A Different Kind of Summer Day

Sigh. It’s a beautiful August day outside.

The sun it out but it’s not too hot. A slight breeze dries the little bit of sweat that springs up from running around on the green grass. The pavement is warm on my sandaled feet.

I miss having summers off. Three months of ease and joy. I miss those lazy hot August days, like today, in the waning hours before school starts again. It seemed like summer would never end and Autumn was a forever away.

I miss dry Albuquerque days with powerful monsoon rainstorms in the late afternoon.

Splashing in sprinklers. Chasing lizards. Riding my bike.

Then dashing inside where the refrigerated air was like heaven on earth and sipping sun tea while watching Guiding Light with my mom and sister and often my grandmother too.

I think I had angst back then. I’m pretty sure I worried a lot. I at least got a little worked up over the latest machinations of Reva and Josh in that soap opera world.

But I had kid worries too. What would school be like? Why didn’t I have more friends? Why was my hair mousey brown and not blonde? When mom and dad talked about money problems did that mean something bad was going to happen?

I know I had a lot of angst back then, but in hindsight it seems so easy. So effortless.

What is that saying? “Youth is wasted on the young.” For me maybe not wasted but certainly not appreciated.

On this beautiful August day, I sit in my hard walled office with one glass wall and gaze out to the park across the street. Kids run and tumble and shout and scream and seem to be having a really effortlessly fun summer.

And I feel wistful.

I know kids today have their own worries and in a lot of ways it’s harder to be a kid today than it was way back when. But right now I am gazing out the window as I prepare for my next conference call where we’ll blah de blah for an hour about something that seems terribly important but really isn’t. Right now I sort of wish for a swimming pool, a soft serve ice cream cone and the time and desire to lay out on a beach towel and just soak up the sun.

For just a moment to have nothing to do and nowhere to be and nothing to worry about other than when to flip over so I don’t get sunburned.

That’s summer vacation to me.

Ah well. Back to the conference call. My boss is pinging my mobile phone and asking if I am attending.

I’m attending. In body only. The spirit is floating on a hot pink blow up mattress in the muddy waters of Ute Lake.


This photo is not totally applicable to this post, but I went to my favorite royalty free stock photo site and put “summer” in the search box.

This was the first image that came up and it was too compelling to pass up. So there you have it.

Image by Teresa Howes and used royalty free from stock.xchng

Thinking About Spring

Reblog from March 25, 2010, but just as applicable from where I sit today.

Ah, Spring

In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

Yes, yes, it’s inevitable that the famous Tennyson quote will be trotted out when the weather turns warm. Especially after the winter we’ve had.

But is that true? Does a young man’s fancy lightly turn to thoughts of love?

Is it love? Or more like “damn, baby, it’s been a long cold winter.”

And if young men turn to thoughts of love, what about the thoughts of young ladies?

Well, I may not be young and I’m no lady, so what do my thoughts lightly turn to?

Well. Those cute little strappy sandals. You know the ones, with the heel, not too high, but high enough to make my legs look nice?

Oh, and if I’m wearing those, then I totally need a mani-pedi.

*ahem* Excuse me. Totally girled out there for a minute. Bringing it back to center….

My thoughts lightly turn to…

Margaritas on the patio of my favorite restaurant while nomming guacamole and hearing light mariachi music in the background.

Iced tea. Preferably made by the sun.

Liberating my legs from the tyranny of pants. (oops, better shave ’em. It *has* been a long winter!)

Apricots ripening in the side yard.

Farmer’s Markets with all of the rest of the produce that arrives with spring including nectarines, peaches and artichokes.

Daffodils on the dining room table. Followed by tulips. Followed by a cacophony of all the flowers of Spring and Summer.

Achoo! Sneezes. Because god knows all those fabulous flowers bring not so fabulous pollen.

Longer days and fabulous sunsets.

Riding my bike! (getting it tuned up today!)

Stepping outside and turning my face to the sun like an over ripened sunflower because oh-my-am-I happy to have that big fireball back in the sky where it’s visible. My vitamin D-cell batteries are running low!

Photo from: Kimberly Clark‘s Flickr photo stream.

Hot Town, Summer in The City

Whooo, yesterday was the last day of July. Today’s the first day of August. Hot times, no? The dead of summer. Sun high in the sky. Shorts, flip flops, and sun tea.

Asphalt so hot you can’t stand on it cuz it’s melting.

Then around 4:00 the monsoons roll in and unleash the rain and hail. Finally the sun sets on a warm, beautiful night.

Right? Oh wait, that’s New Mexico.

Fourteen years in the Bay Area still hasn’t gotten me used to summers that look like this:

Copyright 2011 Rafael Monterrosa, and used with permission.

This beautiful photo was posted yesterday by my Twitter friend and San Francisco resident, Rafael Monterrosa. Sutro Tower is partially hidden in the background as the fog crawls over the hill, ready to lay down and blanket my City.

I swear to you, the fog is a living, breathing entity.

Summer mornings start out gray and overcast. By noon, the gray has burned off leaving beautifully warm blue sky days. THIS is the golden California they talk about. Just about the time I manage to sit back with a glass of iced tea and let the sun warm my bones, the fog rolls over the hill, the temperature drops twenty degrees, and the pants, long sleeves and hot beverages come out.

And ya’ll wonder why we crazy San Franciscians have a party for a glass. You have no idea how nice an Irish coffee is on a cold damp summer night in the Bay Area.

I guess for me, the ol’ “make hay while the sun shines” is in effect. I just took a nice long walk in the blue sky’d afternoon, eyeing the fog already peeking over the hills to the west, ready to smother the warm out of my day.

*sigh* No wonder my Vitamin D is so low. Frappin’ Marine Layer.

A Theme Thursday You Can Use

So I’m about five days late getting around to this week’s Theme Thursday.

It was a long week before the long weekend. Today, as with my astounding piles of work email, I’m finally getting caught up.

This week’s theme is: Simple

And so we have the word simple. We have the hot, hot month of July. We have a need for refreshment.

Time for an easy yet useful recipe.

Simple syrup. If you are sweetening your iced tea, mojios, or other cold beverages without it, well then…where have you been?

Get on board!

Here you go:

Simple syrup is 1 part sugar to 1 part water. I usually do one cup to one cup.

Combine in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.

Dispense into something tasty.

That’s it.

Now, go getcher drink on! Whatever that beautifully sweetened beverage might be.

Photo by Pam Roth and used royalty free from stock.xchng.