Ah, Summertime! Swimming, BBQs, Ice cream, family and friends. And did I mention Swimming??
I wanted to tell my dear readers about a very special place that I frequented that I hold very dear in my heart that was the center of as many summers as I can remember; it was called Terrace Lake. Just thinking about what it used to be makes me smile and sigh at the same time.
The Sigh is due to the fact that Terrace Lake as it once was no longer exists; it is now full of condos. No more monkey bars, or gorgeous shady trees, or picnic tables ready for lunches or dinners to cook on the Habachi grill.
Of course, the Lake itself is still there, being preserved. But the 25 foot high slide, the middle slide as I termed it, and the children's slide are no longer there.
But the MEMORIES, oh they remain embedded in my brain! From the hot black streets that stung the bottoms of my feet since I didn't have my flip flops on coming from the beach after a long, fun swim with friends to the warm metal of the monkey bars I sat on as I chatted with my companions.
I can still see my Dad putting chicken on the grill, trying not to burn it on the outside while cooking it thoroughly on the inside. YUM! Then there were the homemade batches of macaroni salad and potato salad Mom would make as well as the Tupperware containers in orange and green with the middles you would press to the get the air out, full of potato chips and pretzels.
And of course Mom would put down the checkered table cloth with the metal brackets so it wouldn't fly off in the wind.
We always took the same picnic area toward the back of the Lake grounds where there was less foot traffic. Dad would bring his folding chair and sit to read the newspaper he brought.
Once our place was set up for the day, we'd head to the beach, where Mom turned on her Oldies station on her portable radio, as she sat in the shade, crocheting her latest project to keep her hands busy, sitting in her beach chair close to the sandy ground.
My favorite activity at Terrace Lake was the swimming, of course. It was always fun to dive under water and stand on my hands while plugging my nose to keep the water out.
Then there was the times Dad would teach me how to dive off the diving board, keeping my feet together, which I tried to do so many times...and he would applaud my efforts.
Once the swimming was done for the day and dinner arrived, I'd pull out my activity bag full of books to read, or my art notebook filled with paper and images to draw. Sometimes I'd bring my recorder and play music.
On Saturdays, when our friends came too, we'd play fun card games till the sun went down and enjoy lots of laughter and suspense, with a game called Clothespins. Keep an eye on those cards to get four in a row, but if you don't grab a clothes pin after the first person does, you might be left without one! Yikes, don't get your fingers smashed in the attempt! Ha!
Oh yes, in the good ole summertime, when fireflies come out to play, when the Sunday School Picnic comes to town with those wonderful foods at the vendors where you have to buy tickets to get what you want.
And the pavilion where we hung out when a thunder storm arrived but we didn't want to leave...we'd just wait til it blew over...
Terrace Lake was my summer time gift to play and face my fears (that high slide!) and have fun with friends and make awesome memories buried in my heart. And speaking of hearts, I remember bringing my hubby when he was still my boyfriend to the Lake for dinner after he worked all day.
Yes, my memories stretch many years of fun, food, friends, family, and a far reaching love for my man that continues 26 years later.
Thanks, Terrace Lake, for everything (and for the parents who paid for my membership!). It's been real and you'll always have a special place in my heart. (Sniff.)
Detail the atmospheric loves of your summer haven, whether at home or in another location bringing yourself back in time to sweet summer memories. What stands out the most to you? What pleasures did you find there? Honor your preferences by detailing what you loved the most.
Art Journal prompt:
Dedicate a spread to your summer haven, using color, text and image in whatever form pleases you that captures the essence of the place, even if it's just in your mind. Enjoy the visceral feeling you may experience as you attempt to capture that sense of safety and pleasure a haven can bring.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header Graphic by Dawn Herring Collection
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.