Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Top-Ten List of Reasons to Love Summer


Living in extreme heat conditions can make me forget about the wonders of summer. This is my sixth summer in the Phoenix area, and I still don’t think I’m used to it. Can one ever get accustomed to such harsh heat? I have to wait a few minutes after I start the car so the steering wheel can be touched without burning my fingers! And if you touch the metal part of the seatbelt, you’re going to feel it. Just letting you know.

I’ll tell you this, though. I would much rather deal with 113-degree temperatures and sunny skies than minus fifty and icy roads in North Dakota. I still don’t know how I did that for four long winters!

I remember as a kid, summer time was such a wonderful three months. I’ll mingle in my childhood reasoning along with some updated ones in my Top-Ten List of Reasons to Love Summer.

10. Pool Pass. Yes, I own a pool now. But owning a pool really stinks. I would much rather use the city pool pass from my childhood to swim all day, every day, with my brother and sister. We played mermaids, dolphins, pirates, hide-and-seek, and Olympic swimmers. And that was all just in the first hour. After a wonderful day of pool time, we then scrounged and scrimped and saved in order to buy some penny candy at Garrett Honda or some tater tots from Reed’s Drive-In across the street before the loooooooong bike ride home at eight o’clock each evening. It’s amazing how tired you get after nine hours of non-stop swimming!

9. Fresh Fruit. I love that the grocery store smells like peaches and cherries and watermelon as soon as I walk in. It makes me crave all that sun-grown goodness. Did I mention avocados? Because those are pretty stinkin’ awesome during the summer, too. I love them year-round, but they’re actually affordable when they’re in season!

8. The Ranch. They were the best two summers of my life, spent with siblings and cousins on a ranch with my grandparents, hours away from any civilization. We didn’t have electricity, we used an outhouse, and our drinking water came from a rusty tank buried in the ground. A tiny amount of Country Time Lemonade was used to tint the flavor so that we wouldn’t notice the rust. It didn’t work, and I still hate lemon in my water as a result! We played, swam in The Crick, ate, worked, swam some more, and simply loved life. I have such special memories of The Ranch and will always love summer because of it.

7. Softball. When I was a kid, I played softball alllllllll summer long. I was in the city’s Little League and couldn’t wait for that magical time each year when I got to don catcher’s gear and swing a bat. Man, I love softball. All of those summers paid off when I made the high school team for four years!

6. Green Grass. Of course, this isn’t a consideration in my present living conditions. We water it and it is green, but it’s way too hot to go outside to enjoy it. Back in the day, however, I loved green grass all summer long. It was especially fun laying on the cool grass under the clouds and pointing out shapes. Ah, the simple pleasures of a television-free childhood.

5. Ute Stampede. Each summer, in the small town in which I was raised, the largest event of the year takes place. The Ute Stampede Rodeo makes the town population quadruple as old and young alike come home to enjoy the three-day event on the second weekend in July. Rodeos, parades, craft fairs, fireworks, carnivals, Texas Tornado Lemonade. You want it, they got it. I always looked forward to the Stampede. It’s been years since I’ve been now. Check out this awesome video of the Stampede made by a school friend’s Hubby, Donny Martin. He’s a pilot, too, so I approve.

4. Ice Cream. But we all know that this is not just a summer treat for me. Somehow, though, it just tastes better when it’s hot outside. If we’re getting specific here, and I’m always fine with specifics when it comes to ice cream, then let’s announce my official favorite summer ice cream as the Schwann’s Silvermint bars. I always want to flag the Schwann guy down when I pass him on the street. Miraculously, this hasn’t happened yet.

3. Fireworks and Hubbys. Four years ago this month, some guy I’d been dating got down on one knee and proposed marriage to me. After a gigantic fireworks display. Pretty cool, huh? I said yes.

2. Family BBQs. Like the one I’m attending today to celebrate the Fourth of July. Swimming in the pool, eating delicious food, and enjoying sweet babies. What more could you ask for on a summer day?

1. Corn on the Cob. My new favorite vegetable. Just make sure there’s plenty of butter, salt, and pepper to go around. Holy smokes.

Happy Independence Day!

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