Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

What Makes Summer?


The original logo for Six Flags over Texas.

The original logo for Six Flags over Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

YAY! The weekend is here!

Funny how the prospect of “weekend” changes. As a kid looking toward a weekend, I saw two empty days with nothing much to do except play and go to church.

As an adult, it’s a chance to spend time with my honey and catch up on chores we can’t get done during the workweek.

When I was a kid, summers seemed like long, long weekends. Nothing much to do except play and swim and go to church. And church camp. As an adult, it’s a time with more chores to catch up on the weekends.

I was talking to one of my nieces yesterday and she said, “I haven’t had any summer yet. Not really.”

That stopped me. Here it is, the end of June and we’ve had plenty of hot, hot, hot (triple degree heat) weather. Lots of sweat. Tons of sunshine. She couldn’t mean summer temps.

And she’s been on at least two fun trips so far–Six Flags over Texas and canoing down the Illinois River.

She’s been swimming, to basketball camp and cheering. What more could a girl want?

I had to find out. “What makes summer really summer?” I asked.

“Getting to sleep in. It’s not really summer unless you get to sleep in.”


Maybe that’s a good way to look at it. If she can just sleep in, she can have summertime all year round. 😛

Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

6 thoughts on “What Makes Summer?

  1. The bad thing about teenagers sleeping in too long is they never want to go to bed at night. This can be very disruptive to a household where the adults do have things that have to be done during summer days. Finding something for them to do that can actually benefit someone and wear them out can be another job for a parent. The Fisher children were usually up around 8:00 a.m. Reading what you write about the Spess children’s activities mirrors our family a lot. We also liked climbing a great tree for climbing that was in our front yard. Dad, being a great welder made a swing set every kid should have. He made it of large steel pipe welded together. Height was like 13 feet tall. We had to climb the bars several feet to get hold of the cross bars. Mother called Marilyn and I monkeys when she’d watch the tricks we learned to do on those bars. And the swings on steel chains with wooden seats could soar to great heights. I wish I had it in my yard under these huge trees in Shell Creek West. I would still be out there acting like a Fisher kid.

    • What a great swingset, Bea! Childhood memories are the best, aren’t they?
      I’d love to be able to weld. Did your dad teach any of you girls to weld or is your brother the only one who inherited that talent?

      • No, none of us girls ever showed an interest in it. It was kind of a scary sight, Dad in heavy sleeved shirt with that huge helmet on to protect the eyes. We were told not to look directly at the sparkling flame as it could burn our eyes. He did most of his welding out on pipelines, etc. Sure he did work for Spess Drilling Co. I don’t know if he taught Eldin to weld or not. I know he taught him how to fix his own cars. He thought Dad being a mechanic with his big garage would do that for him…I’m sure he’s happy about that now……It’s great Larry knows how!…

        • Your dad worked for Spess Drilling? I didn’t know that.
          I’m sure I was more of a tomboy than you girls were. I loved going to work with dad and following in his footsteps. Housework, cooking and kids . . . not so much. 🙂

  2. Summer for me meant not having to do anything we didn’t have to do (besides going to bed) (though we rarely slept in because there was too much to do outside). We had zero planned activities other than the occasional church picnic and the 4th of July, and I loved it.

    I know kids who are in some kind of class, camp or activity every single week of the summer, and I wonder how they stand it. That was our time to just be lazy and adventurous and be kids.

    • We went to church 3 times a week, church camp for a week and I liked to play softball. But if I played, I signed myself up and got myself to practices, usually on my bike.
      I had one friend who lived a few miles out of town who rode her horse to a lot of our practices. Where there’s a will . . . 🙂
      I think kids are too scheduled these days, especially when they’re small.

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