I Spent My Summers Not Wearing Pink

August 5, 2012

More reflections on summer, this week, from author Sarah Leith Bahn.

I Spent my Summers Not Wearing Pink:

Do I like the color pink? Yes! Have I always been capable of admitting to that? No!

You see, when I was young I spent my summers wishing I was a boy.

At the end of a long dirt road, amongst tall pine trees, my grandparent’s house sat on the banks of the most beautiful crystal-clear lake, called Lake George. It was here I spent my summers with my older brother and two older boy cousins. And it was because of these three boys that I never wore pink. I figured the more boy I could be, the more likely the boys would let me play with them.

Most days, however, I could be seen standing alone on the dock watching the boys way off in the distance paddling away in the canoe – the boys having successfully ditched me.

At night I would plan my attack again. If my Mom didn’t catch me and force me into my pajamas, I would sleep in a bathing suit with one eye open and one eye closed, so when the boys snuck out early in the mornings to play “King of The Dock” (a particularly brutal game with no rules, except one, last man dry on the dock won) I was ready to go and sure not to miss any excitement!

On the rare occasion that I kept up with the boys and successfully retired for the night bruised and battered from climbing rocks, jumping cliffs, swimming long distances, and running as fast as I could to keep up, everything was always better: the air smelled sweeter, the stars were brighter, and I felt like a super hero having achieved the impossible.

As I got older my summer days at the Lake dwindled. At thirteen-years-old, I started training fulltime in the sport of Whitewater Slalom with the dream of making the U.S. Olympic Team. I went from spending my summers chasing my brother and cousins to chasing after the best athletes in the world. But, it was those young summer days trying to keep up with the boys that taught me how to push hard. Those boys taught me how to fight and I don’t mean physically, I mean mentally. There are low points in every fairy tale and high points are only achieved when you pick yourself up and move on to win the next most epic battle.

Now I spend my summers still trying to keep with three boys: my husband, my two-year old son, and one-month-old baby boy. But there is one difference, I’m not afraid to wear pink and tie a ribbon in my hair. I now know that girls wearing pink can do more than keep up – they can kick butt too.

You can find out more about Sarah’s book, The Ancient Realm here


Bringing Back Memories

June 30, 2012

Another Kindle for Kids author remembers the school summer holidays. Today, it’s the turn of David G Pearce:

Whenever I think of summer holidays from when I was a kid very few really stick in my memory. As you know, most summers are pretty much the same as each other. The initial excitement of leaving school behind for six weeks becomes boredom as your parents take you round another castle or cathedral you really don’t want to see! Your friends are away on their own holidays, usually when you’re home, so you hardly see them during August. When you’re in school the weather is amazing but as soon as you break up the weather seems determined to be as miserable as possible! For me, though, there was always one thing saving summer when you were a kid and that was THE summer track.

Every summer has a track that just seems to be played everywhere. When I was a kid that meant the radio or the single I bought then played dozens of times to get the words right.  When you get older you’ll hear that song and you’ll be taken back to things you’d forgotten about or friends you hadn’t thought about for years.

One summer track that rescued an otherwise forgettable holiday was Japanese Boy by Aneka in 1981. When I first heard it I didn’t like it but after it got played on Radio 1 and at friends’ houses I bought it and it became the sound of that year. Now, as soon as I hear it I can picture the friends I had then and some of the things we did. Nothing important happened that year unless you were a cricket fan like me, (look up Botham’s Ashes on Youtube!) but looking back it was fun even if it seemed like a rubbish summer at the time.

What was your summer track and what memories does it bring back for you?

***

Thanks, David. Mine is ‘In The Summertime’ by Mungo Jerry – but that’s just showing how old I am.

You can read more of David’s work in his story The Girl on the Train on this page.


School’s Out For Summer

June 24, 2012

It won’t be long before the summer holidays are upon us.  No school, no homework, long summer days, trips to the beach. Oooh! Can’t wait.

So what will you be doing in the holidays? Here’s one of the Kindle for Kids authors, Katie Stewart, writing about the summer holidays.


When I was a little girl, our summer holidays were nearly always spent at Robin Hood’s Bay in a tiny cottage owned by a little old lady called Miss Hutton. She lived in part of the cottage and rented out the rest to families, cooking their meals for them, but otherwise staying out of the way. I seem to remember she served Yorkshire pudding every night. The house was so small that my two older sisters and I had to share a bed in a room where the ceiling sloped down. I was up against the wall and there wasn’t much room there before the ceiling, so once my sisters got into bed, I couldn’t get out. I couldn’t even sit up!

It was on these holidays that I developed a phobia for bats. They flew around squeaking at night and one got caught in my hair as it flew over. I still don’t like going out in the dark when they’re around, though I’m not as scared of them as I was.

When I was nine, we came to Australia. Here summer is HOT. A lot of time in summer is spent sitting by the pool, or at the beach. Australian beaches aren’t like English beaches. In England, I was used to pebbled shores and tiny little waves that tickle your ankles. In Australia, the beaches are white sand that burns your feet, and my first experience of a wave was when it broke right over my head, sending me into a spin amongst the seaweed and fish. I didn’t like the sea after that. I still don’t, except to look at. That’s one phobia I haven’t got over.

One of my favourite summer holidays we had in Australia when I was young, was the time we rented an old farmhouse. Farms in Australia are very big. So we could walk for miles and never leave the property. Of course, we had to watch out for snakes, because they love the hot weather, too.

Now I’m married to a farmer so we have to leave the farm to have a holiday or otherwise we’d just keep working. My favourite place to holiday is Albany on the south coast of Western Australia. It’s full of interesting places to visit, from museums to strange rock formations and it’s lots cooler than where we live. That’s what I want when I go on holiday these days – to not be too hot!

Thanks to Katie for sharing her holiday memories with us.  You can find Katie’s exciting fantasy story The Dragon Box here. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the site for some great summer reads!

Royalty-free images courtesy of Clker.com


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