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Grandma's Memory Lane
The Poetry of Living
June E. Summers
ISBN: 9780917849589
Book (Paperback)
Park Point Press
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
144 pages
April 1, 2017


After eighty-some years of being a student in this Schoolhouse of Life, I felt an emotional urge to document both to myself and my world that I truly was here—that I was more than the author of another poetry book. Grandma’s Memory Lane fulfilled my purpose, and also became a way of acknowledging some important people who helped make these memories with me.

My family’s history is like a prize-winning forest of hybrids. The dominant one that influenced my life the most was an Oak Tree—my dad.

It was 1931. The United States was just a few years into the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in its history. And even though my strong Oak Tree worked double time to keep food and care for his new family, his first daughter felt like her world was a make-believe magical fairy tale. Her dad, though tired from a long work day as a truck garden laborer, still found time and energy to make little child­sized furniture, a homemade sack and trapeze swing, and a little riding car that ran by push-power and was the envy of neighborhood children.

My first home was located in a small truck-gardening community where neighbors were more like extended family members. The women did quilting bees and hosted homemade ice­cream parties. Kids played outside after dark, and parents didn’t worry about them. Though the feeling of fear was predominant in most of the States, my first dozen years were a blessing of rich soil this Acorn needed in order to be ready for her own future family of Saplings and Acorns. So now, let me in poetry form, introduce you to how this family was formed.

Remember, we’re all constructing our own Memory Lanes and will have shared them with others. But you are the Memory Keeper . . . so love yourself and enjoy the life you were given.

June Elizabeth Trowbridge was born August 20, 1931, at her family home in Austin, Minnesota. It was the early years of the Great Depression, when money and jobs were hard to come by. But from her perspective, June had all she needed, and family and neighborly love were abundant. Until age sixteen, June was raised by her two faith-centered parents as an only child. It was then that her sister, Grace, was born. Although June and Grace were many years apart in age--and seemingly polar opposites--their souls have always connected as one. In 1952, twenty-one-year-old June married her childhood sweetheart, Ken Summers. As a military wife she traveled the world and beheld incredible sights. June raised three incredible and unique children: two sons, Doug and Jamie, and a daughter, Kristi. They have blessed her with four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren . . . her "orchard" continues to grow. June's family is a constant reminder of how truly blessed her life has been. The love and adoration they continually give her warm her heart and inspire her being. June has been through many life changes. She suffered the loss of her daddy, who was her Oak, and then her mother soon after. She buried her husband, Ken, who was a recovering alcoholic, after forty-two years of marriage. She struggles now with COPD. Yet June senses an inner strength and purpose, and that her time on this earthly plane is not done. She feels her life is a gift that she continues to unwrap until her New Chapter begins. At eighty-three, June believes her poetic expression of life's experiences may be her greatest legacy. Her hope for readers is that they cherish the family ties that bind us all . . . through them our "orchards" grow. As you amble through Grandma's Orchard, pick a flower or two to call your own and gather a bushel of love and hope for each new day!
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