Superchunk

This Summer

Superchunk – This Summer

Today was the last day of school for my daughter. Pretty late this year because of all the days school was cancelled due to the blizzard and hurricane Sandy. It’s the power outages that do us in.

Summer is, hands down, my favorite season. The only thing I don’t like about it is the increase in the size and number of insects. Every other thing I adore. Hazy, hot, and humid? Love it. Thunderstorms? Sure! The smells, sounds, tastes, and sights of summer are what I live for all winter long.

Think about all the summer fruits and vegetables. There’s just no comparison. I like root vegetables probably more than the next person (as a vegetarian, they’re kind of staples for much of the year) but I’d trade them all for a ripe garden tomato. I’m not much of a gardener myself, I don’t have the time, space, or inclination really, but I usually manage to have a couple of large containers with tomato plants and I hit up the farmer’s markets pretty regularly. Farm fresh corn on the cob, does it get any better?

When I was a kid we used to go up to Maine from suburban New York City for the entire month of July. We went to a little beach town where there were only a handful of year-round residents but dozens of returning summer families. Some owned houses and stayed the whole summer, others, like us, came for two weeks or longer and stayed in the same rental houses year after year. We had electricity but no tv (or any kind of electronic distractions), just lots of other kids, books, games, cards, the beaches, rocky coastline, boats, swimming holes, blueberry patches: heaven. It was truly idyllic. My mother would let us roam free, more or less, and we ran all over the place in our bare feet. I know that all of my siblings feel the same way I do and wish we could give our kids the same lazy, free, unplugged and fueled by your imagination kind of summers we had there. I’m sure we complained about being bored now and then but our memories are overwhelmingly positive.

I’m taking some time off from work and going to try to recreate some of that summer magic for my kids on a greatly reduced scale. We only have a week and a half before the summer camps kick in and there’s not much chance I”ll get them to give up their DS and iPod, but if the weather cooperates we’ll hit the beach, look for seaglass, skip rocks, ride bikes, and bask in the warm summer sun right up until their bedtime.

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