When summer began I had the same feeling many parents do, worrying about how I was going to fill all those long, lazy days. Of course any worries I had were soon set aside by a grueling schedule of sleeping in, lounging around the swimming pool and starting a movie at 9 p.m.
There’s no rushing, no homework and no real bedtime. We’ve all settled quite nicely into a daily routine of slack and sluggishness with only a few time-outs for grumbling since many of our plans were made back when we didn’t live on the surface of the sun.
Now, most days easily top 90 degrees and we spend most of our time, naturally, discussing the weather and how it’s too hot to live. I seem to recall just a few short months ago we were up to our necks in snow and ice and spent most our time, naturally, discussing how it was much too cold to live.
What this proves, of course, is that we are just determined to be unhappy. That or we hate being seared to the sidewalk the moment we set foot outdoors.
So far, despite the bone melting heat, our summer has been glorious. Languid, lazy days. The swimming pool a lifesaver. I’ve blown through a few good light summer novels too.
We have the most awesome countrified slip ‘n’ slide ever installed on the front sledding hill. A store bought slide extended with construction plastic dragged from the barn has created plenty of slide upon which to slip.
The grass is dying under it, of course, and part of the fun seems to be hitting the inevitable mud slide that crops up at the end. Due to this alone, most loads of laundry end with at least a fistful of grass after every load as it is washed out of the pockets of swim trunks. Thank goodness we aren’t raising grass but rather, healthy, active kids.
We started our garden with high hopes, as we always do. We spent an entire week prepping our plot, laying out a grid, carefully setting our seeds into the soil. Only to immediately forgo weeding in favor of hoping a well meaning rabbit or six might show up at night to nibble the weeds down, perhaps?
As it turns out, we are more local farm market than personal farming types. I have come to appreciate living in a region with a produce stand on every corner. Despite — or maybe because of — the record heat, the summer’s produce has been some of the best we’ve had on record. The sweet corn is particularly sublime this year.
Speaking of summer’s glorious repast, I know that summer is supposed to be grilling season but I’m not feeling it. I view the grill as less a friendly backyard tool and more weapon of mass destruction bent on killing me when I least expect it.
Do you know that I am mumble-plus years old and have never, ever lit a gas grill? Those familiar with my mechanical aptitude — or lack thereof — are not the least bit surprised. If I ever decide to try, you’ll know it. That will be known as “the summer without eyebrows.”
I keep a watchful eye on the television for fear the back-to-school ads will sneak up on us. The moment they come on I plan to throw a shoe at the television in protest. Autumn, while lovely, seems to come far too early each year.
Still, despite summer’s obvious charms, I am a Midwesterner at heart. I love cool autumn air scented with clean wet leaves and wood smoke. I like early morning soccer games while snuggled in a thick sweatshirt and cradling a steamy Styrofoam cup of cocoa.
I love apple-cinnamon scented candles and the return of thick, hearty soups and creamy casseroles to our menus. I know the meaning of the term “good sleeping weather” and enjoy pulling on a cozy pair of thick socks just to walk around the house.
I can embrace the coming autumn even as I mourn the loss of summer. I’m good at multitasking like that. But for now, there’s still summer with its long days, fresh fruits and cool dips in an icy blue pool.
We have one more week to pack in lounging, relaxing, roller coasters and the zoo. We will soon trade sunscreen for school supplies and relaxation for the rituals of scheduling and order, and that, too, will be good.
I hope that you too will embrace the coming seasons and say “it was a good summer, but not the last one.” Let us all remember during the coming long, cold winter that we have every reason to cling to the belief that summer will come again.
Meet you by the pool, say, same time next year?
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt loves all four seasons — within reason. She welcomes comments c/o LifeOutLoud@comcast.net; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or www.KymberlyFosterSeabolt.com.)