My mom always spent a lot of time decorating and preparing for holidays when we were growing up. There was a drawer in the hutch in the kitchen that smelled of tapered candles and was cram packed full of wreaths, paper cut outs, garland, and crafts for nearly every holiday. And I don't just mean a plastic mosaic Santa or little plastic eggs. She had a collection of little leprechauns for St Patrick's Day, flags for Memorial Day, and bright foil hearts for St Valentine's Day. She drew elaborate little scenes on her calendar for these days with flair pens.
Mom took us to the beach at least once a week in the summers. Most of the time, we went to Old Lyme, which is where her mom, aunts, and cousins vacationed when she was little. We always stopped for Italian ices and penny candy before we'd climb, covered in sand, back in the station wagon to ride home. When I was a little older, my parents rented a house on Cape Cod, first for a week, then two weeks...eventually, my mom, brothers, and sister would spent a month up there, while Dad drove up on Friday nights and spent the weekends with us. We'd go to the beach every sunny day and eat balogne and American cheese sandwiches and lemonade.
My mom was fun. So much so because she didn't try to be. I hope when my girls think back on growing up, along with the bitter arguments about curfews and make up (gosh should I be so blessed!) they think that growing up with me was fun too.