Reasons to Love Summer

It's summertime.  I know, I know!  Summer doesn't officially start until June 20, but for those of us Way Down in Dixie, summer is here!  Some mark summer's arrival with the last day of school.  The ink is barely dry on the final report cards (Don't even get me started on the State of Georgia's foul up in releasing scores from the mandatory End of Course Testing so final grades can be tabulated and recorded.  Trust me, the tests were administered and returned to the State's DOE in plenty of time.  It's two weeks report cards.  Like I said, don't get me started!)  and some folks have already packed up and left town!  I think it's safe to call "SUMMER!" when you start seeing days where the mercury consistently hits 90F or better.   That would be us, in this part of, all together, children..."SUMMER!  SUMMER!  SUMMER!" 

There all sorts of reasons to love summer and these are no particular order.

THE BEACH:  There is something about the sound of the ocean's roar that is comforting to me.  Do you agree?  I LOVE the sound of the waves making contact with the shore.  I love the smell of the salt water...and the taste.  Just stop...don't tell me in all the times you've ever gone ocean swimming that you've never licked your lips and got goose bumps or some kind of little zing from the taste!  I love how I can feel the ocean's rhythm in my bones when I go to sleep.  My first encounter with the ocean was when I was very young...six or seven.  We arrived in Charleston, SC deep into the night.  I was asleep, but my daddy woke me to tell me we were there.  It was so dark and I seem to recall very little moonlight...maybe just enough to discern the movement of the waves.  What I do remember, with great clarity, is how the wet sand felt.  "It feels like pudding!"  Besides Charleston, I have beach memories from Kiawah Island, SC; St. Simons Island, GA; the Florida Gulf Coast islands of St. George, Sanibel and Anna Maria; Ft. Morgan, AL; and various spots around Oahu.  And I do love the ocean, but etched into my soul is my love for Lake Huron.  Not much surfing on Lake Huron...but there are no jelly fish or sharks, either! 

LEMONADE:  Good lemonade...just the right mix of tart and sweet...that beautiful yellow color.  It refreshes and relieves my soul.

POPSICLES:  The fancy ones from places like Steel City Pops...outlandish and unusually flavored and OH, SO GOOD!  I like the old fashioned red, white and blue rocket pops, too.  Those bring back great childhood memories.

BLACKBERRIES:  We like them so much, I made two cobblers in one weekend.  Cobbler was eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

SPRINKLERS:  When we were kids, we thought we were living large if Granny let us hook up the sprinkler for the sheer, hedonistic pleasure of our amusement.  She and Papa had one of those sprinklers that nearly had a range of 180°.  It might have been slightly short of that mark, but it made a beautiful, rainbow like arc and it was some kind of F-U-N!  Better than playing in the sprinkler at Granny's, was playing in Aunt Jewell's sprinkler.  She had a huge side yard that had plenty of room for us to cartwheel through the spray.  I even think she'd put it out on the driveway...she had a GREAT driveway...and let us drive our bikes through it.  Of course, we weren't sprinkler snobs...the garden hose with the nozzle attachment worked just as well.

SUN KISSED BABIES:  Love, love, LOVE chubby little arms and legs poking out of little sun suits.  My favorite are the little butterfly tops and bloomers that they make for little girls.  So sweet to see them paddling about in their little wading pools in just their swim diapers...when they are too little for their near state of nakedness to matter a great deal.  I always got a good chuckle out of the "Coppertone Kid" tan lines that the boyos sported in their baby days.

GRILLING:  In my part of Dixie, we can pretty much grill all year 'round.  But it's really the best in the summer...something about the smell of charcoal wafting on the breeze...AND, not heating up the whole house with the oven!

TOMATOES:  Good, old fashioned, grown in the dirt tomatoes!  For hamburgers, for sammiches...for Caprese salad, for bruschetta....for just by themselves.  As the song asks, "What would life be without home grown tomatoes?"  And the green ones are just as prized as the full ripened ones!  Fried green tomatoes...anyone????

FLIP-FLOPS/SANDALS:  Of course, in my part of the world, we can almost get away with this choice of footwear all year long.  But, it's best in the summer.  And it's best of feet are given the proper attention.  If your heels look more like hooves, you need to intervene.  The general public thanks you.

FIREFLIES/LIGHTNING BUGS:  Something kind of magical about the little critters.  Even if their light show is all part of their mating ritual.

BUTTERFLIES/DRAGONFLIES/HUMMING BIRDS:  They hold the same kind of whimsy and fascination as the fireflies do. 

AIR CONDITIONING:  My husband works for the power company.  They make money when the AC's run.  So, I try really hard not to complain about the heat, because it helps generate the revenue that pays Mr. Snark's salary.  I am thankful for my AC and for the money to pay the electric bill.  I might choke a bit doing it...but it's worth every penny. 

I'm sure there are more things that could go on the list...but those are the ones off the top of my head.  What's on your "Best of Summer" list?