A Woman's Voice

SUMMER MEMORIES — August 25, 2010 by Shirley Sarafinchan

Posted in MEMORY LANE by doloresayotte on August 25, 2010
Tags: , ,


Oh, what joy, summer vacation was finally here!  Final exams were over, report cards reviewed and filed away and now for some summer fun! 

When I think back to those summers of my youth I have many fond memories of playing with my brother and my sisters…hide-n-seek, cycling, marbles, walking to the swimming pools at Happyland Park, swinging, sliding in the park, paper cut out dolls and just lying around on a big quilt under a shady tree. 

And even more memories…ice cream cones at the Dairy Whip, Sunday drives to the country to visit with relatives who welcomed us into their homes for delicious lunches or dinners and the fantastic drumsticks Dad would buy for us when out for an evening car ride. What a treat! 

There was always time for fun but then there was the summer work.  Mom and Dad had a fairly large garden and as May planting turned to June weeding and early treats of young lettuce, green onions and radishes, July brought more work.  Peas and beans were ready for picking and the baby carrots were so delicious when plucked from the fresh soil and devoured on the spot.  The taste of these fresh vegetables made all the weeding, watering and picking worthwhile and the aroma as they were boiled or baked for “supper” was tantalizing. 

We all loved these garden delicacies but the small cucumbers were the best of all.  I recall lifting the huge green leaves in hopes of finding some cucumbers big enough to sample and once they appeared it seems they were endless. 

The summers were hot and humid with mosquitoes ready to bite you and gardening was exhausting at times but Mom had the biggest task ahead of her as she prepared to can for the winter. 

I will never forget the smell of the pickle brine with fresh dill and vinegar and the steaming jars as Mom prepared to can the baby cucumbers that had been picked for dill pickles and the red beets harvested for sweet beet pickles. 

Mom was always busy, but content, as she worked. When she counted the full jars after her day’s work, the expression on her face said it all. 

With a family of eight to feed Mom’s goal was always to have a good supply to last the winter and into the next spring.  Fruit was very expensive to purchase for canning so every summer as soon as the crab apples were ready for picking we would head over to the neighbours to harvest the fruit from their trees. They were all more than happy to help us pick as many as we could carry at one time and then return for more. Mom’s eyes would light up as soon as we walked through the door into the kitchen and the canning would begin once again. These canned crab apples were delicious and made for a wonderful dessert or snack with freshly baked peanut butter, oatmeal or ginger snap cookies!! 

As summer was coming to an end, the cold cellar filled with preserves for the long winter ahead, life was good and so very uncomplicated…… 

Thanks Mom for loving us and for all your hard work and the memories………….

And thanks to you too,Shirley, for recalling such fond childhood memories.


8 Responses to 'SUMMER MEMORIES — August 25, 2010 by Shirley Sarafinchan'

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  1. clearbluewindow said,

    Shirley, it was wonderful to read about such happy childhood memories. Thank you so much for sharing as it has inspired me to take some time out and think about the happiest moments of my own growing years.

  2. Lorraine Gauthier said,

    I remember all of this so well!! Mom was so excited to prepare us for the long winter. The kitchen smelled delightful!! I also remember sitting on a blanket or quilt under a tree in a park that we rarely see today.It was so sweet and simple, taking off your shoes and feeling the grass in your toes!!! Oh how we have made life so busy and complicated today!!! Those were the days!!! Mom still makes me smile and I am so grateful to have her hugs each time I see her. Thanks so much Shirley for reminding us of those golden memories!! Love,Lorraine

  3. Gloria Korell said,

    Shirley, I was just thinking about the gardens mom and dad used to have on Crestwood. I loved picking fresh veggies and cutting beans, etc. Dad use to show me the easiest and fastest ways to get the job done. He was so good at that. Mom was such a hard worker and I loved all the different smells in her kitchen. Thanks Shirley, for taking us back to “Summer Memories”. We all have many fond memories thanks to mom and dad. Love Gloria

  4. these are really nice memories.

  5. Desiray said,

    I enjoyed reading about your happy memories as a child I too had happy memories it’s so nice to go back and remember those days. At times when I think back I begin to laugh at all the funny things I did and said. I guess we still have that little child still inside of us.

  6. Shirley Sarafinchan said,

    Good Morning,

    Thank you very much for reading and enjoying “Summer Memories”! It is the hi-lite of my day when I receive comments on my poems and stories and I love to comment on your posts as well! Have a great day and enjoy what’s left of “summer”!


  7. Gil Frontain said,

    What a delightful treat to read your “Summer Memories” with childhood memories of your family garden and the fun and work of planting, weeding, harvesting and preserving the crop for your family table.
    I can close my eyes and smell the kitchen aromas of pickles and preserves cooking on the stove and see your busy Mom working and enjoying herself in the pots and pans and bottles.
    You write very well Shirley and I envy both your keen memory and your skill at putting it all in paper.
    Thanks for sharing these Summer Memories with all of us Blog Readers.

  8. hope_rising said,


    What amazing memories and so well written I felt l ike I was there.

    My summer memories are about bike rides to the beach, lazy lazy lazy (did I mention lazy?? ) afternoons, laying in the sun, in pursuit of the perfect tan lines, climbing trees with my siblings, rollerskating in the hot sun! My goodness! thanks for the story! It brought up so many sweet memories of my own!

    great post!

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