Saturday, July 12, 2008

Weekend Wind-Down - Those Summer Days

Oh, the lazy-daisy days of summer, and Superromance author Kay Stockham takes us right back with a bit of nostalgia this weekend....

I grew up in a small, northern Kentucky town in the 70s and 80s. What I remember most about my childhood, however, was how slow and b-o-r-i-n-g the days were. Nowhere to go (The nearest town was a half hour away and for several years the bridge to Ohio was out, which meant waiting for hours in line to take the ferry across the river to town.), nothing to do (no close neighbors to play with), just lots and lots of time on my hands and an older brother who would play with me ONLY if I let him run over my Barbie dolls with his GI Joe Jeep.

Sometimes I was desperate enough for a playmate that I sacrificed my poor, too-enhanced-to-stand-upright-in-reality Barbie—until I discovered books.

Those summer days were when I discovered my love of the written word. I didn’t have to worry my Barbie dolls would lose limbs or find themselves with a buzz cut, didn’t have to put up with sibling rivalry or older brother know-it-allness. In books I could go anywhere, do anything, be any character. As I’m sure you all already know, books set me free and filled my summer days with fun and excitement.

As I got older the end of the school year began to mean trips to the library once a week. My mother willingly took me, too, because without books to entertain me I think I drove her a little batty. But I can still remember walking in the library door. It squeaked when it opened and a little bell would chime softly. A musty smell always tickled my nose and made me sneeze two steps in. Back then, the only loud noise in the library was the punch of the time card telling everyone when to bring their books back. Back then, everyone followed the rules and spoke softly and there were no cell phones, no computers, to interrupt and disturb the peacefulness. I don’t think I ever left the building with less than ten books.

Remember those days?

Now you can’t go to the bathroom without hearing someone on the phone. (I’m sorry but some things shouldn’t be broadcast to whomever’s on the other end!) And the days just aren’t long enough to get everything done. We run here, run there, rush, rush, rush. And while I’m sure the majority of us can say we have a rich, wonderful life, I wonder how many of us would be honest enough to wish things would slow down, just a tad?

What do you miss about those summer days you had as a child? What did you do to pass the time? What are your special memories? I hope you’ll share them with us. I’ll chose a winner from those who post a response and they’ll receive a pair of beaded earrings handmade by myself, and a copy of my latest release, HIS SON’S TEACHER. So tell me, what’s your favorite slow, summer day memory?

Kay Stockham’s latest release, HIS SON’S TEACHER (Harlequin Superromance/on shelves now!), received 4 ½ stars and was chosen as RT’s Top Pick as a “novel every woman will love.” To read an excerpt, view the book trailer or enter Kay’s contest, please surf to


  1. I loved your post today, Kay. Simply wonderful.
    It reawakened exactly how I feel about the summers way back when I was young. They were endless days spent riding bikes around the neighborhood, swimming in the local pool, walking to the park and just relaxing and enjoying life. I rode my bike to the library and made a real excursion since this was an important and fun part of the day. I miss everything about those days. The quiet times spent in the backyard, and going in the evening for an ice cream cone to Elmhurst Dairy - 10 cents. Nostalgia and great times.

  2. Summer days are my favorite ever. You cannot recreate those days again and I think back to how they were compared to now. There were always kids out playing, kids of all ages playing marbles, skipping rope or riding their bicycles, and we rode all over the area until evening. We never thought about it and were constantly busy and having fun. My favorite memories were of going to the local festival in town which was held for a day each summer. The Bread and Honey Festival. They gave out free bread and honey to all, as much as you wanted, yummy, white and whole wheat bread, thick slices and we just wandered around on our own. Thanks for this trip down memory lane.

  3. I grew up in the olden days when there were no computers which now occupy kids 24/7, yes, there was t.v. but books were my love and still are. Either we were outside meeting friends and planning outings or I was home reading. My summer consisted of riding my bike to friend's houses and eating lunch there and then luonging in the garden in the aft with a good book. I long for those days which were fun, healthy and easy going.

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  5. Kay--too bad we didn't live near each other. I'd have given your Barbie a pass, but I loved the library like nothing else in my life.

    This is why I'm so glad we moved to our new neighborhood. My kids ride bikes, play street hockey, mess around at the pool, and best of all, they lie in the hammock! So nice!

    Very nice post. Thanks for sharing your memories!

  6. Good morning! Thanks so much for stopping by. I love the thought of a bread and honey festival! How wonderful. You made me hungry. LOL

    Aren't libraries wonderful? Yet more and more of them are suffering and closing due to lack of funding etc. It's so sad.

