School’s Out for the Summer

Summer 1974 with my brothers, my sister, and my cousin.   Yes I'm the short one in the blue bikini.

Summer 1974 with my brothers, my sister, and my cousin. Yes I’m the short one in the blue bikini.

The days are getting longer, and the sounds of summer sing to me outside my window.  My dog sleeps in the warm shadow of light streaming through the sliding glass door, and I feel a sense of calm approaching.  A hectic year is coming to an end and I can feel the lure of sandy beaches, fireflies, and camp fires drawing me near.  My olfactory sense is stimulated by the smells of sunscreen, and salty skin, grilled meat cooking on the BBQ and fresh flowers blooming in the garden.  The arrival of summer means the end of school for a brief, but fabulous 12 weeks of committing to tough decisions like: beach or pool, long walks or bike rides, hot dogs or hamburgers, and iced tea or lemonade.

I’m not sure who’s happier that school’s over; me or my kids.  This past March I started back to college to complete my nursing education.  All I can say is thank God for whoever really invented the internet.  I don’t think I would have ever gone back to school if it wasn’t for online programs like the one I’m enrolled in.  It has been a chaotic couple of months:  managing three kids school schedules, managing my own school schedule, writing many, many papers (all in A.P.A. format of course), working a twelve hour night shift twice a week, and of course the everyday nonsense involved in running a house.  So if I seem a little giddy and nostalgic about summer, I am.

I’m not one of those schedule loving people.  So with school out, we stay up late, and sleep in.  I follow the sun instead of the clock. Breakfast is whenever you feel like it, and dinner is served whenever I get it on the table.  The counters are filled with fresh fruit, and triangles of watermelon sit at the ready waiting to crown this year’s winner of the seed spitting contest.

Our small community beach hides, nestled down a dirt road, and tucked between a half moon of trees; it’s the perfect local getaway; not too big, not too smal, and not too crowdedl.  The kids inevitably run into their school mates, and I see a mom or two whose company I enjoy.  My daughter swims her heart out in hopes of passing the swim test each year, so she can swim to the dock floating in the middle of the lake where all the cool kids hang out.  My little guy digs into the sand, and with the effort of a contractor begins construction on his sand castle empire.

It’s summer, and I couldn’t be happier.  This year it’s a trip to South Dakota to see my brother.  My first road trip out west; Mt. Rushmore here we come.  How Americana of us right?  So while I bask in my early summer glow, I pray that time slows down for these short, 12 weeks of a much needed break.

I hope everyone reading this has wonderful plans for their summer, or at least wonderful memories of summers past.  I’d love to hear about them.