School is almost over and it’s time to get ready for summer camps. I think about when I was a kid and how every day was spent at the local swimming pool. We’d ride our bikes back and forth by ourselves from age 7 on up, we were independent and basically showed up for dinner when the street lights came on.

These days, in order to keep the kids busy, the alternative is summer camp. They get some sort of freedom, but they’re being watched over by older kids. They’re learning art, basketball or horseback riding, or learning about bugs or science. Kids these days have hundreds of options for a summer packed with exciting learning experiences.

But last night after watching a movie on TV last night called Sweet Home Alabama staring Reese Witherspoon, I was reminded of small town America and how simple life can really be. I started thinking about having a simple summer, somewhere in a small town, were my son can wonder up to the local store or local library or lake and go fishing or out to play where I wouldn’t be concerned. I started wondering if this life is available anymore in the state of Florida? I want him to have exciting learning experiences of course, but I also want him to enjoy out the outdoors and to find out about animals and nature outside of so much structure.

So I went on the hunt. It appears that there are many small towns in Florida that have small lake communities. The problem I find though is that they’re not sophisticated enough to write about it or perhaps they’re trying to keep the small town feel under wraps so others like me aren’t seeking refuge in a place of yesteryear. And if I’m seeking this small town existence, where the car you drive doesn’t matter, and the label on your shoes don’t matter, then how many others are seeking this sort of refuge too?

Do others get tired of the keeping up with the Joneses typical game that occurs in the suburbs? As I walk by the luxurious houses in our neighborhood that have exotic tropical plants that are neatly arranged, I start to stress about the professional landscaping that is lacking from my own yard. I have the plans to do it, and slowly we’re putting it together, but in the meantime, when it’s not as manicured as the two lawns on either side of us, I silently wonder what the neighbors are thinking about us? What about the cars? We’re not now driving our old cool SC 400 Lexus that we had before we had a child. We’re driving Mommy and daddy vans, a couple of SUVs that get us around town, but aren’t the chic glamour car of our past. That puts stress on me, because I want to appear that we’re smart and concerned about our outward image. But, we’ve been investing in our businesses, so we’ve put new cars on the back burner.

Ahh, the old days of summer… and the desire just to hide away to forget about the modern day stresses and to get rejuvenated for a few months. To get to sit by the lake, to fry up some fish, to drink a beer with friends and have the kids swim all day and come in just enough to eat and to plop in bed, tired and happy.

I long for those days, and I’m now completely obsessed with finding this life for us to enjoy for weekends and summers. Perhaps it’s at the beach, or perhaps a lake town, but now that I’m desiring it, I’ll have to find this old time place that’s in my mind.

Summer daze…. The wave of the future… of going back to how it used to be.