Summer has never been one of my favorite seasons…or so I thought.
I have confessed this to you during the show on various occasions. (I know, I know: I’m one of those weirdos who long for the rain and chill.) I’m not sure why exactly, although the heat certainly plays a hot and heavy role. However, I’ve been reflecting that perhaps I’ve never learned to celebrate summer properly as any good East Texan ought to do. So, like I do with everything, I’ve been doing a bit of research on how to “summer.”
You know what I discovered?
I. Loved. Summer.
I simply had forgotten and left it behind like Neverland. When you’re a kid, summer means freedom, fireflies, and treasure maps. Amusements parks and coconut snow cones. Summer means cookouts, pool parties back when I wasn’t too embarassed to do that in public, and putting the sprinkler under the trampoline and laughing like a maniac.
Granted, before the days of needing our hair to be just “so” and not wanting our carefully applied makeup to run off our faces, it was easier to be carefree. I think in all of our adulting, we’ve forgotten how to “summer” in the summer. Thus, I’ve decided to take summer back. No, we can’t be technically be kids again, but we can decide to take back the wonder and fun that summer can bring, even during the sultry days of sweltering July. So whether you are already a lover of the summer sun, or seeking to return to being a wonder-filled enjoyer of summer like I am, I’ve decided to put together a few suggestions to remind myself to “summer” this summer, and I’d like to share them with you.
Tara’s Simple Ways to Celebrate Summer
- One of the most colorful celebrations are those for Independence Day. I hope you were able to break out the sparklers and dance around like a kid, popping firecrackers, after an evening of splashing around in the pool or running through sprinklers. If you have some left over, break those out this month. Who cares that it’s not the 4th? (Other than your neighbor–so invite them to join you.)
- Don’t forget the 2016 Great Texas Balloon Race is coming July 22nd and 23rd at the East Texas Regional Airport. This is an iconic way to celebrate summer with your family. The first time I saw the colorful balloons sailing through the bright summer sky, followed by the Balloon Glow at twilight, I was enchanted. Plus, with live music, activities for the kiddos, and more–this is a “must-do” on your summer list. Sign up at www.kooi.com to win tickets as part of the 106 Days of Summer with Sunny 106.5
- Can you remember the last time you simply sat outside and stargazed? Telescope or no, this is a beautiful way to simply celebrate. Kick back with a nice bottle of wine or something sparkly, fresh fruit or whatever you fancy and relax. Think of the starry sky as a map pointing to the never-ending wonder of life. (Bonus points for doing this while floating in a pool or laying on a hammock.)
- Here in East Texas, we have some exquisite thunderstorms. When they’re not a cause for alarm or danger, they can be truly awe-inspiring. We have skylights in our living room so the rain creates a delicious patter I find utterly soothing. The next time the afternoon darkens during a gathering storm, give yourself a few moments to smell the rain, hear the thunder, and bask in the power of it all. Please, though, stay safe and out of harm’s way.
- Head over to a farmers’ market and pick up some in-season offerings and have a light meal of veggies and a beautiful salad. Be mindful as your chop vegetables or fruit, sniff the herbs, listen to some fun and summery music. (I adore popping in my ear buds and listening to the greatest hits ever on Sunny 106.5. You can listen at www.kooi.com on your iPhone or android and head over to the “social” tab to keep up with everything Sunny”)
- You know all those magazines you get in the mail with those delectable seasonal recipes you always want to try but time gets away from you and before you know it it’s back to Christmas cookies? How about those cookbooks you bought last year that you’ve never had a moment to sit down and look through? The next time you’re outside by the pool, take the one with the most colorful photos, get in your favorite lounge chair with your sweet tea, and let that summer sun highlight those recipes and full color photos and be inspired!
- Sunrises and Sunsets with an iced coffee in your paw. With a lounging pet nearby. (Bonus points if you have a friend or significant other who can strum a guitar as you do this.)
- And for the love of all things lovable, if you can dip your toes in the water somewhere, do that! (Disclaimer: Avoid dipping toes or other limbs into crocodile-infested waters. I’d avoid piranha and sharks, as well.)
Well, just a few thoughts from my notebook that I wanted to share with you, my friend. Before we know it, the Fall and Back-to-School Rush will be upon us again. (Mercy! Joy! …Ahem. Sorry. I’m working on it.) So try to soak in a bit of that glorious Vitamin D and enjoy–with regular applications of toxin-free sunscreen of course…and coconut snow cones. Lots of snow cones.
What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate summer? I’d love to know.
“Lovely July…with the evocative murmur of honey bees on the wing and the smell of sun tan cream.” -Cynthia Wickham