Arriving home Friday night, the air was heavy with moisture and the threat of a summer shower – the humidity/heat index hovered in the triple digits. Hubbs, naturally slender, smiled at finally being warm. His movements were easy, mine not so much. I rushed in with groceries, wiping the sweat from my neck, and stayed inside to cool down in the air-conditioning.
After a shower and with my hair up, I re-joined him on the patio for an iced-cold beer and one of our typical meandering Friday night conversations.
The two of us spoke longingly of our upcoming summer vacation – remembering summers of our past, some spent together, some before we met.
We both remembered that first slice of watermelon, sitting on Grandma’s front steps and a shared childhood memory of Root Beer floats, burnt hot dogs and someone’s homemade pie.
We recalled wienie roasts with cousins, sleepovers, marshmallows cooked too long, and the crackle of the fire against the quiet of a dark summer night.
We reminisced about when our boys were little, how we spent summer days with Super Soakers, sprinkler hoses and water balloons and unbridled fun.
We remembered cookouts with Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles, with hordes of cousins to play with and the best food we’d ever eaten – Taco Salad, baked beans, fried chicken, burgers off the grill, lemonade, Rhubarb, Cherry and Saskatoon pie. We talked about an older brother backing his car into the yard and opening the trunk to crank up the tunes – Led Zeppelin, Al Green or the Beatles. We remembered some adults sipping beer from short brown bottles and Great Uncles playing Horseshoes and ladies fanning themselves against the summer warmth. We remembered the prickly feel of lawn chairs against our sun-burnt thighs and the cozy happiness we felt being tucked into bed after such a rapturous day.
Summers were magical when we were kids – days were longer – parents were lenient – it was like everyone all knew this couldn’t – wouldn’t last.
Summer is here. Please last a little while longer.
“Summertime, I think, is a collective unconscious. We all remember the notes that made up the song of the ice cream man; we all know what it feels like to brand our thighs on a playground slide that’s heated up like a knife in a fire; we all have lain on our backs with our eyes closed and our hearts beating across the surface of our lids, hoping that this day will stretch just a little longer than the last one, when in fact it’s all going in the other direction.”
― Jodi Picoult,
Care to share your favorite summer memories? Did your elders send you outside to eat watermelon or iced cream, too?