From the Baraza: Vacation!

Just because summer is in its final month doesn’t mean you can’t bask in it. Some of the Baraza ladies talk summer fun.


Camp was a huge deal for me as a kid. I started off attending Girl Scout day camp and LOVED it. When I was a bit older, I went to Camp Mitre Peak, which is the Girl Scout camp in the Fort Davis area. People tend to think this part of the country is just scrub and snakes, but just because it doesn’t have pine trees doesn’t mean it’s not still beautiful. Camp taught me a great deal about independence, teamwork, and respect for nature. My only regret was I’ve never gotten to play color wars or capture the flag. I think that’s a Northern thing. Someday I’d love to go to a summer writing residency. Many of them sound like grown up camp where you get to write as well as ride horses.



Summers in Australia are long and hot.  As a kid, my family used to pile into the car and drive 4 hours north through red dust and scrub to my grandparents’ house up in the Mallee.  Our days were spent checking the thermometer on the kitchen window sill, waiting for the sun to pass its zenith so that we could meet our cousins at the local pool for a swim (only fools and Englishmen go out in the midday sun!), and eating cool salads with my grandmother’s homemade mayonnaise.  The house was hot during the day despite the blessed relief of the air conditioner, and we would fall asleep to the sound of cicadas at night.  Perfect summer days filled with family and love.



Summers when I was a kid meant long days which I think stretched further than 24 hours.  My siblings and I would aggravate the tar out of each other, visit with our cousins, ride our bikes to visit the neighbor kids, and play in our barn and woods.  Summers also meant that I had plenty of time to read as much and what I wanted.  The upstairs, where the kids slept, was always hot because we didn’t have air conditioning upstairs but one of my sisters, my twin girl cousins, and I would brave the heat upstairs to read in peace.  Summer was also the time when my siblings and I could bake to our hearts’ desire.  My brother can make a mean chocolate chip cookie when he wants. The memories still make me smile.



Summers meant different things at different ages for me.

In elementary school it usually meant a roadtrip and camping with my mom and grandparents. Church camp was a big part of those summers too. Lake Brownwood – playing silly games and wearing neon.

From the summer after 6th grade on it meant Pickwicks. Mon-Fri at Midland Community Theatre building sets, rehearsing and sing-a-longs around a piano. El Chico and Schlotzsky’s for lunch, games of tape ball and hide-n-seek. Cops and Robbers in the evenings and watching movies at the Alvey’s.

From 9th grade on Summer Mummers was added to the mix. Popcorn and craziness.