Summer is here and it's time to kick back, relax and make memories! We can still remember long afternoons on grandma's covered porch shelling pecans and walnuts, the smell of citrus blossoms heavy in the air. Everyone was there - grandparents, cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles so of course there were stories, jokes and laughing. What are some of your favorite summer traditions? Holiday parades, picnics at the park, hikes in the mountains or boating on local lakes? Here are a few fun summer ideas that you might enjoy. Perhaps they'll even become an annual tradition!

1. Serve

Local service projects abound. Check the web-site www.justserve.org for local opportunities. Visit a local nursing home with fresh flowers, a song or a handwritten note. Weed a neighbor's yard or mow the grass of a friend who has been overburdened with responsibilities. Stop at a lemonade stand and help the neighborhood kids earn some extra money. Opportunities are everywhere!

2. Plant a garden

Gardening doesn't have to be overwhelming or expensive. It can be as simple as planting a few herbs in a porch container or creating a simple square foot planter and adding a few tomato and pepper plants. Here are a few ideas for some DIY planter boxes!

3. Explore a new local destination

So many times we travel to distant destinations and we don't even realize what we have in our own backyard! Check out some new hiking trails, national or state parks or local rivers to kayak or canoe. Have you been downtown recently? Often there are historical walking tours, cultural arts and performances, and open air concerts. Speaking of backyard, if camping feels too overwhelming just pitch a tent in your own yard and enjoy a night outside with the comforts of home nearby.