Tomorrow my son starts school again. Tomorrow. The summer days that stretched so alluringly ahead of us are gone—just like that! Though I’ll miss being able to wake up without an alarm clock most days, I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see summer go. That makes me sad, because I used to love summer.
When I was a child in California, summer meant visits to my father and to my grandparents’ 22-acre farm. It meant trips to the beach with my friends, tennis team practice, and frozen yogurt at the Cow Palace. It meant listening to music (records! on a turntable!) for hours, reading while lying on the couch and the occasional Dodger game. These were summer rituals I looked forward to all year.
Now that I live in Florida, I don’t love summer anymore. Summer now means trying not to suffocate in the humidity, and, as an adult, there is little lessening of my normal responsibilities. Still, I do have some summer rituals that I enjoy and that help me make it through the hot months:
Family vacation to a rented lake house in Georgia.
Sunday afternoons by—and in—the pool. When you’re wet, it’s almost comfortable to be outside. I take the Sunday paper and my crossword puzzle book out with me.
Tampa Bay Rays baseball game. They play in an air conditioned dome!
Reading a writer’s biography. This year it was Dared and Done: The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. In previous years I’ve read about Louisa May Alcott and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Reading a “classic.” Summer really does have a more relaxed feel…perfect for slowly digesting a classic piece of fiction. I haven’t done this yet, but I can still get started before summer ends. Any recommendations for a readable classic?
Movies as a family. This is harder and harder to do with a 16-almost-17-year-old, but we all wanted to finish the Harry Potter saga together.
Pedicures. What with all the bare feet and sandal wearing, every summer I like to get at least one pedicure. It feels so luxurious to have someone paint my toenails!
I hope your summer has been full of long, lazy days, cool drinks and relaxed explorations. I’m always looking for more ways to make summer fun, so—what are your favorite summer rituals?