Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Remembering Summer”

The Soundtrack to Capture Summer

I grew up in an American city that sat on the shore of Lake Michigan, America’s largest freshwater lake.

As kids every summer we would get on our bikes or take the bus and head down to the sandy beach called the North Beach. It was connected to another beach that sat just outside the city zoo. We would spend hours in the sun, walking the beach, eating sandwiches and soda.

As we grew up we would cruise down in our parents cars and suck up the sun and suds (beer in Wisconsin is a staple).

Life's Music During that time we always had music playing. It went from a small “transistor” radio to a boom-box with cassettes. Over time it created a soundtrack for the summer. Some times the laid back sounds of soul music (loved the Motown sound and the Philly sound), sometimes it was just pop rock and other times the latest in jazz.

One thing for sure even now, the music paints a very clear picture in my mind of those times gone by. I can see it in my mind’s eye with clarity with the accompanying smells of the grill and the scent of coconut oil suntan lotion. There are so many songs that dial-up those images.

Whether on a beach in Florida, a local hot bar or hotspot in your town or your own back yard…

Whether it is the Beach Boys, the Temptations, Chicago or Santana…

Whether it was sounds of a Pitbull club mix or Daft Punk jam- you get your inspiration somewhere….

“What artists are  in your personal summer soundtrack?”   

Summer Solstice

SunIt’s that time of year where summer is “official” on the calendar.

Here in the US it is that time again to think seriously about summer. For many of us that happened back at the end of May when America celebrates Memorial Day. But for the science of it all, summer begins now.

It sill churns up all the great memories of what summer meant when I was a kid: hot summer days at the beach, baseball season starts to really take shape, get ready for Independence Day celebrations and barb-e-ques ahead, hop on the bike and ride to places to enjoy the out-of-doors (does anyone really call it that anymore?).  There was kind of a feeling of anticipation of what the adventure of summer would bring.

Anticipation for the “lazy days“: Like my mom and dad planning a family vacation. Even the summer songs on the radio would be upbeat, softball leagues would be gathering at the neighborhood park, the dog-days of August were lurking in the post July heat ahead-. The world seemed brighter– may be because the days were longer and the nights seemed more available to extend the day’s activities.

As I have gotten older, some of that still remains. I think I worked hard to make sure my kids could feel those same remembrances, but now they are older now and creating their own.  I asked my teenage daughter (who is days away from NOT being called a “teenager”) – where would you like to live as you continue your journey into adulthood?  Her answer: “somewhere where there are seasons”.    Her younger years were in the mid-west US, but these past many years we have lived in Texas where those season changes are so much harder to recognize.

Summer solstice is here. To everything there is a season. Time to capture this one and enjoy it.

Photo credit:

From The Summer Porch

Mandeville, Louisiana. Relaxing on the front p...

Relaxing on the front porch.                                    (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These days of June remind me of this verse I wrote many years ago…..

A quiet morning followed by a humid afternoon worth rambling

From the front porch you can hear the city working out its living

Bicycles click by, their passengers running a soft breeze toward the lake

Mid-afternoon heating the sidewalk and shuffling the insects


All is still as the sirens chase a distant problem in the mid-town

Suburban AM radio blasts sunbathers in a nearby crabgrass yard

Cloudless days one after another sweating out the summer sky

The five o’clock whistles blow in unison from the smoggy foundry streets


Lines of cars and busses roll by to headlines and bar-b-que dinners

A young couple stroll by acting out a Coke commercial love affair

A red sun casts shadows on the softball cyclone fence unlimited

Dusty bird coast through the thick air calling sundown songs


Night approaches from the east a chalky sky of grey and blue

The night slips in on cricket calls and a wet wind from the lake

Cars flash lights across the lawnchair porches and picture window lives

It’s another July evening in the Midwest point of view


It’s another calendar sunshine waking on the lake front

As someone said from the window screen “another scorcher coming”

Just a quiet morning followed by a humid afternoon worth rambling

From the front porch you can hear the city working out its living

There were days when I was younger during the summer vacations from school that my friend and I would sit on the porch for the entire day, slumped back on the old chairs that were sitting by the doors. We would open a beer and listen to music and watch the world go by. This was something from those days….

July 25,1976 from “An Even Break” by © MGert 

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