I must confess; I love the summer. I like hot weather. I like changing seasons – just not too much change. The swing from Death Valley to Antarctica might be a bit much for me. However, I think I would tire of the sameness of a tropical climate although I would like to try for a while. I really do think Hawaii would get kind of boring after a while. On to summer! Here are my Top 12 reasons to love summer.
If you live in any respectably sized community, you will probably have a firework display at least once during the summer. That’s something you won’t see in the winter, for sure. If you’re lucky enough to live in a community with a minor league baseball team, you might ever get them weekly show, or at least when the team is in town.
As great as summer fireworks are, Mother Nature’s fireworks that accompany summer thunderstorms can be far more spectacular. Summer sunsets are awesome, too.
Summer thundershowers are often followed by rainbows. Nature’s pallet. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to find the end of a rainbow, you have discovered that there is indeed gold at the end of a rainbow. I once saw a whole valley north of Billings, Montana turn gold in an instant. It was magical. Then it was gone. You had to be there at that moment to see it. I hope you’ve been fortunate enough to have similar experience in your life. Since that day, I’ve appreciated rainbows just a bit more knowing that someone, somewhere, is having a magical day. Double and triple rainbows are a special bonus, too.
Summer is the only season when you can play 9 holes of golf after 6 PM or play 3 slow-pitch softball games between 6 PM and 10 PM. It’s cooler in the evening, too. For early risers, the morning starts earlier, and cooler temperatures are great for some serene gardening or a morning stroll. Summer sunsets are awesome, too. We could always play outside until dark. Summer brought bonus playtime.
I grew up in an era when every small town had a town baseball team. My town was no exception. The games didn’t start until 8:15 as I remember it so all the dairy farmers in town could finish milking. Our town didn’t have a newspaper or radio station to promote the games, so a man named Merlin Van Orden drove around town broadcasting “Baseball under the lights tonight at 8:15″ from the horn speakers on the top of his car. They paid kids 50 cents for every foul ball they retrieved. I was too young, too fat, or too slow. I never remember claiming a 50-cent reward. I miss town baseball. Rookie League baseball is almost as good if your town is lucky enough to have one.
Summer Fruits and Vegetables
Trying to eat healthily? There’s no better time than summer to improve your diet. In many communities, farmer’s markets begin early in the summer and continue through fall. Nothing perks up your menu more than fresh summer fruits and vegetables. I’m partial to fresh corn and fresh peaches. Fresh raspberries are close behind. We had a very large raspberry patch when I was young. We had to pick them every other night or so. I looked forward to those nights. Our family dinner would be fresh raspberries cover with whole milk from a nearby dairy farmer and fresh bread. My grandma would join us most nights. She lived just across town for a while.
I once drove 100 miles out of the way on a lark during a road trip from Salt Lake City, Utah to Billings, Montana for a fresh raspberry shake in Garden City, Utah on Bear Lake. It was worth it. It’s something when a trip through Yellowstone Park is an unplanned detour.
Every small town and most big towns have parades during the summer. They might go by different names: Fair Parade, Rodeo Parade, Founder’s Day Parade, Memorial Day Parade, Fourth of July Parade. The names are endless. Some have horses. Some have kids on trikes. Some have both. Some have beauty queens. Some have all of the above. (I’m sorry, scholarship competition winners.) Personally, I like kids’ parades with trikes and bikes and crepe paper streamers.
Summer dresses for gals – I’ve always loved them. You know, the kind with a pretty yellow floral print, bare shoulders, and white spaghetti straps. I thought they were sexy. You don’t see clothes like that much anymore, at least, not in my part of the country. Today, holey blue jeans seem to dominate the fashion scene.
I grew up in a desert that generations of farmers had been trying to make blossom like a rose. That means irrigation ditches. You’ve never lived until you’ve had cucumber boat races on a fast-moving irrigation ditch. When it was our turn to water, my Dad would sometimes dam the ditch in front of our house and flood the front lawn. Our town was too poor for a swimming pool. I’m not sure if it has a pool even now. We had to bus to the next town for summer swimming lessons.
Most senior citizens are not tied to a school calendar anymore and could travel any time of the year. But summer’s better weather and longer days are made for road trips. Phenomenal car air conditioning has made summer travel what it is today. I remember a trip in my youth before car air conditioning or interstate highways that covered the southern Idaho desert in July to visit my grandmother in Payette, Idaho. It was brutal and it seemed to take forever. But when you’re six, everything takes forever. We were in a 1954 Willys Wagon not too far removed from its World War II Jeep ancestor. I never have liked Jeeps. There must be a connection.
Green Apple Fights
We had two or three apple trees in our yard. Green apples make the very best ammunition if you want to get into imaginary but quite real battles. You can stuff a lot in your pockets, so you don’t have to reload very often. Green plums will work too. Just don’t leave them in the pocket of your sweater over the winter. Besides, that happen in the fall. I never did like that sweater anyway. Come to think of it, I may be too old for green apple fights.
I grew up in the Sixties. It was a great decade for summer songs. The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, The Loving Spoonful, and many more produced hundreds of great summer songs. There is a great article on the Pop Culture and Madness website that lists the top 100 songs of summer. To check out the list click Here.
That’s my ten best things about summer. It’s sad that some of them don’t exist anymore. What are your ten reasons for liking summer? Leave a comment below. Summer is what you make it. Make yours a great summer. This summer take time for a few raspberry shake detours and to play in an irrigation ditch or two. You will be glad you did.
At least that’s the way I see it! Until next time...
The Senior Observer
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