Summertime Adventures

When I think back on my childhood, I think of summer adventures and what they taught me about life. Even though I wasn’t in a classroom like I was the other 9+ months of the year, I still had the chance during the summer to learn some lessons about life, whether it was exploration, relationships, geography, creativity, adaptability, plant and animal life or a variety of other important life skills. From building things in a vacant lot with the neighborhood kids, to trips with family, or trips to the beach and the mountains, riding my bike to the Farmer’s Market at 3rd & Fairfax, hanging out at the La Brea tar pits or summer jobs for neighbors doing babysitting/yard work/housework, all of those adventures and activities helped to make lasting memories and shape my character and vision for the world.
One of the more prominent memories were my two childhood trips to Nebraska with my grandmother. My grandparents on my dad’s side (Komsak) were from Nebraska, as was my dad. When my dad was discharged from the Navy after WWII, he was sent to the VA hospital in West LA. When my grandmother (who was a widow at the time) came out to California to see him, she fell in love with Santa Monica/LA and she and my dad relocated to southern California. However, she still had several siblings, nieces and nephews in Nebraska that she enjoyed visiting, and so in the summer of 1969, my brother David and I made our first trip with grandma to Nebraska. That first trip was via train because my grandmother did not like to fly, and a subsequent trip was via Greyhound bus (I enjoyed the train much more!!). That first trip in the summer of 1969 was amazing for us native Angelenos. To have the opportunity to stay on farms and learn where milk, beef, pork, eggs and corn came from was pretty cool for me as a 7 1/2 year old. As you can note in a photo of me riding the horse with my patent leather boots, I was a bit of a city slicker, but my Nebraska cousins were very patient with me.
My brother and I had an amazing education in food – eating vegetables that we picked and learning to milk a cow and “slop a pig.” That summer I gained a new appreciation and love for tomatoes, green beans, rhubarb and corn. We also discovered at my great Aunt Anna’s farm what it was like to not have indoor plumbing! On subsequent trips to Nebraska, I not only had the chance to build bonds with my extended family, but learn about another part of our great nation, and another aspect of life and those who labor to produce our food.
I hope that wherever your summer plans take you, that you will find time to make memories for yourself, your children, your grandchildren or whoever you take on the journey.  Maybe a trip to the beach will give the opportunity to build sandcastles or collect seashells, or a trip to a local farmers market will teach you to eat something new and different. Whatever you do, enjoy each adventure.


Posted in Pastor's Article and tagged , , , , , .