Summer is my favorite season of the year.

Summer is when I enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Minnesota, and when doing so I am often reminded of memories from my youth.

Growing up I was a country kid, who when on summer vacation from school would spend most of my day playing outside. I can remember the magic of youth and the freedom of having no responsibilities.

Throughout the year, and especially in summer I found myself reminiscing about some especially fond summertime memories of my childhood.

Recently, I took a drive through Beaver Falls County Park, located three miles south of my home.

For those not familiar with Beaver Falls it was a small community that was established in 1866 and named for nearby Beaver Creek. Other than a few residents today, there isn’t anything in Beaver Falls other than the cemetery, township hall and the county park.

I vividly remember in the early 1980s my parents, my siblings and I piling into our two-tone brown suburban and driving down the dusty gravel road from our home to Beaver Falls. As one would enter Beaver Falls Park South you begin to go down a hill, and I can remember my dad taking his hands off the wheel and pretending we were going out of control.

With all the car windows down my siblings and I squealed with fright and then laughed when we made it down the hill safely. Once at the bottom of the hill we’d drive slowly through the park and take in the scenery. I can still feel the summer sun shining on me and feel the gentle summer breeze circling around inside the vehicle. I had to be four or five years old at the time, because I can remember not even being in elementary school yet.

I can also recall sitting on my father’s knee, and he would let me steer the car, it’s safe to say this was my first driving lesson.

As we rumbled through Beaver Falls we drove over the steel and wooden bridge that still stands over the Beaver Creek today. My dad would stop on the bridge and pretend the car had stalled and that he was afraid the car was too heavy for the bridge and that we’d all fall in.

Of course the car would eventually go forward.

With each passing day I’m constantly amazed with the wonderment of my life and life around me. Every day, every season we have the privilege and choice to make our life grand.

A grand life isn’t all about material possessions or wealth. It’s about filling our lives with family, friends, peace and appreciation. It's my wish to all readers that their summer is safe and well enjoyed.

If you find summer slipping away, just embrace the concept of time and make the most of each day.

If you seek a local adventure do take a drive through the peaceful and rustic county park of Beaver Falls that is located just a short drive north of Redwood Falls.