Summertime: A Top 10 List

July 20, 2010 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

The last couple of days full of sweltering heat have gotten me to try to think more positively about summer. I mean, I love summer. It’s my favorite season next to autumn. But, well, it’s usually about this time of year and then later on into August that I tend to sort of fall out of love with this fun-in-the-sun season. I figured why not put together a list of things that are really, really great about summer. The type of things you can really only get or do during the summer (well, in Oklahoma anyway).

I was talking to my running partner, Vandroid, tonight and she mentioned having a feeling of nostalgia or deja vu recently about something from her childhood. I can relate because summer is that season that makes me think of all sorts of things like that. A certain way the air feels when a rare and welcome cool breeze blows through. The feeling you get from walking into an air conditioned house after mowing the lawn on a hot day. These are not very special things, but they are things that always remind me of earlier experiences.

My list is not necessarily full of just those types of things. Some of them are quite tangible and I’m sure very relatable for most. So, here goes. My Top 10 List for Summertime.

10. Tomatoes.

Anyone who appreciates a good tomato knows exactly what I’m talking about. Heck, I may as well throw in all fresh vegetables here, but tomatoes are the ones that seem to be the most popular and most talked about during summer. After picking through nearly impenetrable, baseball-hard, poor excuses for tomatoes for most of the year at the local grocery store, it’s a very wonderful thing to go to the farmer’s market and buy a few huge tomatoes that have been grown and picked less than 20 miles away from where you’ll be ingesting them.

It’s a tomato that tastes like a tomato. It’s red. Yes, it’s actually RED. Not a sickly looking near-pink or faded red. It’s red on the outside and red on the inside. I slice one up, drizzle a bit of olive oil over it, add a bit of shredded parmesan cheese and some salt and pepper and you almost have a fancy hors d’oeuvre. And then sometimes, I just slice it up and eat it as is. That’s the great thing about summertime tomatoes. They’re always good no matter what you do with them.

9. Frogs

I was driving home the other night and I had my windows down. I am normally listening to music in the car, but for some reason had it turned down or completely off for that matter. I stopped at a stop sign in a residential area and noticed a loud, but not too loud, chorus of frogs singing through the night. Living in a city, you don’t get to hear that very often. So when I do, I am taken back to my childhood when every summer night sounded like that. I used to keep my window to my bedroom open so I could hear the frogs through the screen and possibly the rain if a storm brewed overnight. The frogs singing is a beautiful sound that I don’t think I’ll ever get over in my lifetime.

8. Floating the river (with beer).

I did this once completely sober. It was still fun, but not like in the past. I can have a great time without drinking, but… I don’t know. There’s just something about floating the river with your friends and a 30-pack that just makes summer for me. I haven’t gotten to go yet this year, but I’m working on it. By the way, if you haven’t done this, you’re missing out and you need to look into it. Soon.

7. Fresh cut grass.

Not much to say about this one except that it looks, feels and smells completely awesome.

6. A cold beer.

Ok, I mentioned beer above with the river thing. I promise. I’m not an alcoholic. I just really like beer. A lot. And although there are some fantastic beers that are more suited for colder months, nothing beats a good, ice cold wheat beer on a hot day after work. I also would suggest trying a shandy (originally a ginger flavored beer) if you never have. Kilkinney’s mixes up a good one with Sprite and a Smithwick’s. Leinenkugel’s makes a very lemony flavored one that I tend to gravitate toward every year. The first version of the shandy I ever tasted was made for me by Mike at the Soundpony a few years ago. He used Sprite and Fosters. It was delicious and I’ve been a fan of them ever since.

5. Running.

I know. WTF, right? It’s hot, why would you prefer running in the summer over cooler months? Something about the warmer weather makes me want to get outside more (real original, I know) and be active. It can be 95 degrees and I’m still up for a run. Sure, it sucks until you’re used to it, but you feel great afterward and you sweat a lot more.

4. Swimming.

This one’s a given. Let’s move on.

3. Summer movies.

Yeah, yeah. The summers at the cineplex ain’t what she used to be. Movies pretty much suck these days and very few are actually good. However, it’s been a tradition of mine (as with many) over the summers to go see some movies on those hot days or nights. It seemed back in the day that the summer would yield a handful of good/great movies between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Nowadays, we’re lucky if we get two. In the last few years, here are the ones that have made my summers a little better.

District 9


Star Trek (2009)

Iron Man

The Dark Knight

And this year, Inception.

(Predators was pretty fun too.)

2. Shorts and flip-flops.

I try to avoid the frat-boy look as much as possible, but sometimes shorts and flip-flops are just exactly where it’s at and they just say summer to me. At least I’m not throwing a visor on my head, bro.

1. Radishes!!!!!!

Ok, I kid. It’s not radishes. Sorry radish lovers. Actually, there really isn’t much point to a number one because these aren’t really in a particular order or anything. But, my number one is going to have to be…

Yes! Slip n’ Slide. Thank you, Wham-O. Although I haven’t been on one in years, this is chosen based on pure nostalgia alone. I remember when we got this as kids and slid on it nonstop. We even put dish soap on it (and I’m sure a lot of kids did that). We slid on it in our clothes, in our swimsuits, in the nude. We didn’t care. We were kids, darn it. Some of the best of my summer days were spent playing on a Slip n’ Slide. And then we left it out one night and our dogs chewed it up. Oh well.

Happy summertime, everybody!

PS: Big props to air conditioning too. We couldn’t do it without you, AC!


Entry filed under: Life stuff, Nostalgia, randoms.

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