Friday, July 7, 2017

For the Love of Summer by Joy Preble

Summer used to seem so long, didn't it? Now I'm always saying "Can't believe it's already July!" and the stores start pushing school supplies right after the 4th of July and maybe it was always like that, but when I was a teenager and certainly when I was a kid, summer felt glorious and endless. We rarely went on actual summer vacations back then; the budget was always tight and my father wasn't much interested in traveling. But there was swimming and Cubs' games and biking and adventures and later there were summer jobs, a crazy string of them, including the summer after high school graduation when the sister of the woman whose kids I babysat, hired me as a 'marketing intern' for the accessories business she was starting.  I ended up working eight hours a day folding and packing scarves after the small team of women who spoke only Polish had sewn them. Now there was job that made the summer feel like a year!

Even when my son was younger, summers unfurled slowly: I was teaching school and the work year ended and there were these months in which we could move slower, hang out at the pool, go on adventures. Breathe. Some days we lapsed into the luxurious schedule I remembered from childhood: puttering around the house, watching TV, eating something and packing up a bag with sunscreen and snacks and drinks and then meeting other friends with young kids at one of the neighborhood pools. He would swim. I would lounge in the shallow end with the other moms. Eventually, it was time to go home and make dinner.

So yeah. I loved summer-- even though honestly, I'm more of an Autumn girl at heart. But when you grow up in Chicago, you relish warm days, because even in summer,  you still feel it sometimes-- that cool breeze off the lake with something colder riding underneath it, hinting at winter even in dog days of August.

Had a couple classic summer romances, too-- one of which should have ended in August but instead dragged on through February, ending in one of those breakups that you know is coming but are still dumbfounded by when it arrives-- the day after Valentine's of course.

What do you love-- or hate-- about summer?







7 comments:

  1. I think we lived parallel lives. We rarely went on vacation either. When we did go away, it was usually with my grandparents while my parents stayed behind. We had no air-conditioning. And summers in NY are notoriously humid. I hated having our windows open because I was afraid someone might climb in. But it was either that, or melt.

    I loved having hours to read. I found all sorts of cool places to escape from my annoying sister with a good book. The best was at a bus stop. Shade trees, lots of breeze, I'd spend half the day there. What I hate now is how fast it goes. But time in general does that, not just summer.

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    1. Bus stop reading! Too funny. So true about time in general, though.

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    2. Sisterhood of the no-vacation! And yes, how did I forget reading! (the irony!) I used to read by the pool for hours!

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  2. Things I love about summer:
    1-reading outside while hummingbirds sip over my head and sip from the feeders.
    2-a progression of ripening fruits and vegetables.
    3-August brings a myriad of cloud castles that are almost hypnotic as they pass grandly overhead.

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    1. Yes, fruit! In fact I just bought a bag of yummy cherries!

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  3. Best part of summer is the days stretching on and on, and you can get so much done. Or not--lazing around is one of my favorite summer activities!

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    1. Lazing around is the best. I used to never feel guilty about it. Now it's a struggle and it really shouldn't be!

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