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The Sounds of Summer

by Marie
(Georgia, US)

Nothing says summer to me like the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Every July since before I was born, my extended family spent a week packed in to an old cape cod-style house, right on the beach. Three generations of us didn’t waste a moment during that precious week together. When we weren’t in the water swimming, kayaking or boogie boarding, we were having sandcastle contests, scavenger hunts, and epic Frisbee games. There were hours every day when all of us would be in the water at the same time, jumping in the waves and laughing as the salty water splashed our reddened cheeks. Those memories will stay with me forever.

However, due to busy school schedules, we’ve recently had to change the time of year that we take our week at the beach from 4th of July to Thanksgiving week. Gone are the warm summer nights with our toes in the sand, gazing in awe at the 4th of July fireworks. Instead we throw on our favorite football teams’ sweatshirts and engage in some family-friendly games of sand football, squeezed in-between all of the televised bowl games. A sit-down turkey dinner with all the trimmings has replaced the slightly burnt hotdogs and sandy hamburgers. Marathon games of Monopoly, fortified by warm, gooey piles of grandma’s chocolate chip cookies, have happily filled in for the surfing lessons. These memories will stay with me, too.

It’s a strange phenomenon, really. Even though the air is chillier, and there are a few more layers of clothing, it still feels like summer no matter what time of year we are at the beach. Maybe it’s because I associate being there with being on summer vacation. Perhaps the sounds of the waves reaching the sandy shore instantly make the air seem 20 degrees warmer. But I think there is more to it than that. I think that simply being together with all of my family warms the air and my heart.

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