Since summer is coming, my thoughts turn to the place that was most influential in my life. This was my grandfather’s summer home in Miller Place New York. From my birth until I was sixteen I spent each summer there with my family in glorious innocence and freedom. So much so that I wrote my first book about it. Thinking of Miller Place: A Memoir of Summer Comfort.
“In my memory I am resting in a hammock between a childhood that was and the reality of today. In it, I am in a place where I can still, if only in my daydreams, take off my shoes and run barefoot up the hill.”
This memoir is filled with reflections on my childhood summers in an idyllic town on the northeastern shore of Long Island, New York. The house was almost like a character itself – a big white house on a hill with a huge screened-in porch that was the hub of the house. Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners were eaten at the big round oak table. On rainy summer days the wooden shades were pulled down against the gentle rain, lamps turned on for card games of Canasta and I Doubt It or 1000-piece puzzles. Carefree summers in Miller Place in the 1950’s sustained my twin sister and me through the inevitable clumsiness of adolescence and informed the beliefs and values serve me today.
Thinking of Miller Place was first published in 2008, and revised in 2016 (©Wheatmark). Each summer I read it and remember. I loved being there, loved writing about it, and still cherish the memories of that home of my childhood.
Where did you spend your summers?
Do you have a “place” like Miller Place?
Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. She also enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Tucson Tellers of Tales, and just about anywhere there’s a mic.