01 July 2009

Good things about the summer

Since I haven't been doing a heck of a lot of stitching the past few days, and haven't been in the best of moods--I'm so ready for vacation, it's not funny--I thought I would post the things I love about the summer. Last night, I laid in bed, stitching with the window open. SO went outside to water, and of course the pittybulls had to assist him. Beazer let out the most delightfully agonized whine; his daddy refused to spray him down with the hose, since it was late, and the last thing we need is a wet dog running through the house. His reaction to the hose is so funny. Such a small joy, and yet to him, it meant everything. Summer is like that, a celebration of the small joys.

--Running through the yard with sparklers after a small-town fireworks celebration, making designs in the still night air. We did this when we were very small, always in the back yard, with the admonition, "Don't take those in the front yard. They're illegal." My mother was an outlaw, buying sparklers right across the DC line before work, so she didn't have to worry about running the gauntlet of county police who watched the stand, waiting for cars with Maryland plates to come back over the line. LOL. I never wanted to go in the front yard. Sparklers are a private show, not for the whole world to see.

--Waiting for the first tomato of summer to ripen. And then eating it on the backporch. Sliced up with salt on it. Usually eaten with steak. Is there any more blissful thing to eat in the world than a back porch tomato you coaxed into existence with grubby child's hands, a bit of Miracle Gro, and hope?

--Going to the county fair. In my best clothes. Hearing, "Don't get dirty. Stay with your brother. Stay off the rides, they're dangerous. Don't play the games" as I bolted away. Stuffing myself with pastel cotton candy and rich red candy apples. Admiring the sleek rumps of Grandpa's horses; somehow, in the light of the showring, brushed and shiny, with halters he'd kept hidden away for "the fair", surrounded by their ribbons, they looked so much finer than they did in his pasture. I felt honored to know such magic horses.

--The smells of summer. Salt brine. Sunscreen. Hot wet pavement. There is not a candle on earth that can replicate those particular summer scents. I've tried to find them. There's a wax melt I buy that sort of mirrors the sunscreen, but the real thing is so much nicer. I can always smell when we're close to Chincoteague because of the smell. It hits you before you get to Wallops Island. And I love it. It's a coming home smell.

--Picking fruit. Every 4th of July morning, we'd load into the car and head off to pick cherries and blueberries. Last year, I picked in the rain. Soaking wet, covered in wet foliage, I picked. And we feasted. A morning's communion with the fields and the sun yielded berries that we ate for months, once frozen. I have also picked raspberries, but I have to say they aren't as much fun to pick. Blueberries, they just roll off in your fingers. Heavenly. I'm going to try to make us a pie. I'll let you know how it goes.

There are so many other things that are just wonderful about the summer. What are your favorites?

I'll be off for vacation. I can't promise to post pictures, but I'll try. Have a blessed and safe 4th of July.


Kathy A. said...

Ahhh - the memories of summer.
I remember making mud pies and decorating them with daisie petals for icing and the insides for sprinkles.

Tammy said...

Thx for stopping by my blog! Great post here-I love summer and beachy things/places too.

riona said...

As a city kid, I remember catching lightning bugs ... walking down to Jack's candy store with my grandgather to buy a quart of hand packed home-made ice cream ... begging my mother for money to buy ice cream from the Bungalow Bar truck ... and then, much to her disgust sharing my ice cream with Taffy, the cocker spaniel ... playing hide-and-seek in the gathering darkness ... Mom's egg creams and malteds [she loved that blender] ...barbecues and the smell of amoegia [a blend of fresh tomatoes, garlic and olive oil] basted on everything, even the hot dogs ... body surfing at Riis Park and swimming at Manhattan Beach ... the great Italian smells of the Canarsie Market. Summer to me was city sidewalks and city beaches and city parks and city shops. Growing up in Brooklyn in the 50s & 60s was a wonderful thing.

Patti said...

Have a great vacation!

PS: The smell of solarcaine is what I remember about summer, and citronella candles. Cucumbers make me think of summer, too.

Lisa said...

Thank you for the chance to look back at summers when I was a kid. Life seemed a little simpler then - biking around the neighborhood with friends, playing cops & robbers (or Charlies Angels), making clubs (there always seemed to be someone we wanted to leave out - was I really that mean?), selling lemonade on the driveway, playing in the sprinklers...I remember the time my grandparents would drive to MN from MO to pick my sisters and I up and take us back with them. We would drive across Iowa, stopping at little cities and, when back at their house, we were definitely spoiled for a week. Ahhhh...the memories of childhood summers!

CindyMae said...

I love summer to a point but I truly love winter more. Of course here in West Texas, winter is like most peoples spring or fall! LOL

Cindy Mae
Shop is now open:

riona said...

As a city kid, my summer memories are of catching fireflies, playing hide and seek at twilight and begging Mom for ice cream whenever the Bungalow Bar truck came by ... I'd favored that brand because the truck looked like a cottage complete with picket fences instead of doors on the cab of the vehicle.

Meari said...

Great memories, Rachel! When I was little, we'd go to my Dad's cousins for a day of picnic'ing (lots of homemade dishes from all the relatives) and then later sitting in their front yard to watch fireworks that were being set off right across the street.

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls