Vacation? What vacation?—Thoughts on summer vacation

schoolThe end of the school year and the start of the school year sandwich a little thing I like to refer to as “summer vacation.” As a kid, I looked forward to summer vacation all school-year long! School was boring for me, so sitting in a classroom for six to eight hours a day, five days a week, didn’t make much sense.

I learned things, sure, but most of what I needed to succeed in life, I honestly learned in kindergarten!

So when summer vacation came, I was excited! I would think of all the things I could do with my summer. I could go swimming and play outside and go to the fair and see fireworks. There was camping with my grandparents and visiting cousins and riding bicycle.

I also had to work hard in the summer because I grew up on a milking a cowdairy farm. There were always chores to do. Summer vacation was actually full of work because we had to pick the rocks out of the field so the equipment wouldn’t hit them and break down. We had to cut and bale hay for the cows. And even though we had all the extra work that summer brought, we still had to milk the cows and feed them and care for them.

When you are a grandparent and you are raising your grandchild, you might begin to measure the year by summer vacation and other breaks from school. Now that our granddaughter is in school, we remember the routines of the school year and the less rigid days of summer.

Summer Vacation

Vacation means a lot of different things to people. It also changes at different ages and stages of our lives.

camping campfireOne thing that has stuck with me, though is camping. I loved camping when I was a kid and I love camping now. The only difference between then and now is that I don’t like bugs—at all!

There are a lot of things you can do on your summer vacation, but traveling seems to be a big one for most families.

Where you go on your vacation is all up to you, but my suggestion is to ask your grandchild what they would like to do. Nothing would thrill my granddaughter more than to go camping even though she has never been. I am sure she has heard me talk about camping when I was a girl with my grandparents and how much fun it was and she imagines what fun it would be to camp with me!

We try to have several campfires in the fire pit in our backyard to give her a taste of camping even when we aren’t able to go. We have even “camped” in the living room of our house just to break things up a little.

car ferrySummer vacation is what you make it, in our opinion. Because both my spouse and I work full-time, it is difficult for us to get more than a couple of days off at a time, but we make the best of that time and spend as much of it as possible with our granddaughter.

We like to ride bike with her, but this summer it is more of a challenge as we have water, sewer and road construction work completely surrounding our house. But we make it work. We ride in the little area of our street that is not torn up. We pack the bikes up and go to ride in the city park.

We are looking forward to doing some camping and fishing yet this summer! We may even get a chance to drive to Michigan to visit my spouses parents. The fun part of that trip is taking the car ferry from Wisconsin across Lake Michigan to land on the shores of Michigan. The car ferry we take is the S.S. Badger and it is much larger than the one in this picture. It is a four-hour cruise across the lake and is a lot of fun! Even if you don’t have anyone to visit in Michigan or Wisconsin, we recommend the car ferry!

photos and cameraWhatever things you plan to do on your summer vacation, make sure to take lots of photos and don’t forget to back them up and print them out! I recently looked at my cell phone and found that I had over 5000 pictures on it! I have slowly been transferring them to DVD/CDs and will be printing them out soon so that we can all look at them easily and keep them as memories of our past few years without worrying about losing my phone.

Most are backed up in “the cloud,” but I am a bit old-fashioned and I like to actually be able to see the photos and hold them in my hands. They seem more real that way.

I want every moment with my granddaughter to be real!




  1. I can relate to this on so many levels! Summer vacation was THE one thing I would always look forward to every new school year started. I have such amazing childhood memories from back then. Thank you for taking be on a trip back to those moments!

    • I loved summer. It is still an awesome time of the year and now we are helping our granddaughter create fun memories of summer!

  2. Hello Karin this post is amazing made go back to my days as a child in the summer. Today with 3 daughters it’s a full time job keeping them busy and your post is a big help. Thank you so much.
    Best Wishes.

    • Thanks for your very nice and thoughtful comments! Memories of summer’s past are one of my favorites! Now, with our granddaughter, we are making new ones.

  3. What a neat idea for a website! I have a feeling you will gain lots of readers because it seems more and more grandparents are raising their grandchildren. I have fond memories of summer activities as a child and with my my own children. I look forward to making more memories with my grandson. 🙂

    • We absolutely love spending time our grandchildren. We love it when they come and stay over for a few days and share their time with us. And, of course, our granddaughter that lives with us gets to spend all her time with us! You will make some great memories!

  4. Hi Karin. Such a wonderful post. I remember those out of school summer vacations. I really do believe I learned more about life in those summer days than in the entire school year. I loved summer.
    I can imagine the challenges of raising a grandchild, but it sounds like you and your hubby are doing a great job. Have fun with that little girl. She’s a blessing.

    • Thanks, Wendi! Summers were the best! I still think people should get summers off, not just students! Our granddaughter is amazing! I wouldn’t change a thing! Karin

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