July in New England is special. The first full month of sweet summertime and the days linger long into the evening, the hydrangeas begin to bloom, freedom and adventure are calling our names and you just want to savor every ounce of it all.
This year your summer might look a little different than those past. Your vacations may have been postponed, parades and celebrations are cancelled and large gatherings are frowned upon. It’s different, for sure, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be sweet.
As the summer months approached, I remember feeling a sense of sadness over things that will be missed this year. But as the days progressed, I found myself going about them without much change. Being a true introvert at heart, I never really enjoyed the big get togethers or elaborate celebration but I liked having the freedom to choose. To choose if I wanted to go to the parade. To choose if I wanted to go to the bustling beer garden or the cozy coffee shop no one knows about. Our simple and basic right to choose seems to have been stripped away, and although I understand first hand the reasons why, it’s still extremely frustrating.
Okay, I digressed way further than planned.. let’s get back on track.
Although I don’t always have the option now, lord knows I choose the quieter one anyway. And so, for me, this summer is just as perfect as the rest.. it may even be better. Sure, 2020 has been a doozy on many levels, but it has forced so many of us to slow down. To remember the simple and important things in life. To spend more time with our families. To get outside. To accept change, whether we agree with it or not. To step outside of our comfort zones. To adapt and overcome.
This summer I encourage you to embrace the simple things that make you smile or set your heart on fire. The things that make you excited to get out of bed every morning. The little things that may, in fact, turn out to be the big ones.
What are some things you really enjoy about summertime? Here are a few of mine.
Long Sunday morning walks. These have quickly become something I look forward to all week. I love waking up early when the world is quiet, listening to the birds chirp and being together with my little family of 4.
Air dried hair. I have lots of wavy hair that takes far too long to blow dry. There’s just something about getting out of the shower, towel drying my hair and letting the warm summer air do the rest.. all while not freezing because wet hair in colder months, I’m pretty sure can lead to hypothermia.
Ice cream dates. Obviously. If you know me, you’re likely well aware I can’t get enough ice cream in the summertime. These are my favorite kind of dates, especially if we can bring the puppies along.
Gardening. There is something so rewarding about kneeling on the warm ground, getting your hands dirty and watching magic happen (aka your plants grow).
Fresh fruit and vegetables. Nothing tastes quite as delicious as fresh picked strawberries or tomatoes and basil from the garden.
Casual and unplanned get togethers. Some of my favorite memories are those that were never planned. The ones that just happened. An afternoons at a winery. Take out and dream planning on the couch with friends. A motorcycle ride. Somehow, when there is no time to plan or stress, things just work out better.
Evenings on the beach. Laying in the sun baking all day while surrounded by people is not my idea of a good time. But an evening on the beach after the crowds disperse and the air cools is perfection. A blanket and a bottle of wine, a leisurely walk with the pups or tossing a football with the sand under your feet can’t be beat.
Thunderstorms. New England heat can be brutal in the summer and an occasional storm is so refreshing. When the sun is shining I have a hard time forcing myself to relax but when the rain is falling, I love curling up on the couch and watching it pour down.
Al fresco dining. It never gets old. Whether we’re sipping our morning coffee on the deck, grilling and hosting a cookout, being served on a sidewalk or at a restaurant with a view.. eating outside is my favorite.
Jean shorts and a white T-shirt. Although my mom will tell you I need more color in my life, this is how I feel my best and how you’ll often find me.