Here in New England, our temperatures dipped below freezing last night, which isn’t really that unusual for May. We’re always warned to avoid planting tender annual flowers before Memorial Day because until then, there’s always a chance of frost.
Actually, I’m kind of relishing these last few cooler days. Summer is going to be here any second, and truth be told, I don’t look forward to it as much as I used to. I really wilt during those very hot and humid days.
But I LOVED summer while I was growing up. The heat wasn’t really an issue then, because we used to spend the summers in a little cottage near a lake. We would get up early, have breakfast, pack a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a big jar of kool-aid, and head for the beach. We’d stay in the water swimming until our lips turned blue!
On the lake, there was a wooden raft with a diving board. It was a big deal when a kid became a good enough swimmer to be allowed to “go to the raft”. We’d swim out there, dive off a few times and then head back to shore, where we’d literally flop onto a towel and have lunch. Swimming made you hungry and those hastily prepared sandwiches always tasted so good after a swim. Of course, our mothers insisted that we wait an hour after eating (warning us we could drown if we swam on a full stomach). During that hour, we’d create elaborate sand castles with multi-level moats, and car sculptures, and an occasional “sand cake” (a pail was used to mold the cake, with leaves, sticks, and pebbles as the decorations!).
On cooler summer days, we’d ride our bikes, or grab a sand pail and go blueberry picking. (We usually ate as many berries as we gathered, but somehow there were always enough for my mother to make a blueberry cake.) When it rained, we spent hours with coloring books and crayons, or playing cards, or board games. It was a wonderful, simple, carefree time.
The painting you see above, hangs in our home now. Several years ago, we were at a charity event, where all proceeds went to benefit a community art museum. I absolutely fell in love with this painting. It so reminds me of many happy summers in my life. Sir Beads and I were lucky enough to be the high bidders and it made us feel good to also be helping the art museum. We both strongly believe that art should be encouraged and supported as much as possible – especially now that more and more schools, with shrinking budgets, are having to cut it from the curriculum.
These days, the best part of summer for me is the time we spend with the extended family. There are more events and gatherings than in winter, and I cherish the chance to reconnect with the ones I love. I get through the muggy days dreaming of autumn – my favorite season!