Thursday, January 21
by Margie Senechal
I am going to tell you about the five best summers of my life. Why hold it to a few days?
We moved to Vancouver in 1971 after my dad retired from the Navy and as I told Kristi yesterday, it was a tough year in school. I went from a naval base school to a public school; from knowing almost everyone in my grade to knowing nobody in my grade. I made three friends in fourth grade.
Then on April 5,1972, a freak tornado swept through Vancouver, demolishing a grade school, bowling alley, and Waremart. If you talk to a Vancouver native, they can all tell you where they were on April 5, 1972.
That summer, the Hansons—a family of eight-- moved across the street from us to be in our school district as they’d been in the school that was hit. They had three children in grade school---one, Russ, in my grade, and Louise, a year younger. Their friendship over the next few years catapulted me higher in the social standings. I would never have been considered popular, but at least I wasn’t a nobody anymore—I was Russ Hanson’s neighbor. And every summer was an adventure—climbing trees, playing Planet of The Apes or wood tag on house frames, crab apple fights, dirt clod fights, whiffle ball, and hide-n-seek in the dark.
The summer of 1983 was my last summer as a singleton—which wasn’t even a term in 1983. That summer I was engaged to Mike and working at a little deli called Roberto’s. I worked with two men, my boss, Ed, and Craig. We had such a great rapport and had so much fun. Then Ed sold the business and Craig went to work as geologist—which is where his degree was—and everything fell apart. But, it was one of those times when everything just jelled—a summer of laughter and good times--which is too rare in the workplace.
Between 1983 and my next summer, I got married and had my two daughters. And while there were great moments in there including a couple of Disneyland trips, the summer of 2001 stands out. That was probably the best summer of the Bulldawgs—KB’s softball team. KB started playing softball at five and by the time she was eleven, she was playing tournament ball. The summer of 2001, she was on the Bulldawgs and again, it was one of those times that everything just jelled. She had a great season—earning three MVP nods from opposing coaches in one tournament. Plus, all the girls got along, the parents got along, and even the siblings played together. Everyone looked out for each other as we traveled the Pacific NW for our girls to play softball.
The summer of 2005, I went to NYC. The first trip I’d done as an adult that didn’t center around my children or husband. I went with my mom, our friends, Kathy and Kim. And it was everything NYC is supposed to be. We saw Wicked, ate frozen Hot Chocolates at Serendipity, and watched the Backstreet Boys perform on the Today Show.
And finally, I come to the summer of 2014—my first summer off since high school. That was the summer I quit working at Walgreens.
Jordan and I spent most of the summer doing things we'd hadn't had a chance to do before--a zoo trip and a spontaneous beach adventure with my sister and her boys. I had days where I got nothing done because I didn't have to go to work the next day. And I wrote. Maybe not enough, but I wrote.