This is absolutely my favorite weekend of the year! The official kick off of summer! In the Northeastern parts of the country, the first plantings of the garden get folded into the soil and the sounds of children echo across the yards. The pools are officially open for business and we start to have more warm days than not.
Memorial Day weekend deserves that honorable mention for all things it represents. Early sunrises and the morning dew. Catching fireflies at dusk. Bonfires and s’more making and sporting a sun-kissed glow. Balls cracking on bats and bicycle rides in the park. Children running through sprinklers and patriotism. I can go on and on. So with all things warm and sunny, I thought I would share my official kick-off to summer guide. Now remember, don’t forget your sunscreen!
The Unofficial Guide to Kick-Off Summer
Dare to bare! Nothing says summertime like shorts, tees and tanks. Bathing suits can sometimes be classified as the unmentionables and speedos, well let’s just not go there. But the best part of summer is going barefoot in the grass. It is a fantastic form of therapy. Whether you want to cool off your feet, give them a gentle massage or just transform back to childhood, a trip barefoot in the grass will do just that.
Have s’more! Sweet, gooey and delicious. Who isn’t a fan of s’mores? Yet, the best part of them is making them. I am not talking in foil preparation in your oven or microwaved on a micro safe plate. The good old-fashioned way. Light a bonfire, grab a stick and insert that marshmallow. You decide if you want to torch the creamy puff, lightly brown or barely toast. The options are endless and the messier the better!
Fire ‘er up! Take the cover off, scrape the winter from the rack and get it stoked. Don’t be intimidated! You can prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts right on the barbie. You can cook eggs and some turkey bacon in a pan right on the grill. Create a veggie and fish packet with foil, skewer some plums, pears and peaches, drizzle with olive oil and turn before they burn. Take the cooking outdoors!
Get sprinkled! Who says you have to be under the age of ten to run through the sprinkler. Who cares if your neighbors think you have lost your mind. It’s summer and anything goes! If running or skipping is not your thing, unroll the folding chair and relax while the cool mist blankets you!
Play Ball! Grab your buddies, the neighborhood kids and even grandma Flo, it’s time to take it to the streets. Power down the Blackberry and iPad, shut off your Kindle, turn off the tube and swing batter, batter, swing. Organize a game of America’s favorite pastime. A game of neighborhood ball can get all ages involved whether they are playing, cheering or handing out slushies. Technology often keeps us less social. So grab a ball, bat and dust off the gloves! Batter up!
Turn around and swim! I know, cheesy, but nevertheless, dive in! Get a membership to the community pool, slide into the mountain springs or paddle with the ocean waves. Summer is not summer until you go for a swim, tread or float.
Two scoops not one! When it comes to ice cream, two scoops is ALWAYS better than one. On a cone, in a bowl or dripping off your chin. Refeed your soul! Everything in moderation! Even Jenny C, Valerie Bertinelli and Sensa will agree, it’s okay to have an occasional cheat! How many points, calories or carbs? Who cares! This is summer!
Grab a Net! All things that can be caught with a net should be caught and then set free! Remember chasing fireflies and wanting to keep them forever as pets? Then in the morning you woke to find mom or dad tell you that “somehow” they got away. So as soon as dusk fell you would scurry out again to try to find them. I love watching children chase butterflies or catching crabs in the creek. Shoes and street clothes on and wet, makes it even better! It’s summer, the heat will dry them off!
Have a picnic! Grab a blanket, pack some sandwiches and fruit and head to the park. The ants and little summer bugs are the perfect picnic cleaner uppers for the crumbs. Toss a frisby for a nice post meal work-out and indulge in a piece of juicy fruit for dessert.
Salute! Although Memorial Day is an U.S. Holiday, you can still salute. It can be a flag, soldier, cause or organization. Make time to honor an event or person. Be grateful for what you have and not what you don’t.
So, there you have it. My little suggestions to kick-off summer wherever in the world you may be. A few years ago I had the privilege of being in Pearl Harbor, HI on Memorial Day. It brought out a lot of emotions for me. But the best part is when I shook the hand of a veteran who survived the attacks. It made me appreciate that this weekend does not just mark the official kick-off of summer but it can also be a time of reflection.
So as the sun kisses your cheeks, the ice cream drips down your chin and the grass gets stuck between your toes, take time to reflect on all that is important to you. I know it is not the bills you have to pay, the negative medical test result you received or the personal or career struggle you are facing. You have one life, choose to live it! There is no better time to start, then summertime (aka right now)!