My childhood summer happy place.


Where did your childhood summers happen—back yard, lake, neighborhood park, zoo, beach, campsite?

Your summer memories probably have a lot of different settings. Mine, too. But one location was a staple no matter what else we were doing the rest of the summer. It was one of my favorite spots . . . my happy place.

Every couple of weeks, mom piled us into the car and headed downtown. We parked on a street of smooth red bricks, headed down the  sidewalk and scampered up the wide steps to an old two-story house owned by the city.

As mom pushed aside the heavy door, we were greeted with a waft of cold air that smelled of old paper and musty wooden shelves and tables. I loved it! To me, it was the smell of possibilities.

I barely glanced around the first floor before making a beeline for the narrow staircase against the wall. It creaked and groaned as I double-stepped each landing all the way up.

At the top was my spot—the children’s books. Shelves and shelves of colorful books awaited me. I knew right where to find my favorite series. I spent time carefully selecting my choices. Each book opened up a new adventure or unique place. From this location anything was possible!

I could ride at full speed on a faraway beach atop a beautiful horse courtesy of The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. No mystery went unsolved with a little help from The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope. And I glimpsed what it would be like to have an unruly baby brother in the pages of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.

No matter what our plans for the summer, I’m so glad the library was a stop along the way.

There are many ways to read or hear a good story these days, but the charm of a library visit cannot be matched. Today’s libraries have added features of read-aloud time, crafts, educational sessions, special guests, movies and more! As you plan your children’s summer schedule, don’t forget to look up your local library and get a list of the special events there going on all summer. Most are absolutely free.

Here’s a list of just a few of the wonderful local libraries in my neck of the woods. Many of these I’ve had the privilege of visiting and reading to the kiddos. These great libraries can be part of your child’s summer memories. Click the links to find out about story time hours, special events and more.

Bullard Community Library

Cameron –J. Jarvis Troup Municipal Library

Frankston Depot Library

Henderson Country Library, Athens

Jacksonville Public Library

Lillie Russell Memorial Library, Lindale

Palestine Public Library

Tyler Public Library

Whitehouse Community Library