Last Thursday I finally got my first boat ride of the year and y'all, there is nothing better for this girl than the sun beaming down on my skin while the fresh air messes up my hair and that boat motor hums behind the beats of a good tune. It doesn't get better than family time on Kentucky Lake.

I watched my 2-year-old son play in the same lake I've played in since I was about 3 months old and this is the first year he's really enjoyed the water. Watching him splash around and hearing him beg for a boat ride took me back--all the way back to when I was a kid, half sunburnt and covered in bug bites (and probably poison ivy), tubing through the bays and wishing I never had to go back to school.

I held his little hand in mine as we traipsed up and down the hill from the docks to the camper and as we walked past the bath house, I couldn't help but think of how, once upon a time, it seemed I took the majority of my summer showers in bath houses and rarely fired up a hair dryer -- preferring the naturally dried and windblown look to accompany my freckles that always shined brighter with a tan.

We took several golf cart rides on the quiet back roads near the camper and I couldn't help but reminisce a time when I was driving my younger siblings around -- still too young to drive a car but responsible enough to get us to and from our destinations in one piece on the golf cart. It doesn't seem that long ago, but here I am, many years later, with a young one of my own as my passenger who's loving and learning the ways of our Kentucky Lake culture.

The storms may have caused us to miss out on the opportunity for s'mores but we sure didn't let them dampen our fun. I'm still laughing at the image in my mind of my dad dancing on the dock while the downpour of rain hammered on the metal roof above us, saying with a huge grin, "We're making memories."

My hair was sweaty and soaked with lake water, I could barely see out of my sunglasses by the end of the day (sunscreen, sweat and splashing water) and sunscreen doubled as a condiment on the sandwich I ate for lunch out on the water -- but I wouldn't trade a second of it. And watching my son laugh and splash and play -- priceless.

I can't help but get emotional as my memories of childhood are starting to blend with those of my son's childhood and watching him play with my parents the same as I used to play. The main characters are a little older and the boat is a little larger, but it's comforting that some things don't change.

Welcome back, sweet summertime. This girl sure missed you.

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