In my book, it's not the last day of school or the midyear solstice that marks the start of summer. It's the smell of paper mache. When my sisters and I were young, we'd visit my grandmother for a week in early July, the three of us traveling together by train on The Hiawatha, with its bubble-top view, from Illinois to Wisconsin. When my grandmother had had enough of our eating the Heath bars hidden in her kitchen cupboards and chasing each other through the upstairs halls, she'd ship us off to Aunt Coba's for the afternoon. There, my sister Jill mixed up flour and water for paper mache paste, while Lynn and I ripped The Milwaukee Journal into strips wide enough for the animals we were bent on creating... 

Family Circle, 1999