Jemma's Tales

Inspirational Thursday-Summer

July 16, 2015
July is the month where I long for a trip to the Mountains.

This was always the month that our four children and I made our sojourn to spend two wonderful

weeks with my parents in the home I grew up in, near the Rocky Mountains in Idaho.

It was normally thee highlight of the year, we did not have extra money for vacations so my

Parents generously paid for the flight to get us all home and treated us to lots of love and fun



And then there was Mom's heavenly baking-

Always, always a fresh batch of homemade sugar cookies, topped with

white pillars of frosting and waiting just for us.

These memories are very special to me, they pull at my heart even now.

I long for those times once again and I miss my parents.

Summer in the Rockies, such a sweet and magical time.


                                       The older that I become, the more I long for a few weeks spent there,

                                        where the scent of pine trees is the only fragrance I need.


Going home with the children probably should have seemed like work, but it never ever did.

It always seemed like a trip of a lifetime, I'd hurry scurry around purchasing doodle pads,

crayons, view finder toys (remember those) and new outfits for the big plane ride to the


I could hardly sleep the night before the trip even as I got older, because I was going home.


                     On the other end, Mom's end, she'd be taking special requests for her grocery list.

                             Her pantry was full of many confections and her freezer was too.  

            I remember one year the kids went crazy over fresh raspberries, cream and sugar with a

                                                  sugar cookie on the side, of course.  

                   The traditional welcome home meal was always the same, and that was just the way I              
                 liked it.  Homemade mashed potatoes (from the garden-it is Idaho!) fresh peas or beans                                
                       gravy, beef roast, and homemade Parker house rolls, topped off with Iced Tea.                                      

       All of the kids loved to go to Porter's, it was a shop of many wonders.

       Each of them got some "mad," money to spend as they saw fit at the shop of wonders.

       Mom would load us all up in her car and slip a Patsy Cline cassette into the cassette player,

       and away we would go.

       By the end of our visit all of the kids nearly  knew every song that Pasty sang by heart.


Yellowstone National Park is only about an hour and half from where I grew up.

So it pretty much became a tradition for us all to go through the park every Summer.

Well, as we kept adding on more children, Mom's care seemed to get smaller and eventually

we all couldn't fit in it.

This didn't stop my Mom, she rented us a Van from Ugly Duckling Rentals for the trip through

Yellowstone National Park.

It wasn't a luxury Van, it was more of a Van that looked like it should be transporting inmates.

To this day I can see it all and it makes me laugh.


These were great Summer Vacations, thanks for walking down memory lane with me!

Do you have a Summer Vacation story to share?

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  1. Hello Jemma, Lovely images of Idaho and the mountains. Hubby and I both enjoyed our trip thru Idaho to Yellowstone. It is a gorgeous state to drive thru. Thanks for sharing your memory, enjoy your day!

    1. Thank you Eileen, with such gorgeous scenery all around it is pretty easy to take a good photo, I am sharpening up my photo skills for the next trip.
      I am glad you enjoyed your experience, both Idaho and Yellowstone are very special to me.

  2. What a beautiful post ! :) I want that welcome home dinner : )

    I remember going to an old one room schoolhouse camp that my grandparents owned in Clarion PA when I was young.

    1. Thanks Deb! I want that dinner too-just the way Mom made it.
      Grandparents always come up with the best ways to have fun!

  3. What a beautiful post ! :) I want that welcome home dinner : )

    I remember going to an old one room schoolhouse camp that my grandparents owned in Clarion PA when I was young.

  4. I feel like I have just been to Idaho with you. What wonderful and sweet memories! The pictures are breath taking. Oh I can only imagine the wonderful time you all would have with these visits. I love it when you said...the pine trees was the only fragrance you needed! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    1. Cindy,
      I am glad you came along with me! Give me the scent of the pines and I am a happy woman-

  5. Good morning dearest Jemma! My internet was down starting late last night into this morning, and I'm barely getting back!

    I feel such a connection with you, your past, though I grew up in the city of Los Angeles. But your recollections of your mother's baking (I loved my mother's icebox cookies with sugar icing) and family vacations are very much a part of my life to this day. We had the best extended family camping trips....I will never forget the feel, the taste, the smell, the sounds of those times. We'd go to a family friend's ranch up in the Malibu mountains and camp out in the canyon. Horse back riding, Mexican food, my father's accordian playing, and laughing at the adults (they were so hilarious) will always remain in my heart.

