Doug Creamer: Summer memories

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2024

By Doug Creamer

Have you looked at the calendar? We are almost halfway through June, which means we are almost halfway through another year. Where does the time go? Most students are now enjoying summer vacation. I always loved school letting out for the summer as a child and as a teacher. I enjoyed the freedom and being able to sleep in. In my current job, we get a nice break around the Fourth of July, but not the summer off.

As a little kid, summer meant swimming and golf lessons. I remember having fun camping out in the backyard. I also remember trips to see my aunts and uncle, and spending time with my grandparents. As I got a little older I went off to Boy Scout camp. I have lots of great memories of summer vacation.

As I got a little older, I started a lawn business. I never made what the guys make today, but I enjoyed what I did make. When I turned 16, I started working at gas stations. I worked weekends while I was in school, but basically worked full-time in the summer. Summer jobs included gas station attendant, waiter, hotel front desk clerk, and auto detailing at an auto action.

Summer always makes me think of the beach. I did most of my growing up living in Virginia Beach, but we rarely went down to the tourist area of the beach. We mostly went down to Nags Head, where my parents occasionally rented a house for a week. I have some great memories of family times down at the beach. My older sister life-guarded with the National Park Service and I had fun visiting her, too.

Summer also makes me think about gardening. It seems like my mother always had a garden with fresh veggies. BLTs were a summer staple at my house. There is nothing like picking a tomato and making a juicy sandwich. I’ve always loved fresh sweet corn. You can’t beat picking corn and eating it less than 30 minutes later. The garden also yielded beans, cucumbers, and peppers, among other yummy treats. We didn’t grow watermelons, but we ate plenty of them in the summertime.

My mother would go strawberry picking in the early summer and she would make preserves. I am not sure which I liked better, the fresh strawberries or her preserves. We often saved one jar to enjoy at Christmas. One fun summer memory related to fruit came after a great day at the beach. Dad was driving home and we saw a fruit stand. He pulled over and we bought a basket of freshly picked peaches. I had eaten plenty of canned peaches but never a fuzzy fresh one. “What is this fuzz?” I remember asking. “Just eat it.” Mom said. We all did and we had juice running down our chins all the way home.

There are so many great summer memories. Dad would shoot basketball with my brother and me late in the evening after supper. Summer nights with the windows open and fans blowing. Summers always seemed to feel carefree, although I am sure they weren’t. Reflecting and remembering the good times is part of the treasure of getting older.

It is good and important to remember our past, especially in a spiritual sense. We need to remember when we were baptized. We need to remind ourselves of the many times we prayed for specific things and God answered our prayers. We need to remember how the Lord stood with us through troubled times. We need to remind ourselves how the family of God was there for us when times were tough.

We need to remember our pastors who pray for us and with us. We should thank God for the messages they taught us and the way they led us. We need to reflect on church socials and the laughter and joy we shared. There are so many special holiday gatherings as a church family throughout the year. It is also good to remember how we have grown, changed, and matured in our Christian faith.

I want to encourage you to reflect on your walk with Christ and be thankful. He has been there for you, never giving up on you. It is good to remind yourself of the many victories you have experienced, especially when you are going through tough times. It is good to remember the power of prayer to change circumstances. It is good to be thankful for the family of God who surrounded you in tough times. Summer memories are great, but spiritual memories can be life-sustaining.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or

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