Achieve PT July 2018

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july 2018

The Real Beginning of Summer

or a lot of people, Memorial Day is the first real kickoff to summer, but to me, the season doesn’t really start in earnest until

The holiday always makes me think of summers from way back when I was a little kid, taking family vacations down to Myrtle Beach.

the Fourth of July. As a kid, we never got out of school in Massachusetts until at least the third week of June — and even later if we had a bunch of snow days — so I guess that late start stuck with me as I got older. And, in addition to it being the day that we celebrate our American independence, the Fourth also happens to be my older brother’s birthday. So there’s double the reason to get together with my siblings, my parents, and my own family, do a little barbecuing, and enjoy the incredible weather that’s finally rolled into town. When it’s not subzero temperatures with a nasty nor’easter bearing down on the city, you have to take every opportunity you can to get outside in the sunshine. Though I’m not sure I’d call our Fourth festivities anything special, it’s a fantastic time for everybody involved. We cook out during the warmer months as often as possible, breaking out the hot dogs, hamburgers, and other classics, and the Fourth is no different — other than the welcome addition of fireworks, of course. The holiday always makes me think of summers from way back when I was a little kid, taking family vacations down to Myrtle Beach. While I wasn’t exactly into all the sightseeing and touristy things we did along the drive, I always loved it once we got there. During the day, we’d tire ourselves out jumping waves along the massive beach and top it off in the afternoon with a heated round of mini-golf at a local course. As I grew up a little, the miniature course turned full-sized, and I found myself on the links with my brothers, my brother-in-law, and my dad. Though we don’t

head out there during the summer too often anymore, my sister still vacations down there a lot, and it remains in my memory a special place for my siblings and me. Over the past ten years or so, my youngest brother and I have created a new kind of tradition, bringing our two families up to Maine every late July and renting a house

right on the beach for a week. The instant you enter that new atmosphere, everything begins to slow down. You can totally unplug from the stresses of the everyday and, best of all, get a ton of time in with the most important people in your life. Even though I may not be able to take three months off during the summer like I did during the summer vacations of my childhood, it’s still one of my favorite times of the year. Between barbecues, like the one we throw every Fourth, and hanging out with my kids during those rare breaks, it’s tough not to enjoy these hot months once they finally show up.

–Bob Thomas


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