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A Reason to Love Summer

By:  Donna Martin

I love the summer.  I always look forward to the warm days, beautiful flowers, beach vacations, picnics, chirping locusts, and most of all Nana and Poppy Camp!

This summer we had Nana and Poppy Camp with our youngest 3 grandchildren ages 4, 3, and 1.  The older 2 girls came to stay with us for 5 days, and the baby came with them on two of the days.  Before they arrived I started planning out what we would do.  I considered a trip to the Arboretum, maybe a visit to Klyde Warren Park or the Perot Museum.  Of course swimming, picnics and tea parties were on my agenda.

Due to certain circumstances our trips to the Arboretum, Kylde Warren Park and the Museum were not possible.  Instead most of our time was spent playing at our near our apartment.  We built the biggest wooden train track in the world, baked cookies and biscuits for our tea party, swam, made a quick trip to the grocery store, took a picnic to the Arbor where we played on the playground, and met some cousins for lunch. Of course we read a few books and pretended to take naps.  It was a great week.  Occasionally the girls played on their own as I watched from across the room marveling at their imaginations.

Too soon it was time for them to go home.  After they left I began to wonder if I had done enough to make their stay a memorable time.  And then I remembered one of the reasons that I had learned to love summer so much.  It was the simple trips to my grandmother’s house.  She did not take us to museums or splash parks or amusement parks, but our summer week at her house is one of my fondest memories.  I remember the delicious breakfast of bacon and sausage with scrambled eggs and gravy.  I remember lying next to my grandmother in her bed at night with the windows open and the sheer curtains blowing in the wind (she had no air conditioning).  Occasionally I could hear a car driving at night on Highway 82.  I remember chasing fireflies at night with my sister, climbing the pear tree in the back yard, and watching my grandmother’s favorite game shows in the morning.  It was nothing really very special but actually one of the most special times.  Why, because my grandmother was always so happy.  Nothing usually upset her.  She was patient and loving and never in a hurry.   And I knew she loved me.

As I thought about those lazy summer days, I realized that it is not really the activities and the busyness that make Nana and Poppy Camp a special time.  It is the relationships, the love, the laughter, the missed bedtimes, the bedtime stories, the slow down and listen to the locusts times when we make memories with our little treasures who grow up too fast.  Of course when they get older then we may have to plan a few trips to Hurricane Harbor or Six Flags, but for now, we will enjoy the simple times.

I think Nana and Poppy camp is good for every marriage because it gives Mom and Dad some needed alone time (and it is free!)  It is also good for the kids to make memories with their grandparents.  And it is really a great time for Nana and Poppy as they enjoy the treasures that God has given them and build relationships that will last a lifetime.

Proverbs 17:6 is so true, “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged.”

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at


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