Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer Dreamin'

Summer is (almost) here and I’m so excited! I love everything about this time of year: the warm weather, the long sunny days, and no school! I see summer as a wonderful opportunity to slow down and concentrate on things I can’t do the other nine months of the year – either because of time or weather constraints.

Each summer, I try and make a list of goals that I want to accomplish – nothing heavy, just fun things. Here is what I have on my “to do” list this summer. Feel free to steal some. I hope they inspire you to make your own list. Don’t let this summer pass you by without achieving something fun and different.

Summer of 2012:

-Laugh more. I’m searching for the old Carol Burnett Shows to rent (hoping the local library has them; if not, Netflix here I come) but some other fun series include I Love Lucy; Mash; Seinfeld; Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live. If they can’t get you laughing, you’re in trouble!

-Go to a midnight opening of a summer blockbuster movie. I missed Men in Black 3 but there’s still Rock of Ages (6/15), The Dark Knight Rises (7/20) and The Bourne Legacy (8/3) to see.

-Explore my town. My kids did a “Walk Through Wayne” tour with their third grade class, but I never went. This summer, I’m hoping to do a little research and find out some secret gems right here in my own home town!

-Read an inspirational summer book. (Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea was great!) On my list is A Walk on the Beach, by Joan Anderson. (I also added Summerland, by Erin Hilderbrand, to my list as well! Can’t beat a good beach book!)

-Keep a journal/summer blog. I find so many people ask me what I’ve done over the summer and I forget by September, so maybe if I write it down, it will help! (I also know re-reading it in February will help my state of mind during those long dreary winter months!)

-Write a poem. I’m not a poet – and truthfully, I don’t really “get” most poems, but I’m going to try and write one this summer!

-Paint a picture. I have absolutely NO artistic abilities, but every time I’m at A.C. Moore and see those blank canvases, my fingers itch. There is a new shop in town, Painting with a Twist, that offers people like me the chance to paint. I’m going to try it.

-Watch the Opening Ceremony of the Summer 2012 Olympics, also known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad. My whole family is excited to watch them. I want to remember to print out the schedule so we don’t miss any exciting events! (Opening Ceremony is Friday, July 27!)

-Get a Pen Pal – I grew up corresponding with a pen pal who was from Wellington, New Zealand. I would write her faithfully every month, and we exchanged not only letters, but pictures, currency and dreams. I would love to find out where she is now! And maybe reconnect? Or find a new pen pal!

-Get my Christmas shopping done. Okay, this is a tough one, but I’m determined to at least put a dent in my list. (Not wrapped, mind you, just purchased.)

-Start a Wisdom Circle – I recently heard about such a group and it peaked my interest. There is so much talk of mentoring these days, but I just want to gather a group of like-minded women together so we can cheer each other on.

-Go to a drive-in movie theater. I’ve never been to one. Becky’s Drive-In Movie Theater ( is in Berlinsville, PA, about 1½ hours away from our house. I’d love to pile the kids in the car and catch a summer flick. (Maybe an early one?)

-Attend a concert in the park. There’s nothing like packing a picnic dinner and cocktails and enjoying an evening with my husband listening to (mediocre) music under the stars.

-Download a summer ring tone. Some suggestions include "Summer Lovin’" and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

-Dry our clothes (or at least sheets) outside on a clothesline. (And while I’m saving the earth this summer, I may also get a rain barrel.)

-Try an exercise class outside. There’s one on the beach that I see when I’m walking that I’ve always wanted to try. I can’t think of a better way to start a summer day than exercising outside to the sound of the seagulls calling and waves crashing!

-Create a summer/beach playlist. Some must-haves: "Summer in the City", by "Lovin’ Spoonful", "Summertime Blues", by Blue Cheer, "Hot Fun in the Summertime", by Sly and the Family Stone, anything by the Beach Boys, "The Boys of Summer", by Don Henley, and "Summer of ’69", by Bryan Adams.

-Go fishing and fry up what we catch. Okay, I’ll be honest: this will be on my husband’s summer list (which I’ll have to tell him about!). I enjoy fishing but after that, I prefer he do the clean up and cooking!

-Take better advantage of our local farmer’s market. I often go to the farmer’s market, at home and at the shore, but I don’t go as much as I should, nor do I buy as much as I’d like. Hoping to change that this summer.

-Make homemade iced tea and/or lemonade. I found a great recipe for Pink Lemonade at Coastal Living: Combine 1¼ cups sugar and ½ cup boiling water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in 4½ cups cold water, 1½ cups fresh lemon juice, and ¾ cup maraschino cherry juice - Enjoy!

-Create a guest book – We always regretted not doing this at my parent’s summerhouse, so I think I’ll get one for ours. It’s a great way to remember how many people helped us celebrate our summers at the shore. And it’s not just for vacation homes; imagine the number of guests you have in your own home every year!

-Have a family water fight – I’m asking for trouble with this, but again, that’s what summer is all about – family fun. (And everyone and everything dries out – right?!)

Happy Summer!

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