My three favorite scents of summer are fresh-cut grass, campfires and cow manure.
Yes, cow manure.
I didn’t always feel that way about the latter; as a kid in the vicinity of a farm I would hold my nose.
My subsequent appreciation was acquired via an association to ice cream at Manning Farm Dairy in North Abington Township where that distinct dairy farm fragrance fills the air.
Sometimes I’ll stop for a cone or a gallon at the downtown Clarks Summit store. For good ice cream; not the full Manning’s experience.
For the full ride, you have to drive out to the farm and breathe in that fresh country air, enjoying the cold treat while visiting with the cows who helped produce it.
By “it” I mean the ice cream, not the “fresh country air,” but if you interpreted it the other way around, I suppose that works too.
I asked my Facebook friends what their favorite scents of summer are, curious if anyone else would say cow manure, or if I’d be alone.
I was alone.
Some did, however, list fresh-cut grass and campfires.
Several named various flowers such as lilacs, honeysuckle, stargazer lilies and roses. Some of the other answers included sunscreen, lemon, strawberries, melons, fresh produce from the garden, clean laundry dried on the line, food cooking on the grill, s’mores and the beach.
It’s hard to believe summer is almost halfway over. There are still so many scents, sights, sounds and tastes of the season left to experience before fall takes over with its own gifts.
In light of that, here is a second half of summer bucket list based on six of my and my friends’ favorite scents of the season, for anyone looking for ways to pass the time:
Mow a lawn.
I know, bucket lists are supposed to be fun, not work. But hear me out.
Sometimes the most enjoyment is gained by doing something for someone else. That's why I wrote "a lawn," not "your" lawn. Know someone who just got out of the hospital or is going away on vacation? Why not offer to help him or her out?
The sweet scent of the fresh-cut grass that follows may just be a little more rewarding than usual.
Grab some graham crackers and chocolate bars while you’re at it and gather the whole family around the fire.
Don’t have a safe place in your yard to build a campfire? You can also roast marshmallows over the grill.
Host a cook-out.
Speaking of grills, fire yours up, because now is the time for hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, spiedies, grilled steaks and whatever else you like to cook over the coals.
Why not invite some friends who you haven’t seen in a while and catch up over lunch or dinner on the patio?
When was the last time you visited a sick and/or aging friend or relative in a nursing home or long-term care facility? Pick (or buy) a bouquet of flowers and bring some summer scent to a person who is unable to experience it on his or her own.
Catch some rays.
Doing things for and with other people is great, but sometimes "me time" is necessary. Take a break from the busyness of the season and grab some sunscreen, a cool drink and a good book and find a quiet spot in the sun to relax by yourself.
Go for ice cream.
This one probably doesn't need to be said, but I’ll say it anyway.
Take the family for a drive out to North Abington Township for scoops at Manning's.
Visit the cows.
And breathe in that fresh – ahem – country air.