summer

Today is the first day of summer.  I love the first day of summer.  I get so excited thinking that today, today! is the longest day of the year.  Every year I tell the husband that we need to have a party.  We should grill, invite friends, have water balloon fights, drink summery cocktails and stay up late.  Every year he agrees and every year we get distracted and the party doesn’t happen.  It isn’t happening this year. 
Summer just feels so short in the Midwest.  Today is really the wrong day to write about a short summer, seeing as how today is muggy and hot.  It’s gross and sticky in our house.  The humidity brings out all the smells that lie dormant in the floorboards and cracks.  All the crumbs that fall under the dining room table become meltier and stickier.  We have a/c, but we’ve had such a cool wet spring that I hesitate to turn it on.  We should enjoy the heat, right?  Why complain about something we spend 6 months a year longing for?
In an effort to truly enjoy this summer the kids and I wrote out a big, long list.  Under the heading of 
“Livo Summer 2011” we have about 8 feet of fun things to do.  Some are small – take walks – some are bigger – go to the Drive In – but all are achievable.  There was some guidance on my part.  Especially when Josie yelled out, “Go to Mexico!” .  Oh, I wish we could.  Wouldn’t that be a great summer?  Even though we are making steady progress checking items off the list, I feel a sense of urgency.  Have fun!  Eat!  Pick fruit!  Play! Relax!  Hurry up and do it all! 
Last Friday we went as a family to pick strawberries (check that off the list).  We found an organic strawberry farm in Michigan City, and believe it or not, the price was right.  With this rainy, cold spring the farm was overrun with weeds and mosquitoes.  Picking was slim, the workers were disgruntled (you would be too, if all your customers were grumbling about the crop), but we had a nice time.  The kids started out strong, although they quickly succumbed to the heat, the mosquitoes, and the prickly weeds.  We cheered them on with a rousing rendition of  Great is Thy Faithfulness (you really should have Mikey sing it for you, too cute) followed by musical whiplash of Hey Good Lookin’.  Once the singing was over, the kids were done.
We had picked just enough for one batch of jam, a couple strawberry rhubarb tarts and some eating.  Del had worked hard to fill his own little quart of strawberries.  He refused to pour it into the big basket with the rest of ours.  He insisted that he would eat all those strawberries all by himself. 


     Of course he did.  He sat on our front steps and plowed through that box, humming to himself the whole time. He littered the front steps with strawberry tops and drops of red juice.                                                              

He ate summer. 

This is what I want to do this year.  Even if the house is sticky and stinky.  Even when we are tired and whiny. I want to enjoy every moment, even the hot and muggy ones.
                                                  I want to eat summer. 


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