Summer Swan Song

Dear Summer,

Thank you so much for coming to visit. It seems like just yesterday that you arrived.

I am sad to say it but, farewell fun in the sun, fireworks, and family picnics. So long to sipping lemonade, sleeping in, and slip-n-slides. Goodbye going to the park, pool parties, and play-dates. Your favorite activities will be left behind and the playgrounds will be abandoned for a while.

But, we enjoyed our time with you. There are so many wonderful memories. Don’t worry, I’ve enclosed pictures for you.

Remember all the walking we did in the Las Vegas heat. And the littlest dude was sick with strep. That part wasn’t fun but we made up for it by eating well the rest of the trip. The fast food tour of the West coast was worth it.

I loved seeing the family for the first time in five years. WOW. How everyone has grown? Me a little wider. LOL. It was nice to sit and reminisce about childhood. Celebrate graduations and the next phase of life. Soak up some vitamin D on the front porch with you.

I’m so thankful that we were able to stay up late and sleep in. No where to hurry off to. People talk about lazy days and stopping to smell the roses (as the expression goes). Such beautiful blooms to admire, it was wonderful to stop and smell them along the way.

What fun it was to see the sights. Play tourist and buy souvenirs. Like trips to the USMC base, Camp Pendleton, to see the helicopters; the LEGO store; and the children’s museum in San Diego. Imagine an exhibit on garbage and recycling. We learned a lot about taking care of our planet because of it. We won’t forget our time together in California.

The thing I love about you, Summer, is the meals we share. We had a lot of great gatherings; breaking bread and catching up with all of our friends. Chicken and burgers on the grill; fresh fruit; ice cream … making s’mores over an open fire while watching the sunset … all of your favorite smells and flavors.

We read lots of great new chapter books with the boys. And they did some reading on their own which makes me smile. I’m glad it wasn’t all video games and movies. They managed to unplug a little bit too.

We will cherish the laughter and the tears of our trip to Chicago for Comic Con and LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Two LEGO locations, in two different states, during your visit; how funny.

I admit that it wasn’t all good times. There were those moments we had to say goodbye, not like I’m saying goodbye to you now, but final goodbyes to life long friends. People who lived full lives and people who were taken too young. Thankfully, you were here and, we could comfort one another which made it bearable.

Another one of my regrets is that we didn’t really make it to the beach. We drove by several while on vacation, but our feet never touched the sand; our toes never tested the water. Oh well, maybe next time you’re in town we can make that happen.

Thank you for helping us make the most of the season. Now we have new stories to tell; to hold us over until next year. Summer, it’s always hard saying goodbye. We wish you didn’t have to go but it’s time for the boys to go back to school and the rest of us to fall back into our routine.

We’ll miss you … Please take care until we see one another again.

Love Always,
Gail

PS. Next year come a little earlier and stay a lot longer.

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The Promise of Summer

Fudgsicles. Red, white and blue Bomb Pops. Orange Creamsicles. Nestle Drumsticks. Late afternoon shouts, “Ice cream truck. It’s the ice cream truck.” Children running and waving money.

Riding bikes, roller skating or playing ball in the street with friends; these were the best ways to pass the time. We would play all day but reported home when the streetlights came on. Sometimes we’d play a game of hide-n-seek under the cover of night with the neighborhood kids while parents sat on porches and listened to the sounds of stealthy children.

We would make trips to the local pool or play in the sprinklers for the sake of cooling off from the heat. Taking frequent trips to the library to find new adventures to fuel our fun.

The smell of fresh cut grass. Clear blue skies. Golden sunshine streaming through the gaps of the clothes on the clothesline. Laughter in the distance as kids enjoy their freedom.

Veggies from the garden:  summer squash, tomatoes, and zucchini. Eating peaches, plums, and nectarines right off the tree. My Dad often paid me to be a human scarecrow and ward off birds from his precious fruit trees. Chicken and burgers on the grill. Family and friends laughing as we prepare the evening meal together. True community.

Sleeping in till lunch time and watching soap operas all afternoon:  Search for Tomorrow, Days of Our Lives, and Another World. No set bedtime.

Even though I was a little bit of a nerd and enjoyed school, these are the things that summer always promised to deliver for me. Can you see it? Close your eyes and imagine …

Summertime!

Now as a mom of two small boys summer represents some new things …

Ice cream is still involved, just not from an ice cream truck. They are few and far between. When I was young you could set your watch by the arrival of the ice cream truck. Now we’ll stop by one of our favorite ice cream shops.

As the school year comes to a close for my boys, I see that they are in need of a break from the regular routine. They are crabby and annoyed. Counting down the days hasn’t helped. They need a vacation. I am excited for them to have one. I want them to have memories like mine.

The mom in me is excited that I won’t have to remember to pack lunches. There won’t be a need for clean school uniforms and arguments about being in dress code. We can say goodbye to Manic Mornings where tired children meltdown over things like eating breakfast, getting dressed, and brushing their teeth.

Summer can’t get here soon enough. I will fill it as best as I can with:  Fudgsicles, Red, white and blue Bomb Pops, Orange Creamsicles, and Nestle Drumsticks, for my boys.

We will laugh and play in the sunshine. I will put on running shoes or find a bike path. I will stand in the heat and blow bubbles for a game of “Bubble Wars”. I will step outside of my comfort zone and do outdoor things with them. We’ll celebrate the promise of Summer.

Get ready because here it comes …