“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and
the lawn mower is broken.” — James Dent
It’s time for a break.
When I think of Summer, here are a few things I think of …
- Catching lightening bugs (though some people called them fire flies.)
- Driving with the top down in the Jeep, and a few favorite songs playing on the radio.
- Picking strawberries with Mom.
- Working out by the lake and wondering just how much pain it takes to gain.
- Van Halen and “Hot Summer Nights.”
- Day dreaming as the cloud float by and the gentle breeze whips my hair.
- Driving to the shore with visions of the beach, the boardwalk, and the sand on my feet.
- Star-spangled skies and cannon-like booms on the 4th of July.
- Lying in the grass and learning how the bugs lie there, too.
- Free-falling at Great Adventure.
- Roasting marshmallows over a crackling campfire and the smell of wood smoke.
- Ghost stories that were more corny than scary, except one.
- The smell of charcoal and the sizzling grill.
- The sound of a lawnmower in the distance and the sweet smell of grass.
- Riding roller coasters where as they went down, my spirits went up.
- Playing wall ball at the little beach and learning how much fun a ball, and a wall can be among friends.
- Following back roads on my motorcycle, with the Sun on my back, and wind in my face.
- Crickets and frogs at night singing us to sleep.
- Fishing in places on a bright Sunny day where it didn’t matter if there were any fish at all.
- The local carnival, the Ferris wheel, cotton candy, and winning a little goldfish in a bowl.
- Crab apple fights in the streets and garbage can lids as our only armor.
- Playing tennis on clay courts under the beating sun, and learning the meaning of “love.”
- Catching frogs and turtles with nets in a a boat that barely floated.
- Busy little bees buzzing around the gardens in full bloom.
- The weirdest insects that I never knew existed.
- Catching salamanders down by the stream, and the little babbling brooks.
- Swinging from the rope swing out over the little swimming hole under the bridge.
- Rock climbing down the cliff, falling, hitting a few trees, and deciding to stick to trees.
- Climbing high among the trees and getting a better look as far as the eyes could see.
- Summer movie blockbusters and let downs.
- Camping and wondering why getting away from it all, and roughing it, just seems so good.
- Practicing fly fishing in the backyard, and learning how to finesse a fly.
- Picnics in great open fields, where everybody seems to have no place better to be than right here.
- Porches and porch swings and screen doors that know how to creak just right.
- Pool parties and lobster by the bunches.
- Racing golf carts and boldly going where no golf carts had gone before (or ever should.)
- Listening to “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and thinking, yeah, today is like that.
- Lightening lighting up the lake in brilliant flashes of bright white light.
- Building forts and learning what Private Property means.
- Watching “I Dream of Jeannie” and wondering what I would do if I ever found a genie in a bottle.
- Playing Street Fighter II at the pizza parlor and mastering the hurricane kick and Shoryuken.
- Pockets full of quarters while making my way through Gauntlet.
- Early morning swimming lessons when the water was too cold, before the Sun was too hot.
- Italian ice, and wondering if this time I could eat it before it melts down my hand.
- Hot dogs at Benny’s, and his amazing little hot dog cart on the corner by the road.
- Summer jobs when it seemed like Summer was not for working.
- Backyard camping and learning it’s not how far you go, it’s how free you feel.
- Learning the guitar, and realizing how you’re only as good as you practice.
- Biking to the magic shop 10 miles away, and learning how Ron’s hands are quicker than the eyes.
- Riding horses and wondering why it looked so much easier on T.V.
- Gazing up at starry nights and wondering does anything that’s out there matter more than anything that’s right here.
- Making a wish upon a star, and then wondering if it didn’t work because maybe it wasn’t really the first star I saw tonight. It was just a plane.
- Wondering if I would ever fall asleep, as I lay hot and sweaty in bed.
- Seeing just how far I could jump from a swing, and survive.
- Finding out why a tire swing is only as good as the tree it hangs from.
- Finding out just how dizzy you can get, when you challenge somebody to make the playground roundabout go faster.
- Playing kickball and baseball in the streets, and wishing the sun could stay up, just a little longer.
- Chasing the Ice Cream truck down and hoping Mom would say yes, since we caught him.
- Roller blading too fast and too high down sidewalks, up stairs, and over tables.
- Reading some of the best books of my life.
- Exploring. After all, that’s what Summer is for.
- Spending lazy days on the beach and wondering if it’s worth growing up.
- Windsurfing, but mostly trying to stand up.
- Trying flippers for the first time and wondering where they had been all my life.
- Lemonade and Iced-Tea by the pitcher.
- Catching things that probably shouldn’t be caught.
- Going on a Burger Quest to find the best burgers in the world (or, at least around town.)
- Crabbing and learning what kind of patience it takes to land one.
- Vowing to swim with the dolphins only to find out they weren’t actually there.
I hope a few of these things helped you rekindle some of your favorite scenes of Summer.
Image by Luis Hernandez.