Summer proves true the idiom, “time flies when you’re having fun.”
Wasn’t it just a couple weeks ago that I dug out my tank tops and flip flops and tucked my winter coat and snow boots into the dark recess of my closet?
It’s already mid-August.
What happened to June and July?
I started the season with a mile-long bucket list of things to do, the surface of which I’ve barely scratched.
Now, all of a sudden, people all around me are back-to-school shopping, getting ready to close their pools and making plans for Thanksgiving. But all I can think about is making the most of what precious bits of summer remain.
The season seemed longer when I was a kid – until the first day of school came around. But by then I was ready to go back. Ready for fall.
Now, I just want to savor summer.
Here’s my list of 10 things to do before the season’s demise, most of them reminiscent of childhood. For 10 more, see our special publication, “Fun in the sun: Top 10 things to do before school starts,” included in today’s paper.
1. Camp out.
One doesn’t have to go camping to camp out. Summertime for me as a kid meant pitching a tent in my back yard.
Sometimes I slept in it overnight.
Most of the time I got scared after 10 minutes and ran into house calling for Mom.
Other times, my brother, Eddie and I “camped out” on our living room floor. We pumped up our air mattresses, Mom popped a big bowl of popcorn and we slid our copy of “The Fox and the Hound,” into our VHS player before falling asleep.
2. Roast marshmallows.
If you don’t have a fire pit or anywhere to build a campfire, a grill will work just as well. Don’t forget the graham crackers and Hershey’s bars.
3. Take a walk or ride a bike.
This was practically all I did during the summer as a kid. One of the neighbors used to tell me I was going to wear a rut into our dirt road from walking/riding up and down it so much.
I probably did.
4. Go stargazing.
Those who live in areas where the stars are visible can do this in their own back yards. Others may need to travel to a park that’s open after dark or visit Keystone College’s Thomas G. Cupillari ’60 Observatory. (For hours and information, visit keystone.edu/observatory.)
5. Have a picnic.
Whether it’s on our back deck, in the yard or at a local park, a picnic is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the season. This is one of the things I miss most during the winter months.
6. Go somewhere new.
I love exploring parks and museums I’ve never been to before, trying new restaurants and shopping at new stores - especially small-town boutiques. There are plenty of these in and around the Abingtons, with new ones popping up year-round.
7. Take a day for yourself.
This is important, but easy to allow to slip by.
What is it you enjoy doing on your own? Reading? Fishing? Cooking? Going on a long drive? Take a day (or an afternoon, if that’s all you have to spare) to enjoy some peace and quiet (or play your favorite music), and recharge.
8. Spend a day with friends.
“Let’s get together soon.”
“We should hang out.”
“It’s been too long.”
How many times have I said these phrases to a friend (or vice versa), but never did anything about it?
It’s time to follow up, while the weather’s nice and people aren’t busy with holiday plans.
9. Try a new recipe or DIY project.
I have a Pinterest board full of recipes and craft projects I’ve been dying to try.
To borrow another cliché, “there’s no time like the present.”
10. Get wet.
If you own a pool, you may have already checked this one off more times than you can count. I have yet to dive in this season, despite the fact that there are plenty of great places to cool off in the water such as local park pools and streams.
Or, if you don’t swim, there’s always water balloon and water gun fights. This was the ultimate summer activity among the kids in my childhood neighborhood.
What’s on your end-of-summer bucket list? Email your ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 570-348-9185, ext. 3492.