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Summer memories: The path that connects them

Summer is in full swing here. The shades are shut early to keep the heat of the day under control in our air conditioner-less house. I miss looking outside in this house full of windows and light but do what I have to do to avoid suffocating in the evening heat. The mosquitoes are doing their best to trap us inside and keep me from roasted marshmallows. I think they heard what I said last month about soaking up summer and are trying to sabotage my efforts. Either that or it’s all of the rain we’ve had! I picked a zucchini for lunch and a tomato for a snack and I add fresh mint picked out of a pot on my deck to my ice water every chance I get.

Ahh, summer. I do so enjoy you and I panic a little at the thought of it ending and remind myself to stay in the present and enjoy what is while it’s here. I try and enjoy all of the seasons for the gifts they offer, but this summer, which I call the summer of the neighbors, is indeed extra special. We moved to a lovely new home in April and one of the things I was most excited about was the neighbors we would be gaining as a result. If you knew my neighbors, you’d want to live here too! I knew and enjoyed many of them already, but my girls did not know them yet. So once school ended and the introductions were out of the way, the fun started for my two younger girls.

The house we moved to has a path through the field from our house to theirs, a path that connected families many years before, and still does. We couldn’t wait to use the “secret path” and now it is making up for all of the years little girls did not live by each other. The path is well worn with footprints and bike tracks and tire tracks with the back-and-forth of the neighbor girls who are definitely soaking up summer. They wake up with plans and go to bed with more of them. They send messages to each other with even more plans and I think if it was years and years ago, before an iPad or a telephone, they would have a tin can on a string stretching the mile between our houses.

I joke to my sweet neighbor friend that she is now a mother of five and my husband says see you later Violet and Georgia “Jenks” when they go play, again, with the neighbors. My older girls ask,

“Are you letting them go over again?” and I say “Yes,” with all of the exclamation points I can muster. Because I know this will be a summer that they will never forget. They will be my age looking back one day on this summer and remembering all over again that path through the field that connected four girls in friendship and fun. And just in case next year they grow up, or join a summer sport, or move further away, I want them to have this summer of abundance to look back on.

Written by Rebekah Engebretson

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Rebekah lives in a little house on the prairie with her husband and 4 daughters near Watford City. She is a huge North Dakota fan and loves people and taking pictures and personality tests.

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