I’m at the point in my life where most of my favorite (future) memories are being created right now. My children are little (but not too little), I’m in good health and relatively young, and I have a high degree of flexibility around how I can spend my personal time. So many of the favorite memories are of recent weekends spent with the kids at the pool, playing in the backyard, or watching fireworks – a veritable cornucopia of Norman Rockwell scenarios.
That said, most of my favorite pre-family summer memories are snippets from my early childhood when my extended family used to trek to Topsail Island, NC for a week every year around the Fourth of July. We would rent a stilt house on the beach that rose over the dunes with an elaborate system of wooden decks that wound lazily toward the water and deposited you on the beach. My paternal Grandfather would make his world-famous banana splits and I’d spend my days combing the beach for fossilized shark teeth, interesting shells, or other treasures the Atlantic would leave waiting for me. I have not returned to Topsail Island in over 20 years and I’ve heard that it has become very commercialized (when it isn’t being hammered by a hurricane), but in my memories it is a sleepy beach town separated from the mainland by a swing bridge whose crossing required leaving boring suburbia behind.