Remembering the Best of Summer Vacation
As far as winters go, this past one wasn’t terrible in terms of snow and ice, but boy was it cold! My fingers have only just started to warm up after that polar vortex in February. Things got so cold during that cold snap that 17 degrees felt warm to me! Cabin fever set in strong this year, and I’m more than ready to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. When I was a kid, we spent almost all of our time outdoors during the summer. I was fortunate to have some close friends who lived nearby, as well as a few cousins who were the same ages and my brothers and I. We didn’t have video games or screens to distract us. Right when the days started to warm up during the spring, even when we still had school, we would be running around outside until it was time to do homework. In the summertime, we were outside as soon as we finished breakfast. We’d come home for lunch and be back out until it was time for dinner. When the days were long, we’d go outside after dinner, too, until the sun set and the streetlamps came on. We spent hours playing sports or getting into who knows what “In the summertime, we were outside as soon as we finished breakfast.”
kind of trouble. Back then, we didn’t use any sort of sunscreen. We’d burn pretty bad in the first couple of days, but then your skin would peel, you’d get a tan, and you were fine for the rest of the summer. That said, my brothers have had cancerous skin lesions in their older years, so I don’t recommend anyone follow our skin care strategy this summer. A lot of what we did outside revolved around playing sports like baseball or basketball, but there were days when the weather was too bad to be outside. When that happened, we’d high- tail it over to someone else’s house and get a game of Monopoly going. Truth be told, I don’t think we ever finished a Monopoly game. We’d play a lot of card games too, and Tripoley was our favorite. We had great fun, but as soon as the weather cleared up, you can bet the game was forgotten and we were back outside.
These days, my summers aren’t quite as rambunctious as they were in my youth, but I still like to spend my days outside when I can. I can’t run the bases anymore, but I enjoy being outside playing golf. I’ve had a few games this year that went really well. I’ve also pulled my bike out and enjoyed some great rides. After a long winter cooped up inside, it’s great to be able to stretch and enjoy some sunshine. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life; being outside in the fresh air and bright sun always makes me feel better. This summer, I encourage you to take a page from your childhood and spend a little more time playing outside. –Dr. Stuckey
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