My Facebook feed has been full of pictures of the “last day of school.” Many of those photos are of high school seniors who are celebrating their FINAL “last” day of school, while others are of students in kindergarten through 11th grade who are just excited for summer break!
The theme song to the cartoon Phineas and Ferb (created by Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh) states:
“There’s 104 days of summer vacation till school comes along just to end it. So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it.“
The song then goes on to list things that they are going to do. If you are unfamiliar with this cartoon (which is as entertaining for adults as it is for children), it is about two step brothers who make the most out of every day of their summer vacation. Phineas is often heard to say, “Ferb! I know what we’re going to do today!” They then proceed to work on their big idea while their sister tries to get them in trouble.
Some of the big ideas they had include: building a rollercoaster, building a beach in their back yard, becoming a “one hit wonder” band, become movie directors, carve their sister’s face into Mount Rushmore, build robots, go on a cattle drive, create a new season, become secret agents, build the world’s biggest ice cream maker, create a hot new toy, turn their car into a monster truck, build a shrinking submarine, fix a time machine – and time travel, reunite a rock band, build the ultimate treehouse, transform a dinghy into a pirate ship, have a chariot race through their town, build a Ferris wheel, build a roller derby rink, discover a caveman, hold a medieval tournament, build an escalator to the moon, created the biggest bowling game, build a miniature golf course, build a real working teleporter after seeing one in a movie, build a haunted house, paint the unpainted desert, make a cartoon about themselves and their friends, created a rainbow-inator because their friend has never seen one, build a rocket and go to space, build a flying car, AND create a portal to the planet Mars. THAT is all from the first season!!
Let me say that I NEVER had a summer quite like Phineas and Ferb, but I certainly looked forward to summer vacation. As I have mentioned in the past, many of my summer days were spent playing baseball with the guys from my neighborhood. When we weren’t playing ball, we were usually riding bikes, playing cops and robbers, running through the sprinkler, or playing with Star Wars figures.
I believe that kids today are missing out. They are glued to their phones, tablets and video games. I know trying to get my older son outside to do anything is a chore. My daughter loves to be outside! I hope she always stays that way! There are SO many things to do outside. This summer, I plan to spend lots of time outside.
During our summer breaks as kids, one thing my brother and I always looked forward to was a weekend or two up in Caseville. When my grandparents bought their place up there, we went often. Many times we’d be their with my aunt and uncle and my grandparents, too. On those weekends, it wasn’t odd to have a tent pitched outside because there were so many of us.
Highlights of Caseville included fishing at the back lake, swimming at the beach, horseback rides from the folks at the end of our street, and tooling around on the mini-bike. In town, we could stop at the IGA for groceries, play Putt Putt Golf, or shop at many of the souvenir shops. Occasionally, we’d drive over to Port Austin or drive down to Pigeon to walk around.
The only other real trip I remember was when I was 11. We went up to Mackinac for a week. I remember we visited the Grand Hotel (where the movie Somewhere in Time was filmed) and because we were in shorts and tank tops, we didn’t stay long. I remember posing next to a cannon and I was wearing a cowboy hat and those awful tube socks! We also got to go on the boat ride over to Mackinac Island. There were no cars on the island and there were many horses. We visited the Fort, which was full of wonderful artifacts. One of my favorite pictures is of my mother standing over my brother and I while we are locked in the stocks.
As summer vacation approaches, I hope that we will be able to do something nice with the kids. They are both still very young and may not remember it all, but I really want to take them somewhere. I just need to sit down with my wife and talk things over. The two of us will “find a good way to spend” time together as a family!