Ah, summer—the very word conjures up images of school being out, family vacations, flip flops, swimming, and so much more! Granted, Summer 2020 is the weirdest summer most of us can remember, but there are still those favorite go-to summer activities we all look forward to. (And hope we can still enjoy this year.)
We asked a whole bunch of Christian authors to tell us their favorite things about summer. Find their answers below!
Tamera Alexander (Colors of Truth)
“My favorite thing about summer is the breath-sucking heat and humidity that suffocates nearly everything in the South from mid-July through August. It gives us Southern women such a nice dewy glow. And if you believe that…! Seriously though, my absolute favorite thing about summer is being on the lake, being near the lake, being by the lake, staring at the lake. In short, the lake.”
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Mesu Andrews (Isaiah’s Legacy)
Summer in the Appalachian mountains is like nowhere else. I’ve heard it described this way: “While other mountains say, ‘Come, look at me,’ the Appalachians say, ‘Come, BE with me.’” Mountain laurel lines the BlueRidge Parkway. Waterfalls abound along hiking trails that range from grandma-grade to rocky cliffs for crazy-climbers. The Creeper Trail (though at first I thought it was a road for undesirables) is one of the most beautiful bicycle trails in the nation! But what’s my very most favorite thing about summers in North Carolina? Living close to eight grandkids that I can enjoy the fun with them.
Emily Assell (Tonight)
“My family loves finding adventures and exploring outside: plants and creeks and lots of little creatures.”
Misty M. Beller (Love’s Mountain Quest)
“One of the things I look forward to most about summer are camping trips in the mountains with my kiddos! We live within a couple hours of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and we sneak away for a few nights tent camping whenever we can! This year, we’ll have our 10-month-old with us too (four kids in all), so sounds like we’ll have lots of busy fun!”
Jo Ann Brown (An Amish Mother’s Secret Past)
“My favorite part of summer is the ice cream! I love to sit on the porch with my family on a hot evening and enjoy a bowl of rapidly melting orange pineapple ice cream. Where I live, this flavor is only available in the summer, so I look forward to my first taste (and all the ones to follow).”
Sarah Jean Collins (God Made the Rain Forest)
“My favorite thing about summer is enjoying the thunderstorms that roll in on hot afternoons.”
Tea Cooper (The Woman In The Green Dress)
My favorite thing about summer is CHRISTMAS! I can see you all scratching your heads. Let me explain– I live in Australia, Down Under, and our seasons are reversed so Christmas Day falls right in the middle of summer. Crystal clear blue skies, magic sandy beaches that stretch for miles and picnics. Lots of picnics that usually involve prawns and barbecues, beach volleyball and sandcastles with my two adorable grandchildren!
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Jess Corban (A Gentle Tyranny)
“My favorite things about summer are hiking in my ‘backyard’ (Giant Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks) and neighborhood barbeques with friends (which always seem to end with s’mores).”
Lauren K. Denton (The Summer House)
“If you’ve read my books, you know I love summer and everything that comes with it (with the exception of hurricanes, of course). But one thing I especially love is the sound of cicadas. Beginning in late spring, their singing heralds the coming of warm, slower months and makes me think of late evenings in the backyard, grilling out for dinner, extended bedtimes, and wide-open hours.”
Kimberly Duffy (A Mosaic of Wings)
“We keep our summers purposely simple, so my favorite thing about summer is that there is absolutely nothing to do—no lessons or classes or spending hours in the car. It’s just long, lazy days of swimming and walks and books and playing.”
Susie Finkbeiner (Stories That Bind Us)
“The very best thing about summer is hopping in the car for a spontaneous family trip to Lake Michigan. We swim, walk on the pier, have a picnic dinner, and watch the sun set. When we get home we still have sand in between our toes and the smell of the lake on our clothes. These trips are all the summertime magic I could ask for.”
Suzanne Woods Fisher (On a Coastal Breeze)
“My favorite thing about summer? That’s easy. My husband Steve is an ice cream maker. Bona fide! He even went to Ice Cream School. Our family has branded it as “Steve’s Serious Ice Cream” because 1) he’s a serious guy and 2) he makes seriously good ice cream. Summer brings all kinds of new flavor combinations, many inspired from our garden: Meyer lemon and blueberries, for one. Cilantro and lime, for another. This summer, Steve is going to experiment with non-dairy products because we have a little granddaughter who’s allergic to just about everything. Stay tuned!”
Lindsay A. Franklin (The Story Hunter)
“Spending more time with my kids! With school pressure on hold for a couple months, we get to play more, go on vacation sometimes…and sleep in!”
W.A. Fulkerson (For Whom the Sun Sings)
“My favorite thing about summer is the long days—sunrise in the early morning and a lengthy evening that allows us to spend more time outdoors.”
