It’s June 22nd. Almost July. Summer is in full swing, there’s no denying it.
However, with all the flowers, the short shorts, the sweat, the trees in bloom and the smog warnings, I’m just not feeling it. I’ve had this problem for the last few years. It seems that summer to me is embedded in childhood memories and activities that for obvious reasons, I can never go back to and repeat.
What I wouldn’t give to be in elementary school again, spending 8 hours of each day in my cousin’s backyard pool. I wouldn’t leave. They could only lure me out with dinner and pop, and even after that, I was back in. My hair was green and felt like straw and I cared not. Nothing was ever more fun than those times, where I dove after neon coloured sticks that I’d thrown to the bottom of the deep end.
This should be an easy memory to re-live, something I could do again to bring back my ideal definition of a good summer day. But it isn’t. I’m not about to get into a bathing suit in public, I’m not about to share my pool with screaming kids and their sunscreen-applying mothers, I’d be devastated if my hair turned green and straw-ish again and it just seems like such a hassle to get changed out of a wet bathing suit nowadays. Yuck.
I loved camping as a kid. Though a lot of it was usually rained out, we’d always go with my aunt and uncle and their kids, and occassionally the other aunt, uncle and cousins were there too. We always got the same spot at Buffalo Pound Lake, right across from the outhouses (Prime location, no?) and across from this big hill. We’d always climb the hill and it felt like freaking Mount Everest, but now looking back on it, it was really quite tame. One time we found gravestones up there and I thought that they had been murdered, since they were so secluded and the murderer must not have wanted anyone to find them. It didn’t really cross my mind that murderers wouldn’t nicely bury and commemorate someone’s life with a granite headstone. Pfft. Whatever.
I loved going out on the boat, fishing with my uncle and dad and cousins. Mind you, I wasn’t fishing. No, no, that wasn’t for me. I was out there reading, uninterrupted. Everyone else was under a strict enforcement of silence, so as not to scare the fish away, which was the perfect place for me to read of the latest Babysitter’s Club adventures.
I loved zooming around my bike, and though this ocassionally turned into a disaster (hey Courtney, you reading this?) it was always so much fun. Riding to the one lonely general store was the highlight of any camping day, since there would usually be ice cream involved. If it rained, that was cool too. We’d drink boatloads of pop and play hours of card games, no problem.
But now, the idea of camping repulses me. EW. No running water, no internet, no couch, mosquitoes, sunburns, setting up and taking down the tents, no take out meals? Um, no thank you. I am far too engrained in my city bitch lifestyle to go and tramp around in the woods, getting myself all dirty.
I would read like a woman possessed during the summers. I lived a block and a half from the library and was there ALL THE TIME, after one of my first babysitters decided it was simply unnatural for my brother and I not to have a library card. She promptly marched us over there and signed us up. And my love affair for the written word began. Nowadays, reading seems unproductive, even to a lazy bastard like me. There’s a kitchen to be cleaned, groceries to be bought, laundry that never ends, a dog to take out……..reading?? Far down on the list.
Even though I clearly stand no chance of ever living what I define as a ‘perfect summer’ again, I always get the same giddy anticipation when I feel summer hovering in the air, just around the corner. It still presents its promises the same way, though it just doesn’t deliver anymore. I’m more concerned with mapping my activities according to whether or not they have air conditioning, than I am with tracking down the perfect ice cream cone.
I miss summer. It’ll never be back. There’s a park near me with a wading pool and I’m always drawn to it, since we spent many days in the local one back home. Though the water was freezing cold and I’d inevitably fall pretty damned hard onto the concrete, it was oodles of fun. Sometimes I want to stop and watch the kids play when I walk past. Then I remember I’d probably get arrested.
Where did my lazy hazy crazy days go? Have you guys figured out how to get them back?