summer

July 15, 2010 at 7:28 am Leave a comment

Summer is my very favorite time of year, without a doubt, which makes it particularly funny that I live in Montana where winter takes center stage for eight months out of the twelve. But, who knows, perhaps it is because of those dark and cold months that I cherish the warm long days of river time and popsicles. In Santa Cruz, where I grew up, the sun is almost always shining and you start to take it for granted. You never wake up, see the sun, and declare that we have to go to the beach today. But here? When I check the weather and it shows illustrated suns and temperatures in the 90s stretching through the week, Nathan and I put our heads together, imaginary clip boards and pencils in hand, to best figure out how to get the very most of these precious days.

Turtle fountains by morning, river by evening?

Swimming pool today, river tomorrow?

Camping at a lake tonight and river on the return tomorrow?

You’ll notice that the river figures prominently no matter what the plan may be. Our first river day was July 6th this year, factoring in occasionally cloudy days, busy days, work, traveling, and child transfer days, means we have maybe forty days left. Forty-some days, out of three hundred and sixty-five. The pressure is intense.

Some days we only have time to race to the shore at seven in the evening, jump in, and race back home, because the thing about summer is that regular life still continues as well. Bills continue to arrive, we still get hungry, hamster food still spills onto the floor, towels still get that nasty wet smell and need to be washed.

I remember as a kid, starting up my summer vacation over a leisurely bowl of cereal, and gasping as my dad descended the stairs in a suit. Dad! Why are you wearing that? You mean you have to GO TO WORK in the SUMMER???? He always laughed and explained that yes indeed, his work continued no matter what the season or what the elementary school schedule declared. When Nathan heads out to a coaching appointment I have some of the same feelings. What? Where in the world are you going?

I’d like to float through every day, all five of us together and content, bellies full of watermelon and home-made turkey sandwiches. And I guess, to be fair, despite my complaining, when all adjustments have been made, a content image is what I will remember best anyway. When I search my memory of last summer’s snapshots I see nothing but river and warm skin. I’m sure there was work and grocery shopping but I can’t recall those parts.

Maybe, in order to squeeze out the most enjoyment, I should live my current life as though paging through a scrapbook, sliding gently past the toil and humdrum, and lingering on the sun dappled bits. I might want to stop scraping myself on the edges of “regular life” so that I don’t miss the forty (maybe) days left to us.

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Entry filed under: life lessons. Tags: , , .

one eye open how we roll

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