Welcome, Summer!

IMG_1315I know the calendar claims that summer doesn’t officially start for another three weeks, but I have always considered summer to be the season that begins with Memorial Day weekend and ends with Labor Day weekend.  And I have always been so very glad when it finally arrives.

When I was a child, nothing beat walking home from the last day of school year, carrying a year’s worth of desk supplies with me and trying to wrap my head around that wondrous fact that I didn’t have to go back to school for weeks.  Summer meant freedom from my school schedule, long days of bike riding and playing with my friends, family barbecues, ice cream and popsicles, and frequent trips to the municipal swimming pool.  What wasn’t to like about all that?

Now that I am decades (many, many decades) past my childhood, summer is still a special treat.  These days, summer means nights spent sitting out on our patio, eating a meal or simply enjoying a glass of wine while the day fades slowly into a comfortably warm night.  It means all of my favorite fruits are in season, so I can enjoy fresh and locally grown strawberries, cherries, watermelon and peaches.  This is the time of year when a simple bacon and tomato sandwich, served with fresh corn on the cob, is more than enough for dinner.

IMG_1318Summer means that my yard is carpeted with lush, green grass and pots of flowers spread color everywhere.  The warm weather means I can happily pack away all my coats, gloves and boots, and dressing to go out usually means nothing more than changing into a dressier pair of sandals. Although most of my regular routine remains the same, there’s something about summer that feels slower, simpler, and more in tune with nature.

Of course I know that it’s early days yet, and that by mid-August, I will probably not be enjoying summer quite so much.  I’ll probably be sick of the flies and misquotes that seem to grow steadily in number as the summer progresses, and that my once lush lawn will be withering a bit, struggling against both the heat and the weeds that invade each and every year.  I’ll be tired of doing so much yard work, of having to water my flower pots almost every day, and of shaving my legs each morning. (I know I could wax them, but I tried that once and it hurt.  A lot.)

I’m sure that when the Labor Day weekend is over, I’ll probably be looking forward to fall, with its cooler evenings and beautiful colors.  There are definite advantages to living in a climate that has four distinct seasons.  But for now, at this particular moment in my life, all I can honestly feel is “welcome, summer!”

37 thoughts on “Welcome, Summer!

  1. Thank you for painting such a beautiful picture of summer Ann. Here it’s cold and I already miss the warm balmy nights and dinners outside. But that’s okay, I’ll just have to find things to love in the winter too! Enjoy making some special summer memories. 🙂

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    • Yes, I keep having to remember that it is only summer in our hemisphere! But then I also am reminded that one of the great things about blogging is connecting with people from all over the world, who may not be experiencing just what I am. I hope this brings good summer memories to you as you enjoy a much colder season!

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  2. I wish we had four distinct seasons in the UK. It’s (hot, for us) summer here at the moment, but it could be winter again tomorrow or in a few days. I adore summer (except for the flies and bitey-things) and always look forward to it. And yes, as you say – summer is still a special treat. Enjoyable post, Ann, thanks.

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    • Dang, that is too hot! In St. Louis, summer is usually not too bad, except for a few very hot and humid weeks in late July. But those are the weeks that make me glad that Fall is coming…. Hang in there!

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  3. Those first days of summer after school was over used to be so delicious and so much fun. Oh well, those were the days 😉 .But today’s treats can be more than pleasant too, I subscribe to everything you mentioned. Well, I don’t have a garden to worry about, but I understand the way those feelings towards summer progress. By the time August starts, my little corner of the world is suffocated by holiday makers and I can’t wait for autumn to begin. But right now, when summer is still fresh, it’s such a delight!

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  4. I feel the same – especially as we actually seem to be having a summer in Scotland this year. At the moment anyway……
    The thing I like most here is that it stays light so late. Not quite “White Nights” but it’ll do.

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  5. Thanks for evoking my own fond memories of that last day of school. For me too Memorial Day weekend has always marked the beginning of summer that ended on Labor Day (although in Northern CA September is usually one of the warmest months). When my kids were still in school it drove me nuts that school started in the middle of August. For me as a kid the first day of school was always the Tuesday that followed Labor Day. I don’t understand why school begins so early now. As I get older the old days seem better and better…

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    • Yes, I know that feeling! I think fondly remembering “the good old days” is just part of aging. And I still remember, very vividly, the pure joy of the last day of school, knowing that I had the whole summer stretching out in front of me to enjoy. We never went back to school until the day after Labor Day either, and I think it’s better that way. August is a summer month, no matter what the school calendar says!

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  6. You nailed it, Ann. Summer is chock full of simple pleasures. I live where there are four distinct seasons and I love things about each of them, but it’s hard to beat the lazy days of summer.

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  7. I also loved summer as a child for exactly the same reason. Tragic though it was to not have to go to school for all those weeks, I managed to contain my grief surprisingly well. These days, I have to go to work regardless of the season and all I’m left with are the mosquitoes.

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    • Mosquitoes are, in my opinion, one of nature’s biggest mistakes. And you’re right, summer isn’t quite the same now that our regular responsibilities continue on. But I still like the longer days, the fresh produce, the quick and casual way that we dress to go out, even to rather formal occasions. It’s not nearly as good as the joy we felt on the last day of the school year, but it’s still something!

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  8. It really is a special time of year and yes we will get tired of the yard work and the heat and all that comes along with it. But there is a sense of freedom that comes with just walking out your door with shorts and a tshirt or being at the beach in an hour with your feet in the sand that is hard to let go. I love the fall but I’m not a fan of winter. Maybe that’s why we appreciate spring and summer so much..:)

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    • I feel the same way! There really is a sense of freedom when it takes only a few minutes to get ready to go outside..just short, a t-shirt and some sandals, as opposed to sweaters, scarves and coats. Something about summer just brings me back to the simpler days of my childhood. Fall is nice, because by the end of August I’m starting to get tired of the heat and humidity, but I don’t care much for winter either. After two snowfalls, I’m done with it!

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  9. It’s nice to live in the moment, isn’t it? I, too, am ready for the seasons to change, but it’s important to enjoy the time while we’re in it.

    Btw, I add avocado to my bacon and tomato sandwiches. My husband calls them BALTs. 🙂

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  10. What I love about living where I live is the fact that we really have ‘seasons’. I love the fact that we can have fire season, snow, floods (right now actually, and not so great) and weather that really makes you know you’re born, lol.

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  11. You captured summer very well. I recall the sound of the ice cream man rounding the corner with his little white cart full of summer goodness that we’d begged our parents money for. The good thing about easing up on the leg shaving is the realization that if I have a hard time seeing my, ahem, overgrowth, maybe others will, too. 😉 Aren’t the eyes one of the first things to go? 😉

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  12. I like the way you think! And yes, fading eyesight has its advantages. We don’t see the “flaws” so easily as we did before…I don’t notice my wrinkles until I look in a makeup mirror or put on my reading glasses. And that’s a good thing!

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