Good morning and happy Monday!
Today is Memorial Day here in the USA. Along with paying tribute to those who have given their lives in service to this country, it is also the unofficial beginning of summer. Solstice may not be until June but In my hometown of Greeley, schools are out, barbecues are being fired up, cars are heading to the mountains, and outdoor swimming pools are opening up for the season. As far as we are concerned, summer is here.
Whether it is the warmer weather, the extra hours of daylight, or seeing all the children enjoying their time away from school; knowing summer is near fills most people with excitement and joy. Whether we have a vacation during the summer months or not, we can find ways to make the most of the warm weather and extra hours of daylight.
Here are some of my ideas for enjoying summer:
Have a meal outdoors
Whether it is morning coffee on the patio, lunch in the park, or a barbecue with friends; get out in the sun and fresh air while enjoying a meal. I believe the fresh air helps us to slow down and enjoy the moment while nourishing our body. I bet it is probably good for digestion too!
Go to a park
City and neighborhood parks can be beautiful and inspiring places. Gardens, walking trails, water features, historical points of interest, are common features of parks these days. Take a stroll, read a book, have a picnic, or sit and watch people and nature. I have a goal this summer of visiting a different park in Greeley each week. We have dozens of parks here and I tend to stick to my favorites. Time to widen my horizons.
Go hiking, biking, swimming or any other activity that you enjoy. If you haven’t moved your body in a while, summer is the perfect time to create a new healthy life style routine. Of course, use common sense and make sure your doctor says you are fit enough to engage in any activities you want to pursue. Even an evening stroll after dinner is a great way to start moving your body outdoors and enjoying the summer weather.
Take a day trip and explore your own hometown or surrounding area. Most of us are not aware of the businesses, sites, activities, history, and art all around us. The vacation planning site Trip Advisor isn’t just for big vacations. This site can give you the top things to do right in your area.
Check out your hometown’s website for summer activities.
Most cities now have websites promoting why your town is a great place to live and work. My hometown,Greeley, started a campaign several years ago called Greeley Unexpected. Our town now promotes everything Greeley with a click of the mouse. New restaurants, First Fridays filled with art and live music, city sponsored 5k runs and bike rides, movies in the park, museum days, and just about anything else you can think of can be found easily on line.
Go to a Farmer’s Market
Buying local is a great way to support your community as well as enjoy summer. Fresh, locally grown food tastes the best and is the best for your body’s health. Farmer’s Markets are popping up everywhere. If your town does not have one, chances are a nearby town does. My sister and brother in law, Cindy and Pete, have a summer/ fall ritual of riding to the Farmer’s Market in Greeley on their bikes, spending the morning shopping, ( they have a wagon they can attach to one of the bikes to haul groceries) and then stopping at a little restaurant for breakfast on the way home. That is what I call enjoying life’s simple pleasures. 🙂
Think like a kid and plan like an adult
What did you love about summer as a kid? Popsicles, fresh watermelon, crafts, summer sports, day camp, the swimming pool, movie matinees, the summer library reading club? Can you remember the last time you scheduled activities just for your relaxation and enjoyment? When my nieces were young, I used to enjoy hearing about the things my sister, Cindy, would plan for their summers. Cindy was a master of planning adventures on a budget. I know the girls had magical summer adventures and relaxing down time thanks to creative planning by my sister. Great summers don’t just happen. It requires the wonder of a child combined with the planning strategies of an adult. We cannot be forever nine years old, but we can recreate some of the childhood joy summer brought us by consciously structuring our days to enjoy a piece of summer. OK, so day camp is probably no longer on our list of things to do, but how about a summer ceramic class or summer sport league? Go ahead and eat a Popsicle while you plan some adventures based on what brings you joy and sparks your curiosity today.
Nothing says summer quite like green lawns, flowers, and vegetable gardens. Perhaps you have a yard and garden that brings you joy and is the envy or your neighbors. If you are like me, it is a small patio with several small containers. Either way, summer is a time for life and growth in nature. It is satisfying to nurture a plant or two and reconnect to the cycles of the seasons.
As always, I would love to hear from you! How do you enjoy summer? Is your summer just getting started or wrapping up? ( for my readers Down Under.) Do you have favorite summer memories?
Until next time,