the eyes of a child – a child growing up in Minnesota.