summer vacation

I was about ten years old when Granny invited me to spend two weeks of the summer with her. My brothers weren’t invited, nor my parents, just me. Given the throng of our cousins and large family that typically gathered at the South Texas ranch, to be there by myself and have Granny’s undivided attention was a real treat.

I’m sure we ate beans and tortillas every meal, I really don’t remember. But I would remember if it had been something different, as that’s the only meal Granny seemed to serve, period. And we all loved it. I especially loved the tortillas… big surprise. (more…)


Summer is here! All the Blue’s Clues are reruns and it it’s too darn hot for Mommy to drag herself off the couch and play with you outside. So as a healthy, active toddler you need to have options. Your parents may be planning a summer vacation for the family, but it will probably be filled with long rides in the car, pinchy-cheek family reunions and other things that are “good for you” and not any fun. What’s more fun is creating your very own playland, all from the comfort of your own bathroom. (more…)

“You’re going to pay me what?!” I was upset my Dad was going to pay me, his own daughter, the same wage as his hired hands. There were absolutely no jobs to be had in my small town that summer and I was left to my last resort – my Dad’s cotton farm. The only bright side was that I was off to camp the second half of the summer. Until then, it would be my sucker-for-a-best-friend, Casey, (how I convinced her to work too is still a mystery) and our enemies – the weeds. (more…)

All teenagers go through phases, and during the summer of 1988, I happened to be going through my no-flying phase; I refused to fly on airplanes because of a bad flight I had endured on a previous vacation.

Unfortunately, the timing of this phase could not have come at a worse time. That summer, my family decided to take a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida; it was to be our first “real” vacation that wasn’t centered on visiting relatives. (more…)

The infamous “What I did on my Summer Vacation Essay”, I’m not sure I was ever assigned that one. Suddenly I see myself in Junior English. I was 16, flat chested, boyfriendless, wanting desperately to have the whole fitting popular feeling behind me. And it almost was, but only almost because there I was sitting in my name brand jeans thought I probably spent all my birthday money on. I am also pretty sure that I woke up at least an hour before school started to get my hair just right. I am still clueless with what to do with makeup but that never stopped me then. I wish I had had enough sense to throw on those old comfy jeans. The ones with the holes in them ( not on purpose), a soft t-shirt and pulled my hair into a ponytail……but that wardrobe would have to wait until college. (more…)

No need for alarms that morning. Adrenaline sounded off like a bugle, calling my body to attention. The smell of freedom tickled my ten year old nose as if it were a fresh pot of coffee awakening my parents. That day kicked off a summer of playing outside with friends, riding bikes and running in sprinklers. It also marked the first summer I was allowed to stay home by myself. My mom arranged for me to play with friends all day and check in every hour with a family friend who lived in the neighborhood. (more…)