What I Did This Summer (so far).

Remember when summer felt like it lasted for-ev-er? Languid days, riding bikes to the public swimming pool, staying all day (for a quarter!) with our sack lunches and sodas wrapped in foil (like that kept it cold?).

We didn’t go to camp, day or otherwise – we put on talent shows on our front lawns, we created homemade slip-and-slides, we chased down the ice cream truck and we played hide-and-seek once the sun went down. It was our neighborhood version of camp and it was the best. The days pasted slowly and we were always sad when Labor Day arrived because it signaled the last weekend of summer vacation. That’s right Millennials, schools across the country started in September.

Now we are grownups and summer time, unless you are an educator, does not mean automatic time off. We pack so much into our precious summer months that the days seem to fly by. Before you know it, you are bombarded by HalloweenThanksgivingChristmasChanukkah decorations in every store, all while you’re still wearing shorts and flip-flops!

I’ve spent the past two summers in the hospital, in treatment and recovering; not really memory-making stuff. However, what I did take away from these summers is that being surrounded by kind and loving people gave me the greatest joy and strength I never thought I had.

My healthy self is getting out this summer. Away trips, camping and straycations; concerts and lazy evenings on the patio will fill my days. I want this summer to last for-ev-er with moments big and small that remind me that life is truly beautiful.

So far, I’ve spent four lovely days in New York with my dear friend meriko. I stood in front of Monet’s Water Lillies at MOMA and was captivated by its enormity. We dined on amazing food and drink, danced on roof tops and attended a wedding at a venue straight out of your favorite summer camp movie. I have loved NY since we first met; she’s a fast-talking, glamorous lover who holds a special place in my heart.

On the heels of NY, was our town’s annual Fourth of July Parade. It’s a real Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover complete with dancing ladies, lumberjacks and 4-H clubs. This is our small town’s finest hour (it’s literally an hour long). We line the sidewalks on our “Main Street”, hippies and conservatives alike, feeling proud and gosh darn happy.

DSC_0082Once again our village came together for another Relay For Life event. We were a big-hearted team made up of long-lost cousins, wee-walkers and friends new & old. Pete & Tony served up delicious pork sliders that were an event favorite. Relay is like Burning Man, you take away what you give… and our tribe happily gave with their hearts. These people I call my village rock my world and I am eternally grateful for their generous, loving spirits.

Here’s to making more summer memories at home or elsewhere; with the people you love or on your own. I continue to be open to the gifts the universe sends my way and treasured memories have always followed. How will you fill your summer?

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