Summertime always makes me think about summers long ago, especially all the family vacations we used to take. All this reminiscing, though? It can sometimes really get to me, and it's times like these, during the end of the summer, when all those memories really kick in.
Of course, there's one vacation that stands out in my mind -- well, I suppose it's more of a destination, really. It stood as my own version of Disneyland because for us, it really was the happiest place on earth. And magical and carefree and the perfect place to spend my childhood summers.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama"
From One More From The Road
It did feel like a sweet home, indeed. With my grandparents, spending days just relaxing -- it was back in those before life got complicated and moved faster than a roller coaster. I didn't know it at the time, naturally, but those days really had a hand in helping me become the person I am today.
Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the south-land
I miss 'ole' 'bamy once again
And I think it's a sin, yes
Although I technically didn't "grow up" in the South, I still feel like a part of me was raised there. Even driving down there was exciting -- we'd see the landscape slowly begin to change and our would begin to beat just a little faster. We may have been miles and miles from home, but we were also going home. In a sense, going South was like going home. It was a place where I felt so comfortable and all my worries seemed to vanish instantly. And, yes, we also sang "Dixie" numerous times during those car rides.
Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you
I know this all sounds like one giant walk through the poppies a la The Wizard of Oz and maybe it's true that we do tend to romanticize the past, especially our childhoods, but this was really how everything felt. The skies really were an brilliantly deep shade of blue and the trees stood tall, green and majestic against that extra-blue sky. Even though I haven't been there in almost a decade, I can still see those trees and that sky -- with picture-perfect clarity. The way it all looked. The way it smelled, especially after the rain. Even the way the trees swayed in the breeze. It's all part of those memories in my head that I like to revisit so often.