I’m certain I have reflected on my past summers on this blog but I think it’s interesting that I don’t have any super concrete memories that involve summer. Perhaps my brain is remembering things I did but not placing these moments in a summer month. I often think about riding my bike to friends’ houses, swimming in their pools, playing on slip ‘n slides. The thing is, growing up in an almost always warm climate, that could have happened in nearly every month.
I always woke up early – for school, on weekends – so I can’t remember specifically sleeping in or waking early during summer break. But these are the kind of summer break tropes you see so often. I am sure I realized the more leisurely way the days began and ended, but I can’t quite remember.
I have these memories of my mom being home with me; this could have been before and after she went back to work, since she worked retail at night and then went back to teaching. She made us picnic type lunches and spread big blankets out in the grass for us to sit on. Something about the way she made a sandwich – so good!
I remember wandering down the alley behind the house, just a couple home lengths, and looking at the tiny black and red grasshoppers that sat on the Gold flame honeysuckle bushes. We’d grab a couple and play with them for a bit before getting bored and heading back to the house. My back yard was huge and my sister and I liked to have my parents give us challenges to do: run to the grapefruit tree and back twice then circle the Lime tree and come back to start.
These days, I get that summery feeling but vicariously through my children. Some days are better than others; when they actually feel relaxed, don’t complain about being bored, and we conjure up fun activities. The last two weekends we’ve had friends and families over to swim. We lay in the sun and drink beer and eat snacks. I try to put together what they like to call “Yacht Rock” playlists. Stuff like Hall and Oates, America, Christopher Cross, and a whole lot of Toto. I seem to recall this music playing when I was a kid too – it was the soundtrack of riding in the car. It’s all around relaxation at its finest.
Last night, the sun shining in through my back windows cast a hazy glow onto the walls and the couch, making me feel that certain something about summertime. My favorite is late summer – high summer – when I’m almost tired of the heat but still enamored withe feeling of it being more relaxed and a time to slow down a little. Sure, I love Fall and all its cozy goodness, and winter with Christmas and the fireplace. And I even like Spring with its new growth and greenery. But summer, nothing beats the way it makes me feel.