Summertime is finally here and along with it a long list of things to do as well.

Well, okay, summer isn’t technically here yet. But all the signs point to it. The sun is shining longer in the sky and the temperature has risen to sweat inducing levels (this is particularly welcome in my part of the world where we saw snow well into May. Which, you know, sucks). Memorial Day has passed and graduations and celebrations of the end of semesters and years have come and gone. The last week was busy with endings toward beginnings.

Actually this is the reason for a rare Saturday post. See, I didn’t post anything last week because of the holiday, because of celebration. Because I felt that I needed to, not take time off exactly, but to be unfettered by responsibility. This attitude is also a distinct sign of summer.

Now Memorial Day (in the United States anyway) is the official start of summer. Growing up, the weekend directly after was greeted with a trip to the Jersey shore for sun and sandcastles, salt water taffy and fudge, and boardwalk rides and watching the tram car please.

Graduations were the rite of passage into summer; to be a part of or to attend. Evidence of their happening can be seen in the soap scrawled messages on car windows and the streamers scotch taped to bumpers.

My daughter had a “Continuation” this week. This simply means she left Middle School and will be starting High School in the Fall. There was a ceremony, a certificate was issued, dress-up clothes were worn and there was much grumbling about how time has passed too quickly and look how they have grown.

I can’t remember if it was called Continuation when I was in Middle School. I know there was an assembly, the choir sang a Paul Simon song and the principal told us in hushed tones how she was proud of us and wished us well on our long journey and was glad she was a stepping stone along the way. I suppose there was a certificate involved. What it was officially called escapes me. I know I was pleased to leave.

Fun Fact: my Middle School was called C. C. A. Baldi. I always thought this sounded like an insult Edward G. Robinson would give to a hairless man: “You’re a baldy see? See? A Baldy. Meh.” I find that immensely funny. But as my daughter is quick to inform me, I’m weird.

So…what was I taking about?

Ah yes, summer.

Summer is when I make my grand plans. I make checklists of things I want to do, to accomplish, to be.

It includes things like: cleaning that back room and making it into an office, to walk in the foothills with the dogs, to lose weight and get healthy, to write more and longer and better, to paint in the sun, to camp in the trees and spend star-filled nights by a fire in a stone ring, to drink beer at a baseball park, to smile more, to not be worried, to spend more time with my kid, to travel and see and hear things I have never seen and heard before, to not be angry, to sit and not think from time to time with only my breath to contemplate, to learn something new, to start something, to be better. Better than I am right now.

Things have to end in order for summer to begin. Summer is new. Summer is fresh. Summer is fireworks and hot nights and cotton candy and very little clothes. Summer is an icy drink on the porch with a lemon slice on the rim. It is a time to take time. Summer is a good place to start over, to continue. It is a good place to be better.

So sit back and relax, summer is here. Let’s get started.


Originally posted June 1, 2014

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