…or town, or suburb, or hamlet, or burg, or unincorporated zone, or rural area of your choice—pretty much anywhere but the southern hemisphere, it’s summer. (Australians and others, consider this an invitation to take a break from winter for a while.)
1. Favorite summer food(s) and beverage(s)
To eat: Strawberries. The season here is brief, but worth the wait. I’m told Old Mill Town has a fantastic pick-your-own place, and I’m looking forward to picking them, probably this time next week or the first of July. The goal is to have fresh, local berries for the 4th of July.
To drink: iced coffee, all summer long. My mother was a major coffee addict. She used to pour instant coffee over ice, lots of ice, unsweetened and black as she could get it. I am a little less hardcore. I brew mine and add a little half-and-half. Interestingly I don’t care as much about having it be sweet when it is iced.
2. Song that "says" summer to you. (Need not be about summer explicitly.)
"Afternoon Delight." No, don’t be tacky. I heard it for the very first time on someone’s transistor radio at Camp Alleghany, 30 or so years ago. I didn’t even know what it meant, precisely. It brings back mountain air and sunshine and the quiet rustle of tent flaps while girls whisper at Rest Hour and the counselors gentle shushing reminds them not to, after all. Of course, thinking of camp brings up all sorts of other songs.
3. A childhood summer memory
In the summer of 1972, when my father was running for re-election to the Senate, we spent a couple of weeks at a family friend’s house in Nags Head, North Carolina. It was a pretty typical week of sand and ocean. My brother and I both loved swimming in the ocean, no matter how cold it might be, and this vacation came late enough to really enjoy it. While we were there a film crew came to get some footage of the family for a campaign commercial. Please remember these were primitive days. We set up a fake breakfast in the kitchen and sat at the table and pretended to eat it. It felt very strange, and I remember asking if we couldn’t at least toast the bread?
4. An adult summer memory
After a hike to the top of Mount Chocorua in 2001, and a hike down that included a spill, I remember the wonder of wading into Lake Chocorua and the pleasure of swimming there with Pure Luck (even though the water made my blisters sting…a little).
5. Describe a wonderful summer day you’d like to have in the near future. (weather, location, activities)
I am hoping to visit Lake Champlain with Pure Luck next month. For some reason I have a yen to see it. We have both been to Vermont, but never together, so it has been on our list of destinations for a while. My idea of a vacation includes an itinerary and reservations. His does not. I’ve decided to go with his plan this time. I don’t want to be in charge of anything. I did ask that we limit athletic ventures to those I can participate in without being so sore and stiff that I don’t enjoy the rest of our time away.
Optional: Does your place of worship do anything differently in the summer? (Fewer services, casual dress, etc.)
Yes. The worship service begins an hour earlier, and I will not be robing, since there is no air-conditioning. I believe there’s an expectation that services will be shorter, too, so I’ll bear that in mind when preparing sermons. We go back to the regular time in September, the week after Labor Day.