For the past few years, I have observed a summer tradition: creating a list, in late spring, of things I want to do before Labor Day. Time passes whether we think about where it is going or not, and I find that thinking about what I want to spend time doing vastly increases the chances that I spend time doing those things. There are also certain activities that make summer feel like summer to me. I don’t want the weather to turn cold and me to say “Oh, I wish that I had…”
I am posting this year’s list a little early (pre-Memorial Day) as I have some adventures coming up that I feel should be included. And as we productivity sorts know, being able to cross stuff off a list is incredibly satisfying! We like to put stuff on lists just to cross it off. So here we go.
See Brad Paisley in concert. My husband and I have tickets for this, coming up soon. My husband is the country music fan but I am going to enjoy the night out anyway, with good music and good company.
Speak at my high school’s graduation. This will happen over Memorial Day weekend. I’m already looking forward to the trip down memory lane that will come from wandering around the town. I suspect it will be one of those things where I open the rental car door and the smell alone will unlock all sorts of mental flights of fancy.
Publish a summer reading guide. Modern Mrs. Darcy released her list earlier this week, and it is amazing as usual. Mine is going to feature some ready-made lists of books to read in sequence on a certain theme (e.g. “Place” or “1925-1927” or “Encounters with the absurd” — published at various points, not just this year.) I find that figuring out what to read next is sometimes tricky, and often I want to keep reading about a certain thing, so these literary “playlists” will hopefully solve that problem for other people.
Do Mommy Days with the three big kids. The 2-year-old naturally gets a lot of time because of his neediness. The others, less so. I want to do a one-on-one day with each of the three big kids over the summer, doing something the child desires. We did this last summer and had a great time, though I feel now that they get the concept, they are starting to push the limits. One child inquired about Orlando. I said it needed to be more of a day trip.
Pick strawberries. Our local pick-your-own farm has turned this into quite a commercial production, but I still enjoy it. Public service announcement: Remember, the berry season is short. And there is nothing like a big bowl of ripe red strawberries, fresh off the plant, and doused in home-made whipped cream.
Go to Ocean Grove, NJ. We have booked a week in August, and will be hosting my extended family to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I will be sure to eat at Day’s Ice Cream multiple times while there. I will also run along the boardwalk daily.
Go to Brew at the Zoo. My husband and I have tickets for this as well. It should be a fun date night to go to the zoo without the kids and with open containers. It will be entirely the opposite of my overnight at the zoo.
Go on a long solo bike ride. I have determined that my bike fits in the trunk of my SUV if I fold one of the back seats down. So there is nothing stopping me from loading it in some day and hitting a trail. I may do part of the Lehigh Gorge trail again. I just need to figure out a good way for packing water and snacks (which I didn’t have last time, thus limiting me to about 20 miles).
See fireworks and the fountain show at Longwood Gardens. We have this booked with the big kids for August. And I even have a babysitter booked for the little guy (the show starts at 9:30 p.m.)
Swim in Lake Michigan. I am pretty sure this will happen as we are visiting my husband’s extended family, and renting a house on the lake, in early July. We’ll be celebrating my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. Hopefully I’ll see fireworks over the lake to celebrate the 4th.
Eat a picnic breakfast. Now that it’s summer, I should start thinking beyond PAW Patrol for ways to entertain the little dude when he’s up before everybody else. We could have an hour in the backyard in the morning, and with my coffee, that might not be so bad.
Eat lobster in Cape May. There’s a restaurant by the boats, just outside Cape May, that serves great seafood outside. Summer isn’t summer without some lobster and Blue Moon there.
Inhale some honeysuckle. It’s one of my favorite scents. I need to find a patch somewhere. Then maybe I should buy some honeysuckle soap or something to keep breathing it in all summer long, after the vines stop blossoming by late June.
What’s on your summer fun list?