June is the Friday night of summer. As with weekends, at the start they seem endless. Deep in, though, they feel fleeting. I want to make sure that my summers, like my weekends, feel full and good, and not like they have passed me by. We do plan vacations, which are great, but the smaller things that make summer feel like summer are harder to remember.
So, every year, I make a summer fun list for the weeks (14) between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Here are my ideas for the summer of 2016. Please leave some of yours in the comments!
Go strawberry picking. My husband is not into paying to pick fruit in the hot sun, but I like it. And I love fresh strawberries! Perhaps it’s the aesthetics (see photos of strawberry art on this post). Red juicy berries sparkle in the early summer light. So I will probably bring some portion of our offspring to our local pick-your-own place and come home with many pints of the stuff. I need to do this soon because, as the introduction of I Know How She Does It begins, “Remember the berry season is short.”
Do a “mommy day” with all 3 big kids, separately. Tracking my 8784 hours has revealed that my toddler’s sheer neediness means I spend less time with the older kids than I would like. Based on initial feedback, I think the mommy days will involve Hershey park, the beach, and a baseball game, but we shall see. Their picks.
Go to Ocean Grove, NJ. I love this beach. I really do. We’ve been there enough years that it has its own memories for me. We aren’t renting a house there this year (we’re meeting cousins in Delaware) but I will make it at least once or twice. A solo beach day would be great! As a side note, I’m setting the novel I’m currently writing (Juliet’s School for the Domestic Arts) in a fictional town named Maris Stella that bears some resemblance to Ocean Grove.
Visit Longwood Gardens at night. They have their Nightscape exhibit in August, so I’ll see that at some point. I notice they also have a Beer Garden thing going, so maybe it will become a date night.
See fireworks. Likely for the Fourth of July. But maybe for something else as well!
Do a few “tri” days. I will swim, bike, and run on the same calendar day. I did not ride my bike much last summer and I mean to rectify that situation in 2016. I’d like to run on a trail with honeysuckle in June.
Run the ODDyssey half marathon. It’s coming up in a week and a half. I would like to beat my time from last year. Ideally, I will also beat my time from the Philly half last fall and continue my streak of falling times.
Read Pride and Prejudice. Confession: I somehow never got assigned this book. I spent a year reading through a list of the greatest novels of the 20th century, but Jane Austen predates that, and then by the time I was done with the list, I was kind of done with classics for a while. I intend to do more novel reading on the porch after the kids go to bed, and that is first on the list. On the non-fiction front, I have The Wright Brothers sitting in my office and haven’t gotten to it yet. I would also like to reread Getting Things Done, after The SHU Box reminded me about it.
Sing in the Mozart Requiem. My old choir (YNYC) is having an alumni concert, so I’m singing this weekend. This is the epitome of “effortful fun.” I’ve written in the past of the distinction between effortful and effortless fun. Both are good, but it’s always easier to over spend time on effortless fun (e.g. watching TV with a glass of wine) because it’s, well, easy. Hauling myself to NYC for choir rehearsals is a pain. I got home at midnight last night and was up with the baby at 6. But listening to the gorgeous music last night, and singing those melodies, was pure bliss. And I’m not even a huge Mozart fan! I’m more of a Bach girl myself.
I would love to hear people’s summer fun list ideas. My list could always be expanded!