As we put the Memorial Day weekend behind us and kick off the summer of 2017, my mind flashes back to some of the greatest summer memories I’ve had during my lifetime! Even now at the tender young age of 55, one of the first summer memories that comes to mind is visiting my grandparents as a child on the Wye River in Queen Anne’s County in Maryland. My grandfather was a real outdoorsman and taught me how to fish, crab, and shoot guns among other things. During the summer of 1968 I was spending two weeks with my grandparents, and on this particular morning my grandfather walked into my bedroom at about 5 a.m., gently shook me, and asked if I wanted to go crabbing with him…”you bet” I said. So we had breakfast, loaded our gear on to the boat, and away we went! My grandfather used 1000 foot Trot line with pieces of eel about every 10 feet.
At 7 years old I remember two things, it was gross, and it stunk. Well after we finished putting the line out, it was time to catch crabs. So we looped around, put the trot line over the roller, and slowly began dipping crabs one by one, sometimes doubles, out of the Wye River. After about an hour, we had filled 2 bushels of crabs, and they were beginning to overflow and run around the floor of the boat. “Watch out” my grandfather said, if one of those guys get a hold of your toes, you’ll know it.
My grandparents were having a crab feast at their house later that afternoon, and about 90 minutes into our adventure, my grandfather decided that we had enough crabs to feed everyone, so we took our bounty back to the house, fired up the steamer, and ate steamed crabs until I thought I was going to pop. That same afternoon, he introduced me to oysters. After much convincing by my grandfather and my father, I decided to try one, I made the mistake of treating it like it was a piece of bubblegum. Haven’t liked oysters ever since.
My grandfather has long since passed, but that memory is as fresh today as it was almost 50 years ago. That was just one summer memory of course, there have been thousands more since then… trips to the beach and the mountains with my parents, Disney World with my kids, amusement parks, fishing, baseball games, cookouts and fireworks, and way too many things to mention here.
My boys are now 13, 10, and 7, and growing up way too quickly. We’ve created some great summer memories together during those years, and I hope, as a father, they are memories that will bring a smile to THEIR faces 50 years from now. I can’t wait to see what the summer of 2017 brings. Have a fun and safe summer everyone, and go make some memories.
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