    What a GORGEOUS PLACE YOU ARE FROM! I am learning more about you , and it is fascinating. You have a great heart, and I look so forward to more. Enjoy as this summer day spools out into a memory. Back later on email!

    1. Anita,
      These recollections we have are priceless, and they will sustain us throughout the years of our life and become more endearing with each passing day. We were both so blessed to have these precious times with family.

  6. What a joyful and wonderful memory! How lucky you are, to have such. And your children too.

    I *envy* people who got to go-somewhere, in the summer. Especially to a grandparent's home or a gathering-of-cousins kind of a summer place. Nope, I never did. But I can enjoy your memories, and the memories of other's, written down in books, etc.

    Gentle hugs,

  7. Each year I have been driving my kids to visit my parents on the Florida coast. Our annual trip sounds much like what you have described. Wonderful care/treats/food/love from my parents. My parents are much older and this year it was just my daughter and I for the visit. Great girl time, but not the same without our guys with us.

    1. Michelle,
      You are making such great memories for your children, yourself and your parents. You know towards the end of my Mom's life on the last Summer of her feeling well enough to go and do a bit-
      she told me she wouldn't haven't missed all of this for the world!

  8. Jemma, I loved listening to your stories growing up, and the area you grew up in is beautiful I've always wanted to go to Yellowstone Park. Your mom sounds like a trooper, just like you. How fun that you took trips when the kids were little. I also took a few trips with husband and kids, and they were mostly camping or trips to the ocean. I do remember one vividly when Nel was 2 going up to my brother-in-law's ranch in Oregon, and we had such a great time riding horses. Your mom's sugar cookies sound yummy, and I bet she couldn't wait til you all arrived. Thanks for sharing your story, Jemma, and I love that picture of the water and rocks, it's awesome.

    love, ~Sheri

    1. Sheri,
      Thank you for sharing this precious Summer vacation, it sounds magical. It had to be one of those trips that the family will always look back on with smiles.

  9. I just got misty thinking about our old place in Lake Placid NY, we used to take the kids there and stay for 6 weeks a year. Now the kids grew up and we sold it as it wasnt used. I truly miss the tranquility and your images reminded me of that! I love hearing about peoples memories and your Mountain memories are wonderful!

    1. I love hearing about peoples memories too! Your memory of precious times in Lake Placid, sound nearly perfect and what a treasured 6 weeks that must have been. You know, I got misty writing this and told my husband this morning -lets go the mountains today!

  10. Jemma,

    I really enjoyed this post---your memories are so crystal clear in your mind and you described everything in such a way I could almost smell the pine and was craving a sugar cookie! Of course I'm in the flat land of Illinois so mountains have always intrigued me---we get away to Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains once in awhile and it's awesome. :)

    Thanks for the smiles!

    Jane x

    1. Jane,
      Glad I was able to share the trips with you, they were magical indeed!

  11. Oh Jemma, I can so relate to your wonderful story of summer memories. As a kid I visited my grandparents every summer at the 1,000 Islands in NY. We went over to Canada to fish, went to Sandy Beach and played on the 10 acres that they owned. It was a time that I won't forget and I would love to go back in time for a day!

    1. Aw...thank you for sharing this fun Summer memory-aren't they the best and I wish we could go back too!

  12. It looks like you were raised in heaven Jemma! Seriously, I look at Mother Nature's wonders and think how can anything be more beautiful than this? I've decided I'm never going to die ;).

    Your memories are so sweet and strong, I can feel what it was like while you made those trips in the 'prison van' lol, ate those delicious cookies, and the delectable welcome home meal your mom prepared so lovingly for her family. You're so very fortunate to have had such a wonderful family, and I'm sure 50 years from now your children will be saying much the same about their memories.

    1. I was raised in Heaven! I like your plan-I'll join you-no death for us:)
      Thank you for joining me in my Idaho Summer...

  13. Jemma, What a beautiful post. Your mother sounds like an awesome mother and grandmother. It was so nice to read about your cherished memories of your Mom and trips back home.

    1. Thank you Joan, Mom was amazing, and gave this life 100 percent effort, she is missed.

  14. Wow, moving from the mountainous area of Idaho to Texas must surely have been quite the cultural shock!
    Summers sounded like such a fun time with your mother. I am sure your children cherish every minute they were there.

    1. Well moving to Texas was sad because there weren't any Mountains! We counted down the days to Summer and they were always a slice of heaven.

