RevSS has tagged me to play a summer meme. Whoo hoo for summer, I say!
1.) What first tells you that Summer is here?
Well, in Chicago it was easy - the first hot and humid day. It usually happened in late May or early June. The temps would go from moderate to MUCK in a day. Hot and humid, dripping kind of weather. Here in the SW it has been summer like for months. But now I guess the real summer is about to hit. The forecast predicts 100+ temps for the next 10 days. heh...I just laugh when I see it. BRING IT ON! I say. Yes. I know it will be tiresome and I will grow to dislike the constant heat and need to use AC...but, it will never be as bad as that humidity. And it does cool off at night. And I have a pool.
So, I think what really tells me its summer is the ability to swim outside every day. That and the fact that I am using artificial tanners to look like I actually spend time in the sun. Which I do, but with major sunblock plus subtle color... The other thing that tells me its summer is the food we eat, grilling meat and fish, and making cold salads - pasta, potato, veggie and enjoying all of that outside with a chilled glass of white wine. Usually summer is having a slower pace with my kids and school. But not this year, our son is summer school so, on it goes. What tells me its summer is planning some vacation time and some time off from work. And, usually what tells me its summer is that my reading changes from church related books to fiction...but, haven't done that yet...hopefully I will soon! Anyway, I love summer.
2.) Name five of your favorite distinctively Summer habits or customs. Well, I've already started that list in my answer above: changing the rhythm of life by slowing down, spending more time outdoors, grilling foods, reading novels and fiction, taking vacation time - which sometimes for me is of the "stay-cation" variety. That's a new word I heard recently - people who stay home during their vacation time is a stay-cation.
3.) What is your favorite smell of Summer? Here in the desert the favorite smell of summer, (and although I've only been here 10 weeks I know it will be true) is rain. It rained a few weeks ago for one night and the fragrance was divine.
4.) What is your favorite taste of Summer? Oh gosh....a nice meal of grilled fish with grilled veggies and a chilled glass of good white wine. Or iced tea and dark chocolate in the late afternoon. Or an iced soy latte late on a hot morning...cold sweet watermelon...or peaches...fresh peaches...yum...or a good fruit salad, no pineapple please since I'm allergic....I guess I have too many to just list one.
5.) Favorite Summer memory?....pick two: I will always remember with great fondness the summers my kids and I spent together while I was in seminary. We lived "on the block" which is to say we lived in student housing. The seminary was across the street from Lake Michigan. And during the summers the kids and I were all off of school. So our days were long and lazy....most days we'd walk or ride our bikes to the beach and spend the day there, then come home late in the afternoon, exhausted. I loved the feeling of exhaustion from well spent energy (rather than stress). And I loved spending that time with my kids, so low key, relaxed, fun.
Another memory is of our trip from Chicago to SLC a few years ago. The kids and I drove, leaving my husband home because he had to work, and besides he could take care of the animals....the three of us had a great time driving across this vast country of ours and visiting friends and family along the way. It was awesome.
6.) Extreme heat or extreme cold? Which would you choose and why? I actually like both...although I only like the cold if I don't have to go out in it, if I can just bundle up and stay indoors drinking a hot beverage of some sort. I really hate being cold. So, perhaps I like extreme heat better - we'll see how I feel after this summer....
7.) What books do you plan to read for the season? I'm going to finish "Take this Bread," then I'm going to read, "Water for Elephants," by Sarah Gruen then "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, and then, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See...all books that folks have lent me...after that, who knows?
8.) How does the Summer affect your faith? Is it a hindrance or an ally? Oh, summer is usually an ally for my faith. It gives me time to enter another pace of life and reflect in other ways. I am usually able to exercise better in the summer and that is good for my faith life too!