Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Celebrate Summer!

Featured in the July 26th Edition of Terry Thornton's "Harvest from the Blog Garden" at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi.

Photobucket It's been a while since I've mentioned my journaling prompts over at my other blog, AnceStories2: Stories of Me for My Descendants. I've been posting prompts fairly regularly this summer, but have not been writing my responses. Last week's topic was "Summer," and this is something I've been wanting to write about for some time.

*How do you feel about summer? Is it a favorite season, or do you prefer another?
Summer is my second-favorite season, following fall.

*What are your favorite summer activities? Do you enjoy being outside, or would you rather curl up with your air conditioner? I am not a fan of the heat...remember, I grew up in Alaska! So I tend to stay indoors a lot, or go out in the evening (the morning tends to aggravate my seasonal allergies). I do enjoy going out to the lakes round about here (Spokane: Near Nature, Near Perfect) because you get the glorious sunshine with a nice breeze and can jump in the water to cool off when you get too hot. When I was younger and worked at a summer camp, I loved to water ski. The last summer I skiied (22 years ago...yikes!) I learned to slalom, which was absolutely awesome!

*Do you have a favorite summertime sport to participate in or watch? Occasionally, we will go to an Indians game. Our family is really not into sports. I do like watching all aspects of the Summer Olympics, and was disappointed that CJ Nuess did not make the Olympic swim team (his mother, a 1968 Olympian, is my supervisor).

*What is your typical summer outfit? I tend to wear sleeveless tops (dressy or casual, dpending on the setting) and capris or longer shorts. I love going barefoot and wear flip-flops if I have to wear shoes.

*Do you take a summer vacation? Where do you normally go, and what kinds of activities do you do there? We have two or three places we usually visit during the summer. The first is Deer Lake just west of here in Lincoln County, Washington, in the scabland country. It's desolate, semi-arid, and very beautiful in its unique way (here's an example). We tent camp with my children's father's family, usually for the weekend, although they tend to stay longer. It generally gets to 100*+ during the day and down into the 40s at night! There are rattlesnakes, cattle, and coyotes. It's like living in the Wild West! We have to tote in water and the only facilities are an outhouse. But it's a Midkiff tradition going back to when my children's paternal grandfather was a boy. I missed it this last weekend, because of genealogy computer classes and some commitments on my side of the family.

The second place we go to is a resort at one of the Little Pend Oreille (pond duh RAY) Lakes up north in Stevens County. We rent a cabin and stay for about a week, usually in mid to late summer. Often my children's uncle's family also vacations with us. We have lots of good times and memories of practical jokes, water fights, and late night games of Balderdash! See pix here.

My kids usually our kids go to Silverwood for the day with their youth group. We've gone as chaperones for school events and a couple of times my children's father's employer had company picnics there. Since they've added the waterpark, it's a lot more fun than just the great rides!

*What is your favorite summer holiday, and why? I love the Fourth because we get to spend time with my parents at their beautiful log cabin up north. They always have a barbeque and extended family, plus half their church (it seems!) are invited. Then we come back to Spokane and watch the city fireworks show from the campus of Gonzaga University.

*What kinds of summer foods or drinks do you enjoy? I love fresh berries and peaches, potato and green salads, and cold soft drinks. I also enjoy the occasional beer on a hot weekend evening on the front porch, just enjoying the quiet evening or sometimes visiting with neighbors.

*Share some favorite memories of summer vacation from when you were a child. We didn't go anywhere on a summer vacation because we lived in Alaska far from family. We practically lived in one of the nation's largest national forest, so there wasn't much of a point in going camping, with wildlife literally all around us! The closest thing to a summer vacation we had was the trip we took after my parents sold their house in Alaska. They put everything in storage, kenneled our farm animals, and bought a camper and truck. We took a ferry from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska to Prince Rupert, British Columbia and drove down the coast of BC, Washington and Oregon, then came up the east side of Oregon and Washington. All the while we camped at campgrounds and looked for real estate. After finding their present home near Colville, Washington, we drove back to Michigan to visit family while the former homeowners moved out. On the way back to Washington, we stopped at DeSmet, South Dakota, the setting of many of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books. That was a memorable and fun summer!

*What is your least favorite thing about summer? Heat.

*Do you enjoy summer storms? I love them! When I was first married, I lived out on the West Plains and used to go out on our deck and watch the lightning shows. I've never been afraid of them.

*What is the hottest summer temperature you remember experiencing? 116* in the shade at Deer Lake, 2005, I think. Ugh!

*Do you have a memory of a cool or cold summer? Has it snowed on the Fourth of July in your area? It was awfully cool this year for a while. We had snow the morning of June 9th (yes, I realize it wasn't officially summer yet). It made up for it by having 100* temps two weeks later, very unusual for June. It usually rains here from just after Memorial Day to right around the Fourth, then gradually heats up to a sizzling hot August.

*What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the summer? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during summer? We have nine family birthdays, an anniversary (not mine), Father's Day, and graduations occurring in June. I'm about to force all the young married couples in the families to sign contracts agreeing that they will not give birth to any more children in June! I'm always broke then, and it's a good thing it comes halfway between Christmases!

*What summertime hobbies do you pursue? If you are a genealogist, do you travel to ancestral locations during this season? I have more time to devote to blogging, research, and lookups during the summer. If I get a chance to travel and I come anywhere within 100 miles of my children's paternal ancestors' cemeteries, I try to swing by. All of my ancestral locations are back east (except for one cemetery in the Willamette Valley).

*Do you have any summertime photos of your ancestors? Check out the 49th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy ("Swimsuit Edition") for great stories and photos of genealogy bloggers' ancestors in swimsuits and summertime wear. I participated in that carnival and my entry is here.
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