By Eliska Counce, TSB Columnist
It’s the first day of summer! The solstice! A time of great celebration. I do believe as a Southerner it’s my favorite season. A good thing, as summer has a tendency to start in April in Texas and end mid-October. Best to embrace the season and it’s pros and cons. Sure, you have to come to terms with constantly pretty much feeling you’ve been dipped in marinade due to the humidity, but there are so many wonderful events and things that make summer so super.
Let’s start with the obvious: sleeping in. How nice is it not to have to blast the kids out of bed each morning? They are so much less surly when left to their own natural circadian patterns. And on the flip side, it’s also pretty cool to allow them to stay up late. Especially since the sun doesn’t go down in Texas in the summer until 9:30 p.m. anyway. It’s hard to enforce bedtime in broad daylight. Summer says may the schedule be damned!
Fewer clothes! Bring on the bikinis and sundresses, the pedicures and sandals. The kids can wear their pajamas straight to their bathing suits and right back to pajamas. No sharp duds, uniforms, and closed toes shoes. Combing hair? Who needs it? Summer don’t care! Summer says go ahead with your bad self to Target in your beach coverup smelling like a coconut.
Summer is also the beautiful season of the lost art of porch sitting. In Texas, it is often referred to as grilling and chilling. Summer is the season of waffle-legs from patio furniture, bug zappers, and fans. It’s barbeque time! Whether you call brisket or pork barbeque, or if your thing is grilled chicken or fish, it’s the season of wonderful smells wafting through the neighborhood. Summer says grab your cold beer, margarita, or mojito and set a spell.
Family trips are another classic American summer tradition. Sure, you never know what you’re going to get when you hermetically seal several children into a van for several hours of travel, but inevitably fun memories are the result. Beach trips, amusement and water parks, the wonder of trying to get sleep with five people stuffed into a hotel room…it’s all part of the magic that calls itself summer.
The Fourth of July is another reason summer rocks. What a great holiday. We forget we’re liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, crazy tea party whack jobs, or tree-hugging, arugula-munching, latte-sipping Hollywood lefties. We forget our differences for one day and come together over our American love of explosives. It’s a beautiful thing.
Catching fireflies. Sipping lemonade. Late afternoon heat lightning. Iced tea in mason jars. Drippy ice cream cones, sno-cones and popsicles. Street fairs and outdoor musical festivals. Dancing barefoot in the grass. A water balloon sploosing open in your face. A prevalence of food on sticks. The ice cream truck’s siren song and all the neighborhood kids following after it like the Pied Piper. There are so many reasons to enjoy summer.
So get to it! There’s 104 days of summer vacation, according to the Disney cartoon philosophers Phinneas and Ferb, and our challenge is finding the best way to spend it. Before we know it, it’ll be Labor Day, and we’ll be stuffed back into our school clothes, packing up back packs, and having to get back to work. There will once again be…shudder…school lunches to prepare and homework to fight over. In the meanwhile, dear reader, be sure to enjoy. Carpe summer!