\ ES-tuh-veyt \  , verb;
1.To spend the summer, as at a specific place or in a certain activity.
2.In zoology, to spend a hot, dry season in an inactive, dormant state, as certain reptiles, snails,insects, and small mammals.
We used to estivate in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  I’ll never forget those days.  Here are some of those memories:
Some things should never change.  My family should always refer to me as the “Hula Hoop Champ of ’92.”  The Reader’s Digest in the downstairs bathroom at Grandma’s should always read “The Lowdown of Outlet Malls” and be dated September 1999.  The Gator-fan-Santa riding in the hot air balloon that serves as the fan pull-string should always hang low enough so that even the youngest cousin hits their head.  No matter how old, John and I should always set our alarms over Christmas Break in order to move the Bear Countdown to Christmas first.  We should always have at least 22 cousins, aunts, and uncles play Hardcore Ping Pong and run around the table with a friendly competitive spirit.  Uncle John should always tell thrilling stories and claim that each and every one took place when he was 12 years old.  When in doubt, Greg should always be able to be found by the fire and when we hear the crocodile sing, “Mmm mmm them sure are some tasty cookies…” we’ll always know it’s Dad sneaking the cookies upstairs.  The last hand of Sensational Rummy should forever remain my pride and joy.  Josh should always cry at the thought of goodbyes.  The smell of Grandma’s french toast and crisp bacon cooking should always be enough to get us out of our warm beds, while hoping and praying snow has been doing its job over night and has covered the ground.  Grandpa will always threaten to hit me with the first snowball, and I should always beat him to it.  I only kind of hope John always squeezes my hand far too tight during the prayer for Grandma’s lifechanging roast.  Though the stories may change from hiking down the creek to new girlfriends and baseball doubleheaders, we should always sit by the glow of the fire on our respected tree stumps, laughing and waiting for Alex to get excited about his poking stick catching on fire and running to the lake so we can all hear it sizzle.  Every year we should continue to tell the story of Ben losing his shoe in the woods, and Zach finding it 3..4..or 7 years later.  Joshua, Emily, and I should continue to dream about the “sweet, sultry little biscuits of love” at Little Tokyo.  The sweet tea should always taste sweeter, the stars will seem to shine a little brighter, and the hugs always be a little warmer.  And for now…in my mind I’m gone to Carolina.   🙂

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