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May 8, 2014 - Brett Van Waus
As I’m out and about around town, covering this and that, I see kids playing in parks, smiling, laughing and enjoying these spring days that will go into summer. A smile always takes over my face because I remember my summer days growing up. Almost every summer my life was spent on a little island in Croatia where my dad is from. My sister and I would go for three months as kids, two months as high schoolers and three weeks as college students. Our summers were spent on this small island with no cars or internet, two cafes, three restaurants and a population of about 500 people in the summer. It was like a big family. The island is surrounded by the crystal-clear, blue, Adriatic Sea. Every morning, except Sunday, we would swim from the pier to the beach, dry off and eat lunch. The food my grandma makes is delicious. My favorite meal she makes is fish, caught that morning, with french fries. We would sleep after lunch then around 2 p.m. go back out for an afternoon at the beach. We would swim, have drinks or ice cream at the beach cafe and play beach volleyball with other American kids who also have parents from the island. Every other summer our parents would join us. Sometimes we would travel to other countries during the trip, but for the most part we would stay on the peaceful island. As we got older, we would see less and less people our age there. My sister, a 21-year-old student at Grand View University, just started her summer vacation. She is going to Croatia in August. I did not go last year nor will I be going this year, it’s not a complain, it’s growing up. But I will always cherish these memories from my childhood and hopefully give my children (when I have them) the same summer experience.