As much as I love living in Greene County, I only wish that we could skip over the cold and dreary winter months and maintain warm weather all year long.
Yes, the fall is amazing, and I do love the remarkable beauty God creates for us here in the hills of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The colors are breathtaking, and I can manage days of 50-to-60-degree weather.
Spring is also fine with the anticipation of pools soon opening and the knowledge that warmer weather has only just started.
But any weather that requires me to wear a jacket and renders flip-flops unacceptable is weather I could live without.
Then along comes summer; fleeting, don’t blink or you will miss it, summer. Just a few short months that permit you to put the coats away and leave the flip-flops out.
Why do I love summer?
There are many reasons, but second only to the warmer weather are the longer days. Daylight savings time begins this process, but slowly you realize daylight is lasting longer and longer. Suddenly, it is no longer socially acceptable (except for that occasional rainy night with no place to go) to come home and crawl into pajamas. The promise of light brings possibilities. You can take a walk, paint a fence, garden, sit on the front porch with a glass of iced tea ... endless possibilities!
Summer also seems to slow the pace of life, especially for those with school-age children. Sure, there may be baseball or summer camp, but overall, things seem to slow down a bit, and that is a welcome reprieve. Sometimes I think we push our kids to do too much, and we leave too little time for family togetherness. Just being together is important, and summer provides an opportunity for this.
This brings us to (arguably everyone’s most favorite) summer vacation. One solid week of family time. Vacation is a time to reconnect, renew your soul and clear your mind. Whether you choose long walks by a beach, camping by the lake or a trip to the mountains, this time with your family is probably some of the most important time you spend.
My family starts planning vacation as soon as the hustle and bustle of the holiday passes. With six adults and two children involved, we have to look that far ahead to pick dates that work for all. Once we agree, we book our home away from home. Like many families, we have several vacation rituals. On our trip there, we all know my dad will insist on a good hearty breakfast. We pick a 1,000-piece puzzle to enjoy while we are there and all pitch in to build it throughout the week. We sit on the beach. We play games. We talk. We disconnect from everyday life. We cherish. Times like these are too far and few between.
No matter your favorite thing to do this summer, enjoy. Try something new. Stay up late. Take a random vacation day. Spend time with those you love. Make the most of it. Because before you know it, one day (too soon) you will go to put on your shoes and realize it’s time to put the flip-flops away and pull the winter coats out.