I love summer.
I love everything about this fine season. I was born in the summer so we bonded from the get-go. It is the peanut to my butter, the flip to my flop, the Sherlock to my Watson (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?). Summer is woven into the strands of my DNA. It is my BFF, my paramour, my first true love all in one.
I’m so glad it’s finally here.
Oh sure, I like the other seasons just fine. In fact, autumn is practically tied with summer in my book. Winter is o.k. I can appreciate the quiet beauty of it when the world seems to slumber outside my window, giving moments to pause, reflect and rest. And spring? Well, that’s another story. It is way too fickle for me. One day it’s all “Hey, come outside! It’s warm and sunny! Frolic among the pretty flowers!” and then the next day it’s all “Hahaha. Too bad, so sad. It’s gonna rain for days on end and be as cold as winter so all of those nice veggie starts in your garden are gonna die a slow, painful death.”
But summer? Oh, how I adore thee! It is right up there with a certain classy, British actor. No, I couldn’t possibly choose one over the other – I ardently and equally adore them both. But what I will do is share with you all of the things I love about this glorious season:
Gentle, cool mornings: They start way earlier than I ever seem to get up to fully enjoy, but when I do? Total bliss. Me and the birds and the dewy soft grass and the quietness of the world around me. Oh so lovely.
Hot, steamy days: Bring it. You read that right. Bring. It. Aside from my wavy hair sticking out in a more horizontal fashion, I actually like a bit of humidity. Consider it another one of my ‘features’, if you will. Growing up in the Midwest, hot and steamy meant summer was here. In the Northwest, hot and steamy doesn’t happen very often. In fact, hot isn’t a typical descriptor for most summer days that barely eek out above 80 degrees. If it gets above 90 degrees, people here are dying. Oh, if they only knew what true heat and humidity was like then they wouldn’t mind those few hot days. Why do I like ’em hot? Because then it will be warm enough for me to go swimming and, as an added bonus, the nights will be luscious and sultry.
Long summer nights: I could go on and on about how I absolutely adore a long, lingering dusk. I can’t get enough of them. The warmer the better. I love it when you don’t have to be bundled up in jeans and a jacket to welcome it. Besides, playing Kick the Can, Ghosts in the Graveyard and Flashlight Tag is so much more enjoyable if you can move stealthily through the night in your dark t-shirt and shorts. All the better to scare your friends that way.
Fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market: Happy days are here again! I love going to the market each week and seeing the delectable fruits and veggies on artful display. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, fresh greens, tomatoes, herbs, eggplants, carrots, peppers of all colors, and so much more. Pure joy.
Summer storms: Love ’em. The more brooding they are, the better. Lightening and thunder? Ooooh, yes and yes! I am like a moth to a flame with storms – almost foolishly so. No, I don’t go stand under a tall tree with an open umbrella wearing my metal-plated gladiator disguise. Just a nice, wide front porch with a view of the action will do.
Shorts, sundresses, flip-flops and my favorite sunny yellow skirt: I am always deliriously happy to shed all of the sweaters and coats and bulky winter gear when summer finally arrives. Dresses and skirts are my go-to garb all summer long. The gentle summer breeze is better felt on your legs that way.
Ice cream and gelato and s’mores made over a camp fire: Do I really need to explain this one? I didn’t think so, except to add that eating them outside under a star-filled sky is a must.
Fireflies: As a kid, I marveled at these fascinating bugs and the way they could light up a night. Swaths of darkness would be transformed into a sparkling, twinkling light show right before your eyes. Catching them and temporarily putting them in jars to watch was fun, too. Unfortunately, the Northwest doesn’t have fireflies, at least not where I live. I have to make a yearly pilgrimage to the Midwest to get my firefly fix.
Sunscreen on sun-warmed skin: There’s just something about the coconutty smell of sunscreen that puts me in a good mood. Maybe it’s because I am always covered in the stuff throughout the summer and associate it with sunshine and warmth. Or maybe it’s because it just smells so good. Either way, it makes me very happy.
Gardening and harvesting your own crops: I plant my favorites each year – tomatoes (what on earth is better than eating a warm, ripe, freshly picked tomato?), beans, peppers, eggplants, mint, cilantro, and tons of basil so I can make a boat load of pesto to freeze and enjoy all year-long. Yummmmm.
Swimming in a lake: The rivers here are lovely and fun to go rafting on but they are insanely cold because the water is primarily snow melt from the mountains. Ditto for swimming in the Pacific Ocean. It’s gorgeous and all, but way too freakin’ cold for me. The local pool is o.k., but it can be crowded and difficult to goof around or just swim. Lakes are much more conducive to such shenanigans. Plus, having the mountains as the backdrop to it all is priceless.
And last but not least: summer is followed by my other favorite season: autumn. Don’t worry, autumn. Your time will come and I’ll send you a love note, too.
So, dear readers, what do you love about summer? Anything you would add to my list? Any fond memories to share? Any summertime traditions that you enjoy? The doors are wide open in the kasbah, the sun is pouring in through the windows and I’ve just poured some fresh tea. Sit a while and share your summery thoughts.