Laura Gallier (The Deception)
“The thing I love most about summer is the extended daylight hours. I love to go on long walks and pray until sunset.”
Dagny Griffin (Shine)
“Long sunny days, whispering breezes, and walks in the wood.”
Robin Jones Gunn (Being Known)
“Summer has always felt like the “selah” season. It’s the pause and reflect, slow down and savor time of year. The whole world seems to have unexpectedly shifted into a selah season during the pandemic. We’ve taken time to read more, rest more and reflect on what’s really important.
“I hope this summer will bring the chance to reconnect with friends face to face. That’s always my favorite thing. My other favorite thing about summer is taking a nap in the hammock. I usually start with a good book in my hands but then often wake to find the book in a butterfly position across my abdomen while images of the characters are still sailing along in my thoughts.”
Patricia Johns (The Nanny’s Amish Family)
“I love that cool, dewy time of morning when the sun is warm and golden, and the birds are just waking up. It’s the best time for a morning walk, and thinking through my latest book.”
Carrie Lighte (Her Amish Suitor’s Secret)
“There’s nothing I anticipate more each summer than going bodyboarding and bodysurfing with my extended family at our favorite beach on Cape Cod. It’s exhilarating to ride the waves while laughing and shouting for joy alongside three generations of people I love.”
Valerie Fraser Luesse (The Key to Everything)
“My favorite thing about summer? Oh dear. That’s a toss-up between beach trips and farmers’ markets. My husband and I live in Birmingham, Alabama, which is only 5 hours or so from some pretty amazing beach communities on the Gulf of Mexico. And we are both most definitely “beach people.” So we love the warm weather and have already made a commitment to doing more long weekends on the coast than we’ve been doing for the past few years. But we also love all the fresh produce—especially what you can buy at stands on the beach routes, thereby combining our two loves. The South has such a long growing season, and summer brings peaches and tomatoes and fresh corn and watermelon . . . Is it lunchtime already?”
Lee Tobin McClain (Child On His Doorstep)
“Hiking the Laurel Highlands, salmon and veggies on the grill, and of course, more time to read!”
Mike Nawrocki (The Dead Sea Squirrels series)
“I love everything about it minus the humidity! I love being outside – whether biking, golfing, gardening or reading by the pool or at the beach. This summer, I’m particularly looking forward to getting a lot of writing done for the Dead Sea Squirrels!”
Dani Pettrey (The Crushing Depths)
“Tough question because I love practically everything about summer, but if I had to pick one it would be our anniversary beach trip. My hubby and I are celebrating our 28th anniversary and we’re counting down the days. We rent a beach house, put up a canopy on the beach, and spend the entire day there. We’re usually first on to watch the sunrise over the ocean and the last to leave as twilight comes on.”
Michele Phoenix (Fragments of Light)
“My favorite thing about summer is the sound of children playing outside in my cul-de-sac. What an enchanting and life-giving thing!”
Allison Pittman (The Seamstress)
“I live in Texas, where the summers are insanely hot, and I happen to be one of the few people who actually enjoy the heat. Like most, I love that sense of relief when you walk into an ice-cold, air-conditioned room. There’s a certain vanity and privilege to controlling your own climate. But, I also love that blast of heat when you walk outside. When it’s so hot you can feel the air on your skin. There’s a vibrancy to it, like all your surface cells are shimmering to life because now the air is real.”
Sandra Fernandez Rhoads (Mortal Sight)
“I love laid back time with family and friends. With four kids, vacations aren’t always an option so during the summer our home revolves with guests. Whether it’s sleepovers, out-of-town family, or friends, we love sharing meals, holding fireside gatherings under the stars, and venturing out to music concerts or festivals that roll through town.”
Kim Vogel Sawyer (Unveiling the Past)
Funny how that’s morphed over the years. When I was a kid, it meant hours and hours and hours to read (usually in a tree). As a young mom, I looked forward to the time with my kids. And now, as a gramma, my favorite part of summer is hosting the grand kiddos—one at a time—for weekends. I also like the fresh garden veggies and the flowers that bloom during the warmer months.
Chawna Schroeder (The Vault Between Spaces)
“It is hard to pick a favorite thing, but one of my favorites is listening to the loons (the bird kind). Their calls are so beautiful, so wild, so piercing, so haunting. I always eagerly anticipate their return each spring and feel sadness at their departure each fall.”
Laura Scott (Guarded By The Soldier)
“Laura Scott waving here from Wisconsin! All winter long we dream of having the warm temperatures of summer. But my favorite thing about summer is Milwaukee’s Summerfest! It’s the largest music festival in the country and is held right here on the shores of Lake Michigan. The music ranges from Country Western, hard rock, soft rock and everything in between. Every year we host all the big names in music like Luke Bryon and The Dave Mathews band and many, many more! The festival lasts ten days and ends with a wonderful firework display over the lakefront. What’s not to love about summer and Summerfest?”