  15. What sweet and loving memories, Jemma. I wish I had been in your family, too ;) The photos you shared here are amazing!

    1. Thank you Julie, it is such gorgeous country and Mom always called it "God's Country"

  16. Oh, that meal sounds good! We didn't even have a car, so never went on a vacation.

    1. Brenda,
      It was the best, everything made from scratch and of course Mom had every recipe memorized so she never even opened up a cookbook-she and those Summers were amazing.

  17. Oh my goodness what beauty that state has - I had no idea what so ever. I think you have some wonderful wonderful memories there.

  18. Your memories are wonderful...and family treasures....that sounds like an amazing place to grow up, and your Mom sounds amazing. No wonder you miss it so much. Visits home to family were always the highlights of our year. We would drive up twice a year, that was our vacations. They are the best kind aren't they?


  19. The mountains are lovely. I can appreciate Mother nature so much! Sharing memories is lovely. I know your Mom is missed, but you have many wonderful memories. She sounds amazing! Have a lovely weekend. xo

  20. Oh Jemma, such wonderful memories. My favorite memories from my childhood are the month long vacations we spent with my grandparents each summer. xo Laura

  21. Hi Jemma,
    What a lovely story! I know exactly what you mean about anticipating and loving every moment of summers and vacation traditions. With my own children, every year we packed up and headed to the Cape. One summer we went even though I had just had my third baby. It wasn't easy with a newborn but I didn't want to spoil the annual trip for my 12 and 8 yr old daughters so off we all went. I knew I wouldn't sleep anyways so what did it matter if I didn't sleep at the beach? We had a ball anyways and to this day it is still one of our favorite places to visit. The smell in the air brings back all the memories as soon as we pull into the parking lot of the hotel we stayed at. It sounds as though you had some wonderful times at your childhood home, and what a location! Wonderful memories to last a lifetime! I enjoyed your memories Jemma! Thank you!
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  22. I remember you taking those trips with your kids! What wonderful memories! I also am so happy you & I shared Yellowstone on your special birthday! One of my favorite memories of US!

  23. Oh, what a sweet sweet post! I can hear the excitement in your words. What sweet memories for you all and it brings back that old saying...there's no place like home.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  24. Hi Jemma, what a heartfelt and charming post. The heart does long for home at certain times in the season doesn't it? Your photos are gorgeous and I am sure keep wonderful memories alive for you. Like dear Shelia said, there's no place like home.
    Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings, cm

  25. Beautiful photographs. I'm from Alberta Canada so Mountains are home to me too.

  26. Jemma, I have never lived away from home other than a short 6 months that our family lived in AZ while my hubby was sent to consult with another engineering co. Still, I can imagine how coming home would feel. Idaho is a gorgeous place and we love Yellowstone! We are actually heading to Downata Hot Springs, in ID in Aug. with all of our kids for a couple of days in Aug. It's a place hubby would go when he went to visit his grandparents, in Virginia, ID. Glad you had a fun time! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  27. What a wonderful memory, Jemma. It made me long for the summers of my youth and miss both sets of my grandparents even more than usual. Such wonderful visits...

    I hope you're having a lovely weekend, my friend.


  28. Oh Jemma, This is a beautiful story of your summers in the mountains. I feel very much the same way about my family time at Lake Tahoe. My parents owned a cottage near the shore for 20 years and we made some very special memories during that time. When my dad passed away my mom needed to sell it-but I remember our time there so fondly. Your images and words capture this wonderful time in your life.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Happy mid-summer, Jemma! I'm finally back from 2 weeks away and catching up! :)
    xx, Heather

  29. Dear Jemma,

    Such a warm and lovely, heartfelt post, told to us in your sweet storybook style, making us feel as if we, too, were there, with you, and your big, loving family! The Rocky Mountains, like all mountain ranges, are truly magical for their mystifying beauty, strength, and height. Your pretty photos made me 'pine' for the mountainous skyline surrounding my own home, on the island. How I miss those inclines, densely packed with silvery leafed branches, and dotted with dark, oval shaped olives - edible jewels!

    Thank you for sharing your precious memories of family, food, and fun with us; they are joyful reminders of similar times spent with my own extended family, here in Canada.

    Hope, though, that you haven't forgotten ME, since I have not had the luxury of visiting my blog buddies, as I once used to. Just wanted to pop by and say, 'hi', and wish you a happy weekend!

    Sending love,


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