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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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July 17, 2008

Summertime rituals

Summer family rituals are among the simplest and potentially create the fondest memories. At least that’s the case of my childhood. Think: running through the sprinkler and lauching the traditional first small business: the lemonade stand.

In the next 24 hours my family will be taking off for “the lake” (already sounds like my childhood!). That's what we call it here in Chicago AND in Minnesota even though there are 10,000 of them. People just know you're talking about "your" lake. The car is clean and we’ll be packing it to the gills tonight. The three kids each have a backpack in which they can put books, a stuffed animal or doll and toys that fit... and we’ll be off.

Here’s what we (or I) have also done this summer that really needs to be done at least once:
* a baseball game; I went to two Cubs games this year. I’ll go to another on Labor Day. HO-LY Cow!

* Ravinia , the oldest outdoor music festival in North America. From Memorial Day to just past Labor Day, more than 600,000 people will enjoy an afternoon or evening at Ravinia. They’ll either pay for a seat in the pavilion or for a spot on the lawn to hear anything from Yo-Yo Ma to The Beach Boys. They’ll bring wine and a picnic, and as the evening wears on it's dining and listening by candlelight as far as the eye can see. We enjoyed the last live broadcast of Prairie Home Companion for the summer. It was pure joy to watch the kids making friends with other children and dancing together to "Powder milk Biscuits."
* Six Flags. It didn’t used to be in the summer line-up, but the kiddos are getting to that age. What can I say?

The other “must” for a summer in Chicago is Millennium Park. It’s still on our agenda.

But for now, we’re headed for our Minnesota lake cabin and all the memories waiting to be made. Feel free to share your summer memories and “must do’s” below.

And enjoy the rest of July and August! I know we will, because it won't be long and we'll be shopping for school supplies and clothes with pants legs and sleeves...

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