Summer is around the corner — here’s how I did on the Spring Fun List

Spring is far from over. According to my calendar, summer begins on June 20! That said, yesterday was in the 80s and I’m mentally already feeling like a high school senior whose major exams are over.

I’m not really sure why. It’s not like I’ve accomplished anything major lately (other than surviving a Monday morning dentist appointment for all of us minus the baby — and the kids were honestly really good! Even the 6-year-old, who the dentist has decreed will be the “Boss of Floss” and convince the others to tackle that chore…) But summer-itis has set in nonetheless.

So I thought I’d go ahead and post my update on how I did on the Spring Fun List — my early March musings on how I could best appreciate the season. Here’s what made it into the schedule so far.

Document what comes up in the new yard. Oh, has this been a treat. We had weeping cherries bloom for a while, and a whole row of forsythia along the driveway. Those are now all gone to leaf, but a different grove of cherries has blossomed — I had worried they weren’t going to given how late they were. We have Japanese snow blossoms and lilacs and viburnums. We got a spring clean up done in the neglected walled garden and some peonies came up, and Virginia bluebells. All is not wonderful in nature there — we just had a giant tree crash onto our driveway in a windstorm — but it is pretty and I enjoyed seeing my magnolia bloom here at the current house one last time too.

Go outside after dinner. I often read on the porch when I can. Plus the dog is in general getting people out in the backyard more!

Gawk at other people’s flowers. I made a solo trip to Longwood but before peak tulip season alas. The kids and I went to Tyler arboretum. I went to Stoneleigh, which is a local garden. And I went to Holland Ridge Farm in New Jersey twice! We didn’t go to DC to see the cherry trees but maybe that can happen some future year.

Take a spring break road trip. We made it to Gettysburg, went biking in the Lehigh Gorge, and I took the 6-year-old to Hawk Mountain Preserve. Plus some other local things (you can read about spring break here).

Get the baby baptized. Yep, in late March. I also sang a lot of Easter music, and got to sing in a live in-the-sanctuary service for the first time in a year too.

Bike. I went on two family trips — to the Lehigh Gorge and Valley Forge, and then on one solo jaunt around the neighborhood. That was just a quick one, but perhaps a proof-of-concept. I now know it really works as a 20-minute break. I should do this more often.

Do a 10-mile run. Nope. I did make it to 8 though! Maybe I’ll do 10 before June 20….

Visit the Philadelphia Art Museum. My daughter and I went with the mission of taking photos of 30 depictions of flowers. We did — it was a lot of fun and there was no whining about it! I highly recommend this as a way to take kids to art museums. It won’t keep a kid interested all day, but it did buy me 45 minutes.

Do a flower puzzle. I’ve been going a bit overboard here. I did a 1000-piece hummingbird Buffalo brand one, the back side of the 500-piece Floret Farm one I already owned, plus a 750-piece depiction of a Brooklyn flower market. I’m currently working on a 1000-piece summer cottage scene, but it has a lot of flowers too.

Listen to spring music. I have been doing so — Vivaldi’s spring from The Four Seasons, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Beethoven’s sixth (Pastoral). Curiously, I had these in my play list and somehow the choral movement of Beethoven’s Ninth got in there too and it came on while I was in the school pick-up line the other day. Wow, is that an ecstatic experience to be having while inching forward behind the next SUV…

What have you enjoyed this spring?


8 thoughts on “Summer is around the corner — here’s how I did on the Spring Fun List

  1. As always, this is great motivation to seek out my own adventures! Thanks for posting the update.

    I appreciated your line item about going for a 10-mile run; while you didn’t reach that particular mark, you recorded that you DID do an 8-mile run. I used a similar technique last year in my 20 for 2020 list. For every item that I didn’t manage to cross off, I recorded what progress I made toward that goal, even if the connection wasn’t necessarily obvious. For example: replace all the windows in our house became install a gorgeous flagstone front walkway. While the windows didn’t get done, something else that certainly fell into a related category DID…which made it feel like a win.

    Also, I feel like these lists highlight the importance of naming and recording things. Listing the spring music you actually listened to makes it more mindful as you reflect on those specifics. I tend to do this with photographs. I document random moments and then compile them in a huge annual photobook. It’s those odd photos – the ice-cream just before bedtime, chasing a sunset, or a chance meeting with an old friend on the streetcorner – that represent memories that could be easiest to forget but are most satisfying to remember.

    1. @Elisabeth – sometimes progress looks a little different – it’s all OK in any case!

  2. I love your seasonal fun lists–such a great idea!

    This spring, I got my COVID vaccinations and took a week long road trip with a close friend (also vaccinated) that I hadn’t seen for three years! We had perfect and pleasant weather (not always a given in Florida) and explored many lovely outdoor areas, including Silver Springs, Paynes Prairie, and a butterfly conservatory (something your kids might like if you have one near you). It’s been an utterly beautiful spring, but I fear summer is here already as our temps are soaring to the 90s this week. I’d better get on with a summer fun list!

  3. I really like that art museum idea. I have an art loving kid, but we have never really been to any art museums together. I could see him getting into the photo idea.

    What do you do with all of those puzzles when you’re done? Just break them apart and then back in the box?

  4. I have been taking weekly pictures if my favorite running route along a local river. It has been nice to see the progression from wintery gray to full leaf today. The middle where are the flowering trees bloom is just lovely. It never ceases to amaze me how fast this transition is!

  5. You’ve inspired me to make a summer fun list this year! At least half of the items on the list are things I likely would have done anyway, but not all – I already booked tickets to seasonal exhibit that had been in the back of my mind but could easily have been forgotten. Plus, reviewing the list is making me feel excited about the things I *want* to do (rather than have to do) in the next few months.

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