Wicked New England: Summertime Memories

In New England, unlike much of the rest of the country, lots of schools and colleges don’t start until after Labor Day. But if you’ve ever camped out or spent the latter half of August in drafty New England camp or cottage, you know the days are getting shorter and the nights often provide those crisp temperatures referred to as “good sleeping weather.”

So, before it gets away from us, I’m going to ask all the Wickeds to describe a specific and happy New England summer memory from any year.

Edith: My older son went off to Boston University in 2004. Before he did, I gathered

2010, Crane Beach, Ipswich

his brother, some good friends, my beau – plus food and drink, of course – and we all went to the beach at the end of the day for a picnic. We swam and ate and played games in that special air and light that is the seaside in the late afternoon. We repeated the gathering for many years until he moved away – and still try to grab a late day beach dinner when he comes home in the summer!


Liz: Summer’s my favorite time of the year, and I have so many lovely memories usually

Shaggy, her first summer in New England
Shaggy, her first summer in New England

involving the beach. As a kid, it was always a treat when I’d get up in the morning and my mother would have an unusual twinkle in her eye and sandwiches packed, and announce that we were going to the beach. It was such an adventure then, and it seemed like such a long ride to Salisbury. In reality it was only about 20 minutes. I remember coming off the highway exit and there was a store that used to have giant stuffed animals, and they would be set up along the roadside. Those animals were always my signal that we were almost there – plus they were adorable! As an adult, my favorite summer memory was seven years ago when Shaggy came to town. She loved ice cream and the beach right from the start, so clearly she was meant to be in this house!

Barb: Oh, Liz. I love those childhood memories. There was a railroad track near my grandparents’ house on the Jersey shore and the minute we would cross it our dog would stand up in the car, sniff the air, and wag her tail. She knew we were almost there. One of my favorite New England summer memories is at Tanglewood in Lennox, Massachusetts where the Boston Symphony Orchestra spends the summer. A whole group went, my parents, kids, brothers and sisters-in-law. It was a beautiful night, we out did ourselves with the picnic and somehow watching the young cousins on blanket on the lawn, listening to the music…

IMG_9388Sherry: I love going to Maine in the summer, especially in early June before the crowds arrive! The weather is perfect and the roads aren’t too crowded. It gives me time to poke through antique stores or stop at yard sales. A walk on the beach, an outside table at a restaurant, and a great lobster roll say summer to me.

 Readers–what is your favorite summertime memory?




20 Thoughts

  1. My favorite summertime memory cannot be anything but walking down Front Street in Marblehead, Massachusetts with a clam roll in one hand and a bottle of Coke in the other!

    1. I love it. I have some wonderful summer memories of Marblehead, too. Friends through an annual 4th of July party there, complete with red (strawberry), white (grape) and blue (blueberry) star tart.

  2. I fell in love with New England based on a tiny picture in Readers Digest in 1961, and that summer a friend invited me to spend a week with her family in a cottage on Squam Lake in New Hampshire. A lake! There were fish, and I caught one. There was a cute teen-age boy my friend and I fought over. There was an ice-box (the kind you put a lump of ice in, delivered by a guy with a pair of big tongs). We played Scrabble with dirty words–which at the age of eleven included “bedpan” and “vomit.” It was like stepping into a different world. (BTW, I had to take my first plane ride to get there.)

    1. My first New England summer memory is around the same age–sleep away camp in Vermont followed by a family trip through New Hampshire.

  3. So many great summer memories – church camps, ultimate Frisbee tournaments, swimming. But my favorite has to be the times spent camping at a redwood forest a couple of hours from where I grew up. The one thing I miss most about living in Southern California is the redwoods.

  4. Sorry team, brain is still on vacation! Favorite summer memories–THERE ARE SO MANY. Spending time with my grandparents up in Lake Winnipausakee is one of them, probably the best. They had a cottage on the lake, and we would spend time with them, being spoiled, swimming, learning how to play cribbage, and hearing stories. Just spent a week on the lake with my nieces. Aunt Julie memories are a little different (doing puzzles on the porch, getting ice cream) but hopefully happy for them.

  5. Being a camper at Interlochen’s National Music Camp, in northern Michigan. The tough, thrilling classes for music, art, dance, theater, writing– and lakes and pines, cabins and work as well as play… some of the happiest times of my life. Indelible imprints.

  6. Sherry, you have to know I started to salivate at the words “lobster roll.” Then I saw the photo! Cruel! They don’t have lobster or clams of any variety where I live now. Help!

  7. Although I did not live in New England, we enjoyed New England Clambakes on Long Island, New York. We also had family reunions in Boston, Mass. and Providence, R.I. with the customary clambakes.

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