    Ellen, thanks for Barbie's pass! ;) Good to see a fellow Superromance author here. Thanks for posting. :)

    I'd love to have a hammock in my yard. One of my favorite times at the beach this year was snagging a hammock and watching the waves roll in. Ahhhh...


  7. Your blog today resounded with me. I am a summer person and I looked forward to summer with anticipation. The freedom of all that time to read, spending hours immersed within the pages of a novel gave me pleasure. In fact, whenever we went on vacation to a cute little vacation spot I would seek out the library there and become a regular there. Your description of summer revived my love for the past.

  8. Growing up in the south of Ireland meant we grabbed every ray of sunshine on offer and just went with the flow.
    End of June signalled end of school and so the street I grew up on filled quickly with kids on bikes and rollerskates, eager to feel the sun on their faces.
    My favourite way to spend those endless summer days was always in the field behind our house, doing nothing in particular. Just being, just enjoying. Going home only when I got hungry.
    That's what I miss most, that feeling of having no concept of anything more important than being a child and having fun.
    Now as a mother of four, the first sign of the sun and I'm stuffing the washing machine to overload, waiting frantically for the cycle to finish so I can transport it all to the clothes line out back. And while all that is going on I'm usually racing around the house cleaning windows and the likes because doesn't the sun just show up your dust like nobody's business?!!!
    I think maybe after reading your post I'm going to step back in time and if the sun does shine today....I'm going to sit outside and do absolutely nothing!!!


  9. Ellie, it's amazing, isn't it? They say time flies when you're having fun, but I think it goes at light speed when you're just trying to stay on the merry-go-round.

    Aideen, oh, how sweet! I hope the sun shines bright for you today. :) I'd love to see pictures of your Ireland. It's a place I've always wanted to visit. I have deep roots in Ireland and Scotland.


  10. Thank you Kay for this unique and simply enjoyable post. I can just picture summers past when I was roller skating down the street heedless of anything except for the feeling of the sun, the joy of being out and the endless feel of summer. The picnics that we had in the parks, and the free concerts on the old bandstands were special to me. This has been time travel for me.

  11. My mother wanted to send me to summer camp but I objected and stayed home. It didn't seem like a punishment to me. Every minute of the day was fun and interesting. I rode my bike to friends, rode over to the tennis courts and stayed there for hours, swam and then rode on the the public library where I loaded up my basket with novels for the next few days. Summers where I live are long, hot and still fun. Thanks for your memories which gave me much food for thought.

  12. Don't enter me in the contest since I have HIS SONS TEACHER. What I remember of the the summer was playing with my brothers in the backyard. We would play cowboys and Indians or baseball. (I was very much a tomboy.) We would sit on the porch and drink lemonade when we got tired and thirsty. Later in life when we moved to a street with a creek running behind the house we would "wade" in the creek. We also had a vacant lot across the street where we would play baseball, dodge ball and just chase each other around. Since the street was dead end we would skate in the street (remember the skates with the key you had to use to tighten them on your shoes? Or are you too young?) We didn't have a TV until I was a junior in HS so nothing kept us indoors during daylight hours. Of course when our parent deemed it too dark to see we were called into the house for dinner and quiet time which was when I would read voraciously. Those were the good old days when no one worried about their kids getting snatched off the street by some pervert.

  13. Hi, ladies! So glad you enjoyed the post. When I was a pre-teen, my parents put in a pool and I loved it! The only thing better than spending the summer reading, was spending it reading by the pool. So many books (and so many sunburns!:( )

    Thanks for stopping by,


  14. Ladies, it's been fun hanging out with you today. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    The winner of today's prize is...

    Aideen! Congrats, Aideen! I hope you enjoy. Please email me via my website at Just click contact.

    Thanks again!


  15. Playing on the swing in the local park. I used go get it almost horizontal -- my mother would have died if she'd seen me!

  16. I miss children being able to play outside without parents worrying about who's watching and what are their intentions. As kids we would go next door or gather the rest of the neighbourhood kids together, build forts or have races, the days were full, we'd be called home at lunch, then out into the street again with the rest of the crew, then when it started getting dark at night we'd go home tired but happy. Nowadays kids don't do this, parents are too scared, the world seems like it's got too busy/evil to let them be children anymore. Whatever happened to imagination? We didn't watch much tv, there were no computers, no mobile phones, we had to invent games etc. Oh no I'm sounding like my mum used to.. oh dear.