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Braeden enjoying way too much summer watermelon

by Lia Blanchard

Students all over America are putting their pencils down and heading outside to taste the year’s first sip of summertime freedom. There’s nothing quite like that taste, is there? I remember once describing it as “a whole cake, freshly baked, but not yet decorated. The frosting is the best part, and I get to decide exactly how to do it!”

Even now, as an adult whose occupation, sadly, doesn’t have a summer break, I catch myself occasionally smiling with a vague anticipation. Sure, I have to work just as much as before, but I also know that in the coming months I can expect:

  • The ice cream man coming by, chiming his one song over and over.
  • My sons getting entrepreneurial via mowing lawns, selling lemonade, holding garage sales.
  • Our garden (hopefully!) providing fresh, tasty bounty for us to keep finding new ways to enjoy.
  • Stained lips from Otter Pops.
  • Weekends full of local festivals and fairs.
  • Long evenings spent outdoors with family, playing cards after a picnic and enjoying the extended daylight.

There are a few folks, I realize, that don’t relish these warm months as much as others might… and I can think of several reasons: a preference for winter activities, an intolerance for the summer sun, or the stress of having several children at home all day with “nothing to do”.

What does summer mean to you? Are they “dog days” are “lazy hazy crazy days”? How do you beat the heat, and stay entertained?

Next: What makes “gourmet” gourmet?