Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Would Summer Be Without...



...sundresses like bright bouquets; strappy sandals; better yet, bare feet that leave dark prints in the morning dew; straw hats with streamers; afternoons of croquet on the lawn, or bocce, or badminton; a hammock strung between two shade trees; a stack of books and a rainy day.

Crickets fiddling away the sunny hours, bullfrogs giving concerts in the pond, birds piping up the dawn, wind whispering secrets to the leaves, the hum and zum of bees, the lazy drone of a plane on a quiet afternoon.

Corn on the cob; berries – blue ones, red ones, black ones; ice cream floats and lemonade; the first zucchini; green and yellow string beans straight from the garden; bread and butter and radish sandwiches; tomatoes on the vine; shrimp on the BBQ – anything on the BBQ, for that matter; picnic food heaped on plastic divided plates and iced tea in tall, brightly colored metal tumblers.

Sand between your toes, so hot that you have to hop and skip to the water’s edge; children's shouts barely heard above the pounding surf; sunsets in shades of crimson and rose; twilight; stars that light up the night sky, and a big yellow moon as round as a dinner plate; skinny dipping after dark.

Storms that come on the heels of a hot spell, all thundery and full of zigzaggy lightning, and the cool spells that follow them; the fresh smell of wet earth and the drip, drip of rain drops on leaves; the fun of puddle jumping; the sweeping splendor of a rainbow.

Summer cottages all musty and damp until you open the doors and windows and let the sea breeze blow through; week-long games of monopoly and a rowdy, loud card game called Spoons that wrecks your fingernails and the silverware in one swift movement; the feel of salt drying on your face after a day at the ocean; the smell of tanning oil and seaweed as the sun and the breaking waves lull you to sleep; the call of gulls high over the water; the jingle jangle of coins in your pocket as you run after the ice cream truck.

Watermelon and honeydew melon and cool orange slices of musk melon; popsicles that drip down your arm, and scoops of ice cream that wilt and melt and puddle in the cone before you can lick them up; jars of soap bubbles; cotton candy; fairs and circuses, and carnivals full of screaming kids; amusement park rides that whirl you up and out and around; old drive-in theaters where everyone flocks to watch scratchy-screened movies and wallow in nostalgia; fireflies at dusk.

Outdoor concerts where the music seems to gather up the sky and the grass and the listeners into an exultation of sound; flea markets full of unexpected treasures; plane rides and train rides and car trips that deposit us in places we’ve never been or return us to places we’ve always loved.

What would we be without summer?


Thanks Hilary!

10 comments:

Marion said...

Wow! You make summer sound absolutely splendid. What a beautiful ode to summer...some of these I hadn't remembered or thought of for years. The hot sand, the summer cottages, the games we played...how nice to remember them. Thank you, Pauline!

Brian Miller said...

oh you make summer irresistable...wow. it is kinda better now that we got a break from the heat, lol. perfect summer you describe there...

Molly said...

Makes you wonder, with all these riches, how can people still be unhappy in the summer?

Ruth D~ said...

Oh you paint a delightful picture!!

All I could add is:

...Lobster salad rolls eaten while circling gulls watch...

I LOVE your summer poem. I didn't realize how much I loved summer until I read it.

Sky said...

what a fine list of summer treats that you bring to mind! such fun remembering and anticipating. a couple i've never had though - no yellow string beans or radish sandwiches for me, but they make me curious.

our recent week on the OR coast was a delightful beginning to summer for us. hopefully our weather will stay comfortably warm, and we will begin to experience more of our pacific nw summer fun: watching the orcas jump and roll in Puget Sound; picnics of fish, crabcakes, and chips; island hopping by ferry along the Sound; eagles fishing in our community lake; fragrant asiatic lilies in our gardens; watermellon and cantaloupe with salt and pepper; sweet onions baked with garlic butter; salmon on the grill; boiled okra with butter; corn cut from the cobb and stewed with butter and milk; mexican cornbread; yellow squash stewed with sweet onions; sorbets; robins, varied thrush, and steller's jays scampering in the gardens; butterflies and bees; the sweet ripe plums, peaches, and nectarines; feeding the seagulls from our hands; squirrels hiding their peanuts for winter; sunflowers; the fresh smell of cut grass; enjoying the accidental sprinkler spray; umbrellas open on our patio tables; eating al fresco; garden art and beautiful clay pots; sunny highlights in my hair.

Paul said...

Great details, makes me wish I were back at my grandmother's cottage at Wells Beach, Maine --

Pauline said...

thanks everyone! I'll be home soon and summer will be even better! I should have added returning from afar as one of the pleasures!

Hilary said...

This is wonderful. You make summer even more perfect than it already is. You're a treat.

Moannie said...

What a great list - that isn't a great summer it is a Utopian summer.

Congratulations for making Hilary;s Post of the Week at Smitten Image

deb said...

catching up here a bit.

and you so deserved the award for this.

you are a wordsmith indeed.
poems and prose and the perfect rhythm of life captured