Introduction by Julie.
Sometimes the elements of summer we love most are those traditions, big and small, that remind us of the things that only come with this special season.
On our car ride to camp yesterday, my son asked about a sound he heard outside. As we paused to listen, I heard the faint but familiar buzz that signifies a hot summer day.
I was immediately brought back to the long, hot summers of my childhood. Of the days when all I had was time. Days when I did a lot of wondering.
It’s not a specific memory, but rather a set of memories that occurred throughout the years we lived in our first family home. I remember looking out of my bedroom window. I remember noticing how, in the midst of a well developed Boston suburban neighborhood, our neighbors had a rare but incredibly fascinating yard filled with overgrown trees and bushes. I remember wondering what lived in that space. And I remember the haunting but intriguing sound of the cicada that buzzed loudly from that place.
I thought about what the cicadas looked like. I thought about why and how they made that haunting sound.
And, as I think about it, I can almost feel the heat wafting over me. The kind of heat that made sweat bead across my forehead. Heat that trapped us indoors. Heat that made popsicles melt too fast.
And I can feel the condensate on the plastic cup which held my favorite summer treat: lemonade with lots of ice.
Today, as I’m writing this, I’m drinking a glass of lemonade. And it just fits. The songs. The sounds. The heat. The incredibly long, quiet moments of thought. The slowed pace. Life on pause. It all comes back each time I hear those cicadas or drink a glass of lemonade (with lots of ice).
Each year, each season of life, our traditions change. Today, we invite you to celebrate the activities of summer that you look forward to each year. Family gatherings. Visits to the pool. Lemonade with ice. Whatever the tradition is, it matters. And this week we invite you to capture it with words and photos.
Thank you, Mandy, for bringing this memory back to mind. I can’t wait to capture it in my album!
Hi Everyone! I’m Mandy Elliott.
Every summer my husband and I look forward to a couple of fun traditions.
The first is spending an evening with family, enjoying time spent with our church at a park on the lake. At the end of the evening, we enjoy a fireworks display over the water that is held in celebration of our country.
Our second tradition comes a few weeks later, in July, when we meet up with friends to enjoy a summer concert and firework show at the end of a nine-day town festival.
Both traditions offer wonderful memories for us. And each year, as the weather warms, we eagerly anticipate their arrival.
My challenge for you this week is to document your summer traditions, big or small. Whether it’s an annual event, a family party, takeout at a favorite restaurant, or visiting your local ice cream shop, there are some things that are meant for summer.
This week, we invite you to document them.
What traditions do you keep?
What traditions are you beginning?
What small actions (like Julie’s story above) do you hold in celebration of past traditions?
A little technique I want to share is using hidden journaling. This is something I enjoy doing often… I love taking the time to write out and document specific memories along with a special photo.
For this project, I used a small, brown paper bag, punched holes in it and slipped my journaling inside. I then used a few Kellie Stamps in black ink for the exterior of the bag.
You too can add some fun twists to your album. Here’s a few ideas.
• Create hidden journaling by folding a 4×6 card in half or slip a 3×4 card behind another.
• Use a Fuse tool to layer two page protectors on top of each other
• Use Washi Tape to hold down the top of a photo that hides some hand written notes below
• Slide journaling inside an envelope, on a tag behind a photo or inside a folder
I can’t wait to see what you create! Have fun and be sure to document all those favorite summer traditions!
We would love to see the moments you capture. Use the hashtag #LittleSummerJOY when sharing so that we can all follow your story.
If you have questions about this week’s prompt, or want to share more of your moments, join us in the Lesson Five community!