Friday, August 5, 2011

Perfect summer day

The past few days for me have been full of vicariously savoring other people’s vacation adventures. My friend Jane told me about camping for two nights on an island in Lake Champlain (the ferry boat captain insisted she refer to it as an “undisclosed location” to stave off the crowds). My sister emailed to say how happy she was to be back in Colorado. A neighbor posted on Facebook about a wonderful first day on Nantucket.

And yet we had a pretty perfect day yesterday right here at home, which reminds me that a perfect summer day can happen a lot of different places. If you have an opportunity to relax, a break from the normal schedule, and like-minded company – no matter whether any of those factors exists for a week or a couple of days or even just an hour or two -- you have just about all the ingredients you need.

We didn’t go anywhere yesterday, but after I had a productive morning of work on our porch, Tim and I played badminton in the yard while Holly rode her bike up and down the driveway. Tim and I both love to play badminton; it’s one of the few things that the two of us have essentially equal amounts of interest in. So we played for a good long time. Holly rode her bike to the edge of the woods behind the garage and for the first time discovered that there are wild blackberry bushes growing back there. Finders keepers: she picked and ate the first ripe blackberry of the season; we could see that there are more soon to come.

Later in the afternoon, I loaded up the car and brought the trash and recycling to the Transfer Station. Even that had a Perfect Summer Day feel to it: with everyone else in town off vacationing, I had the whole circuit to myself, and it seemed like such an easier job than it does when the cars are parked six deep and the bins are overflowing.

And after Tim and Rick left for Tim’s evening baseball game, Holly and I headed over to my parents’ house for one last visit with my sister and my niece before they return home to Pennsylvania. We sat with my parents on lawn chairs out by the pond and admired the beautiful evening we were in the midst of: bullfrogs croaked, dragonflies skimmed across the water. Sorry as I always am to see my sister and her family leave, they’ll be back later this month, and then we’ll meet up with them in Pennsylvania not long after that.

So there are perfect summer days in the mountains and on the islands and at the beach, and there are perfect summer days to be found right at home as well. I’m lucky to have already gone away once this summer, to Colorado in late June by myself, and I look forward to a real family vacation in another few weeks, but for now, badminton and biking and blackberries feels just about as satisfying as any getaway.

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