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Shawn Smucker (These Nameless Things)
“The smell of cut grass and the taste of melting ice cream and the feeling I get on those late summer evenings, when the sun hasn’t yet set, that all will be well.”
Kara Swanson (Dust)
“My favorite thing about summer is definitely getting to see a lot of my friends and family more often. Whether we are having a beachy adventure, throwing a game night, or just having late night conversations about deeper things. My favorite aspect is getting to experience life together.”
Becky Wade (Stay with Me)
“Travel! It’s wonderful for my creativity and my soul to explore new places. Every summer, my husband, our three kids, and I set off on a family trip. Last year, we climbed into our SUV and took an epic road trip from our home in Dallas, Texas to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and then to southern California. Inevitably on our trips, some things go according to plan and some things don’t. Some activities are surprisingly great and others turn out to be duds. No matter what we do, we do it together and finish the trip with a treasure chest of shared memories. For years afterward, we laugh over the quirky things that occurred while traveling—which is why the things that go awry are ultimately just as valuable as the things that go beautifully.”
Bethany Turner (Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish)
“My favorite thing about summer is the way the days seem to last forever. When the sun doesn’t set until after you’ve had time to grill hamburgers and take a walk around the neighborhood, and maybe even play a quick game of basketball with the kids in the backyard. It just doesn’t get much better than that.”
Karen Witemeyer (At Love’s Command)
“My favorite things about summer are family time, wildflowers, warm temperatures, and ice cream. This summer will be particularly special since it’s the last summer my daughter will be home. She starts grad school in the fall, and I’m determine to squeeze in as many chick-flick watching, cross-stitch parties as I can before she leaves.”
Cindy Woodsmall (The Englisch Daughter)
When I was a little girl, my mom poured a lot of love and energy into encouraging a love of reading in me. Looking back, I can see it took some real effort on her part, but with a dash of creativity and doubling down on finding what spoke to my heart, she won that battle. And she instilled in me a desire to pass that on to my children and now to my grandchildren.
Mom continually looked for books I loved. And she had reward systems for my reading them. One reward was a promise that I could go swimming at the end of summer, whether it was at the church’s pool party, in a pond that belonged to a friend, or to a community pool that a different friend belonged to. (We didn’t have easy access to a pool, so motivating me by getting to go swimming was easy.)
When my two boys were little, we curled up in my bed most summer mornings, and I read to them until we were too hungry to ignore the growling. We’d eat, do a few chores, pull out a few “quiet” toys (like building blocks, Legos, and magnets), and I’d start reading again. I often read until my tongue could no longer form words. My sons loved our summer reading time from the time they were little until they were teens. After breaking for lunch and doing a few more chores, we’d pack up our swimming gear and go to the town’s community pool.
I now have six grandchildren, ages eight to one. Until recently, my husband and I lived in a subdivision that had a pool, and I loved spending time there with my adult children and the grands each summer. A fair amount of time we ordered pizza to arrive at the pool. I don’t know how much of that chaotic, fun time the grandchildren will remember, but what a treat for me!
Unfortunately, we didn’t usually get reading time in before, during, or after swimming. In the South, swimming during summertime is a staple. But I want books and reading time to be a part of my grandchildren’s lives whenever Mimi is involved.
We’re currently living with my middle son, my coauthor daughter-in-law, and their four children while our “forever home” is being built. In that home is an under-the-stairs closet that I plan to turn into a reading space for my grands and me. We will decorate the walls with fabric and hang lighting. Oh, I’ll suffer some physical discomfort as I get into and out of the “way, way back” of the closet. And maybe they won’t all love it like I do. But I will do my best to make reading magical. Life needs magic, the kind that’s brought to us through love, sweet times, and good books!
While I only have a few books left from my own childhood, I kept a lot of books from my children’s upbringing. What I don’t have in hand but would love to get can’t always be bought on Amazon, not even for the Kindle. So I buy vintage books through eBay.
For this summer, my oldest granddaughter wants to read the Black Stallion series (1941-1951) by Walter Farley. Although I had Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and many books by Marguerite Henry, starting with her 1947 Misty of Chincoteague and Justin Morgan Had a Horse (1954), my granddaughter really wanted to me to read to her the set of books her Grammy loved when she was little. So I went to eBay and bought them.
We’ll read at least the first one this summer. In my dream world, we read all of them, and her little brother, age six, gets hooked too. That may not happen. But I have to try. Now that I have them, I’ll hold on to them, hoping that one day she and her siblings and cousins will read them to their children and grandchildren.
Books carry a multitude of new thoughts, lots of entertainment, endless types of love, and lasting insights that open the entire world to us.
Books, whether hot off the press or antiquarian, matter. Because life matters. Life lessons guide us. And the best learning is through slipping into another world and absorbing all it has to offer…over and over and over again.
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