Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A "Sense" of Summer by Jodi Moore

You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of the girl.

This month, we are sharing thoughts on the theme HEAT. Unlike the day Kimberly Sabatini posted, today is hot. The heat is on, as Glenn Frey would say.

And though my body is landlocked in central PA, my heart is already “down the shore”. My memories of spending time at my grandparents’ house while growing up are precious. Vivid. 


I can still feel the burn on the balls of my feet as I scurried toward the ocean, the sand itself blistering, soaking up – and sharing – the scorch of the sun. My parents tried to convince me to wear flip-flops, but to me, that wasn’t an option. As a kid, I wanted to feel the grit. I wanted to feel the fire. I wanted to experience it all, in every “sense”:

The glint of the sunshine dancing on the distant swells, as airplanes competed with clouds to share messages in a sapphire sky.

The delicious scent of sunscreen mixing with briny air and picnic baskets filled with peanut butter sandwiches and sun-kissed plums.

The squish of the wet sand between my toes as I finally reached the ocean. That stop-your-heart frigid first wave crashing over me.

The screech of the sea gulls over the gentle shush of the waves. The song of the man trudging through the dunes, calling, “Iiiiiiice Cream! Fudgie-wudgies!”

The creamy sweetness of the day’s chosen indulgence pairing with the salt on my lips, and the gritty sand clinging to my fingers.

Oh! We can’t forget the unexpected treasures...

new friends...

And sky-scraper high sandcastles, begging for dragons to move in.

It’s all there. As if it were yesterday.

So why are our childhood memories so sharp? Of course this is only my humble opinion, but I believe it’s because as children, it’s our nature to explore. To investigate fully. To throw ourselves without abandon into any and every situation.

No outside world static. No preconceived notions or biases. No excuses.

Focused. Unapologetic. Unrelenting.

It’s a child’s job. And no one does it better.

As a children’s author, it’s my job to stay in touch with my inner child. 

Won’t you join me? 


  1. Thanks for this vicarious day at the beach!

  2. You're welcome, Jennifer! I think all of us should take a field trip... ;-)

  3. Lovely. Reminiscent of the sanity recharging week I spent last March at Sanibel Island.

    1. Thanks so much, Berek. The beach is my happy place. <3

  4. I'm in! Love that picture of you as a kiddo <3

    1. Yay! When do we leave...? ;-) <3 (And thanks!)

  5. I was totally there with you. And welcome to YAOTL!

    1. Thank you for inviting me, Holly! I'm so honored to be a part of this amazing, talented group! <3

  6. Great read, Jodi! It's pretty amazing how childhood memories stay so sharp, even as you age and other experiences try (and fail) to crowd them out.

  7. Welcome to YAOTL, Jodi! One of the theorists I used in my children's lit M.A. thesis was Yi-Fu Tuan, who did space and place theory. He posited that children know "places" better than adults ever will because children experience the world with more of their senses. They won't hesitate to lick a tree, for example. You'll never know a place like you would if you'd known it as a child.

  8. What a great post! I think what you said about children being curious and fully investigating the world around them that struck me as so important. I've reached that age where I can't remember yesterday. But yet, I have vivid memories of being in my crib, in my stroller, in my mother's arms. I remember kindergarten, but not if I paid the phone bill.

    When I was little, my family used to go a place calles Suntan Lake. I think it's in NJ. I have technicolor memories of the playground, the water, the woods. They're so sharp, I can smell the water, smell the suntan lotion (nobody used sunblock then), the vinyl inflatable toys. Just as Courtney said, I truly believe the strength of these memories is because all of my senses were engaged in the lake's exploration.

    Thanks for a fun post!

  9. Welcome to YAOTL, Jodi! I love this post. I've spent at least part of every summer of my life "down the shore"! It's my happy place too. I breathe better as soon as I cross the bridge to the barrier island.