Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Time Contest

I live in a part of the United States that has a lot of weather/seasonal changes. In the winter, we deal with snow and ice - of course, not enough snow for my sons, who would love to sled more. Fall brings us the beauty of the leaves changing colors and crisp air. Spring returns the green to our grass and trees, with flowers blooming at different intervals to brighten the days.

Then we have summer. Warm summer breezes that make you feel good about everything. Mixed with the extreme heat, sunshine and the possibilities of thunderstorms. Since I'm originally from this area, I don't mind the thunderstorms. For the most part, that's when we get some relief from the heat as the rain cools everything off.

Summer time is also when this area tends to slow down a bit. Some businesses have their employees come in a little earlier in the morning so they can leave earlier in the evening and enjoy the extra hours of daylight. Most children are out of school for part of the summer months. Sports camps, church camps, scout camps. . . they all have their prime seasons during June, July, and August. Public and private swimming pools are open and you can hear kids splashing and hollering to each other during the day. We have a neighborhood pool close by and I've been helping this year with the running of the pool. My major responsibility is making sure we have a lifeguard on duty each afternoon and it's been fun to have a 'reason' to go down to the pool every so often.

Because as I've become 'more adult,' I've forgotten about the joy of summer time. Those carefree days when you could run around outside and play, without worrying about a coat and hat and mittens. Running through the neighbor's sprinkler as you hurried to a friend's house to see what mischief was on the day's agenda. Rolling down a grassy yard just because it was there. Staying up late to watch the fireflies come out and aahing at that magical moment when their lit up bodies rose from the grass and flew off into the night.

Summer also seems to be the time of year when it's 'okay' to read for pleasure. Certain books are even designated as 'great beach reads' and magazines include lists of books to take on your vacation. Just like we throw off the heavy coats of winter, we can throw off the heavy responsibility of reading 'enlightening books' that help us grow and mature. A friend mentioned she had been waiting until summer to read my latest book - even though her job goes year round. A mindset that we tend to have drilled into us at some point in life.

This summer I've resolved to enjoy more of the longer days; to go to the pool for no reason at all; to read books that touch and intrigue me, whether a beach read or not; to explore the area around me. As Alexander Green says in his book, The Secret of Shelter Island: "Life is not a practice round. This is it."

What about you? Any special summer plans? And what books - besides your own - would you recommend for a read, summer or otherwise? I'll pick one lucky commenter and send a copy of my book for you to read. . . now or whenever!


Christine Bush said...

I love summer! I love the extra daylight of the longer days, the sounds of noisy birds in the morning and tree frogs and crickets at night. It's a joy to read more, to write more..and to just have more mindful moments in the day. Thanks for making me think about this!

Fran McNabb said...

Summertime is always a favorite when you live near the water, and this year my husband and I have been on the boat probably much more than we should.My skin will never be the same! I always take along a book. Right now I'm reading one by Susan Wiggs, always a great summer read.
Of course, nothing can beat our very own Avalon books for a great summer read.

Tessa McDermid said...

Thanks for sharing, Christine and Fran! I love the water, too. We had a writer's retreat at a friend's house on the lake this past June and I have a new dream house :). Later we're going to Florida for some baseball games and I can't wait to see the Gulf! Feeling a little landlocked right now.

And of course I'll have books with me wherever I go.

Tessa McDermid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol Hutchens said...

Hi Terry!
Thanks for the thrilling memories your post generated...After a career of teaching and my own school days, I feel I've been in school all my life...which means summer is a valued time. Sewing, reading, canning/freezing, reading, vacation, reading...
Well, you get the idea. Loved the post.
I have Patricia Kay's latest 'His Brother's Bride-To-Be' lined up to read next. Just finished 'A Family Forever' by Brenda Coulter...I love summer!!!

Tessa McDermid said...

Thanks, Carol, for sharing! Even though I'm not teaching right now, my life still seems divided into 'school' and 'summer.' My youngest just graduated from high school so that may be part of the reason :). I have a feeling my life will always revolve around those two 'seasons.'

And good recommendations! I just received the new Julia Quinn in the mail and am planning to read it this coming week when we go to Florida for baseball games.

Zelda Benjamin said...

I agree with Christine. I love the extra sunlight. I usually like light, happy- ever- after stories to read on the beach or poolside. However, someone recommended Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay - I couldn't put it down.

Edna said...

I like summer can't say I love it, I live in the south and it gets so hot and so humid, without the AC don't know what I would do. Don't like storms either. but I do like the garden my husband grows and the food we put up for the winter or when ever we need it. Don't have to run to the gro store so much. since we are on a retired income.


Tessa McDermid said...

I've been enjoying the extra sunshine, too, Zelda, and my husband also grows a garden, Edna. We don't end up with much for the winter - his patch is small and just right for summer eating.

Tessa McDermid said...

Congratulations, Zelda! You're the winner of a copy of my book, WEDDINGS IN THE FAMILY. I hope you enjoy reading it. Contact me at my website www.tessamcdermid.com and I'll send you the copy for some summer reading.

Thanks everyone for sharing. Have a great rest of the summer!

Carmen7351 said...

I enjoy the summer because of the glorious colors of flowers, including those in my own flower garden. I love to drive around to get landscaping ideas for plants/flowers/detailing. I also enjoy gardening, although now limited because of physical health. I'd also love to be able once again to go camping, hiking, bike riding, sight-seeing. But I enjoy what I can do. And that includes book reading!!!
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com