Looking for the Simple Pleasures of Summer

July 21, 2017

I hate summer in Florida. It’s hurricane season, mosquito season, sweat-through-your-T-shirt season, I-wish-I-lived-in-Maine season. All the cheerful articles and blog posts about having summer fun leave me grumpy, since many of their suggestions aren’t practical for our extremely hot and humid climate. My idea of summer fun in Florida is to stay inside as much as possible. Unfortunately, errands still need to be run, horses still need grooming, and household maintenance still requires setting foot outdoors. Now more than ever I need a stock of simple pleasures to look forward to until cooler temperatures arrive (probably sometime in January, if the past couple years have been any indication). I want to savor the summer, and I want to share summer pleasures with you…but I confess my stock of simple pleasure ideas is running low.

So since I’m such a summer grump, I put out a call to my friends on Facebook to see what simple pleasures they enjoy during the summertime. Here, in their own words, are some sweet summer pleasures they savor:

“Sitting in matching tree swings with my husband, talking and watching the fireflies. Tubing, also with my husband.”—Maria

“I just love Target in August. It reminds me of my young co-ed days going to college. We had one right next to campus at NAU, and it would be full of all my classmates, dorm mates, sorority sisters, and cute boys. Picking out sheets, towels, and even garbage cans made me feel so adult! Every August at Target still takes me back and this summer I get to do that with my boy!”—Moki

“Camping in the many places by or around Banff. We use a tent.”—Anita

“Really cold watermelon, corn on the cob, Rainier cherries…shared with family and friends; crepe myrtle trees bloom and when the blooms start to drop, they look like colored rain or snowflakes on the breeze; that glorious (peculiar) golden green color we see just before dusk. It’s especially noticeable after a rainstorm. It almost glows.”—Laure

“Tomato sandwich!”—Debbie

“I love grooming and bathing horses and then hand grazing them until they dry. Just spending quiet time with my favorite horses without asking anything from them. Another simple pleasure would have to be picking fresh veggies at work and being allowed to take them home to enjoy with my family.”—Chris

“With school out for the summer, I savor sleeping in!”—Kathy

“Sitting on my front porch between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. reading…when there is still a bit of coolness, but [it’s] not cold. It is refreshing, and so pleasant. T-shirt, shorts, maybe a hoodie. Birds singing, calm, quiet, pleasant.”—Lynn [Lynn lives in Canada—can you tell?]


“I love working in my yard. It’s a great way to sweat/get rid of some toxins and it’s good for my health, plus I get some good ole Vitamin D. Then I like sitting in the evening looking at my yard listening to the birds and hopefully catching a glimpse of some birds with something refreshing to drink”—Robin

“My favorite summer pleasure is taking a trip as far north as I can…to get away from the Texas heat.”—Becky [Clearly a woman after my own heart.]

After some additional thought, I came up with a few simple pleasures I plan to savor between now and the end of summer—pleasures like floating in our pool (now that our son is grown, we rarely use it), making homemade ice cream, sharing a margarita with my friend down the street, taking a few days off for a mini staycation, listening to music by candlelight, hosting a game night for visiting friends, and putting together the jigsaw puzzle my friend Mary gave me. Of course, there will still be plenty of reading and hanging out with Tank while he grazes. And perhaps the best thing of all, taking the pressure off myself to “enjoy” summer—or, at least, not worry about enjoying it in ways that other people say I should enjoy it!

What are your favorite summer pleasures to savor? Please share in the comments section!

Tank's favorite summer pleasure

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  1. Dear Kathy - I think your summer weather is equal to our winter weather. We tend to stay indoors those months because of the cold. We have hot days in the summer but they are bearable and I rarely need to stay inside. Smiled when I read about putting up your jigsaw puzzle - that is definitely a winter past time for me. Generally though August is a big reading month for me - due to summer winding down and things start to die away - not so much mowing and weeding needing done. Well take care friend and enjoy your indoor time. Hugs!

  2. Debbie--That's exactly right, we stay indoors more in the summer and go outside more in the winter. I should stockpile magazine articles about what to do indoors during the winter for use in our summers!

    Fortunately for me, my husband loves to putter in the yard, so he does most of the outdoor work. We don't have any lawn, but we do have weeds and vines that try to take over during the summer months. He does battle with them every weekend.

    Enjoy your beautiful summer!

  3. So, Kathy, here I am in Maine, and posting on my blog what I am loving about summer. I meet a fair number of people who summer here and winter in Florida. We winter Mainers like to tease them. "Must be nice!" we say with faux sarcasm, or, "Don't tell me about it!" Winters can be hard here and like you we still have to go out to do our errands, sometimes in blizzards. What I love about summer here: being by the sea, the bay, the islands, the colors!

    1. We're sort of in the same boat, only your winters are brutal and our summers are brutal. I often joke that I'd like to be a "snowbird"--a Florida resident only during the cooler winter months. Perhaps we need to figure a way to visit each other during the seasons we find hard!

      I still hope to visit Maine someday--the photos I've seen, and your beautiful sketches, make it look gorgeous.

  4. Like you, I hate summer in Oklahoma so my favorite pleasure is going to cool Colorado, like we're doing next week. The highs there should be in the 70's. Yay!

    1. Lucky you to be able to escape the heat! Hope you have a great time in Colorado. I'll try not to be jealous... :)