When I was a kid, Summer time was about playing outside all day long. Summer was about swinging and swimming and sweating. If I asked my kids about Summer today, I bet they would say the same thing.
My favorite childhood Summer time memories occurred in Lake Tahoe. Before I was born, my grandparents had a cabin in a small woodsy neighborhood on the California side of Lake Tahoe. My mom spent many a Summer day at the little private neighborhood beach, and even after Grandma and Grandpa sold that cabin, she and her siblings continued visiting the familiar neighborhood for many years with their own kids.
I remember floating on a blow-up mattress in the clear lake water with my arm dangling over the side. I remember hiking and fishing with my dad. I remember driving past Emerald Bay and being both awed by the beauty and color and terrified of the danger of the road. But not memory stands out more vividly than the visit from the bear.
One afternoon, after spending several hours at the beach, my mom and all of us kids piled into the minivan and drove back to the cabin. The back of the van was packed to the brim with blown-up floaties – to the point that 4 of us were sitting in little pockets between seat and mattress. So most of us weren’t watching as we drove up the steep driveway. My sister saw the bear first. The sight of a bear on our doorstep, standing between our car and safety, terrified her and she wasn’t able to get much more than, “Look!” out of her mouth.
It looked like she was pointing at the window so I tried to help by rolling down her window, which immediately sent my sister into a screaming fit. Finally, the rest of us saw the bear.
We watched the bear, in shock, and wondered how we would ever get in the house. Eventually, we saw Dad walk up to the front door (from inside) and our screams turned to shouts of warning for Dad. We didn’t want him to open the door and get attacked or let the bear into the cabin. Since these were the days before cell phones, there was no communication.
Eventually, the bear did move on and we were able to get inside our cabin, where we stayed put for the rest of the day. 15 minutes of close-distance bear viewing was enough excitement for one day.
Speaking of excitement, I have an exciting giveaway for you guys. I was recently asked to be an Ovaltine Mom. As soon as I read the word Ovaltine, I was flooded with memories from my childhood. We always had Ovaltine in the cupboard, right below the cereal boxes. I am proud to call myself an Ovaltine Mom (especially after meeting the amazing brand team at Type A this past weekend!).
TWO winners will receive three canisters of new recipe OVALTINE (one of each flavor), a recipe booklet with about a dozen OVALTINE recipes, a glass countertop straw dispenser, and a $25 Visa gift card.
For a chance to enter and win, just leave a comment below about healthy summer snack ideas or a favorite summer childhood memory.
Extra entries: You can gain extra entries by tweeting about this giveaway or sharing/liking this post on Facebook (simply use the social sharing buttons found at the bottom or top of this post). You can share once a day.
This giveaway will end on July 8 and TWO winners will be chosen at random and notified via email. Open to the US only. Good luck!
Disclosure: I am an Ovaltine blogger ambassador and may receive product and/or compensation for my participation in the program. As always, thoughts, stories, and opinions are my own.
Image credit: By Mike Bender/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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