So this summer is the first time since I was 14 that I haven't had something I had to do.
Sure, I have to take care of the baby. But it's not the same as having to go to work (or volleyball two-a-days, as I did the summer I was 15).
I like summer. And the weather this week has been just about perfect. Warm but not too hot. Sunny. No clouds. Little, if any, humidity. Cooler nights. If the weather was like this in Nebraska all the time, this might just be a way cooler place to live.
I was trying to think about my favorite summer memories this afternoon (I've got time on my hands, you see). And I'm not sure I can come up with an accurate favorite summer memories list.
I can think of generalities, for sure. Things like fireflies, sprinklers, bikes, swimming, flip flops, Popsicles, sleepovers. There's lots more.
Specifics, I don't know. Is it possible to have one favorite summer memory? I always have a hard time narrowing things down to one favorite experience or thing. You know, top five lists? I always seem to have some sort of caveat.
I remember the summer I was 5 playing until dark in the sandbox my dad made in the backyard. I remember being terrified of the June bugs that gathered around the back porch light above that sandbox. I remember waiting for the ice cream man outside that same house in Norman, OK. I used to like to get bomb pops. Simple. Yet exciting. I also remember occasionally getting some sort of snowcone that had a gumball at the bottom. My friend of that era and I used to have picnics in her grandma's backyard, too. The meal consisted almost always of Saltine crackers with butter on them. Her grandma would put two crackers together for us, forming a gross sort of sandwich. I liked them at the time, though.
Later, when we'd moved to Nebraska, I have lots of memories of riding my bike to one of the two city swimming pools (where I'd lifeguard throughout my high school and college summers). Jenny and I rode our bike to one of those pools every day one summer. The summer either before or after third grade, I think. Often, we would go to her grandma's house either before or after the pool. Her grandma always offered us Squirt. Jenny and I wore goggles at the pool. We liked to dive for pennies. But sometimes, the lifeguards would tell us not to do that. Jenny also had a slip and slide, and we went to Girl Scout camp together at least two summers, if not more.
In junior high, I spent countless days at my bff's house. We'd sleep late and then I'd wait (usually impatiently) while she took an excruciatingly long time to get ready. Then maybe we'd ride our bikes to McDonalds or maybe Valentino's or maybe just nowhere. We played softball two summers. I was not good. But like with everything, I tried really hard.
As an adult, that first summer in Grand Junction, Colo., is probably the best I've had. It was all just so new and so exciting. And it was a cool place to be.
In Omaha, I guess I associate the various road races I've done the past couple years with summer here.
I wonder five or 10 or 20 years from now how these summers with my children will fit into this haphazard sort of summer memory album.
What are your favorite summer memories?