Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Heart of the summer

It took us until early August to break out the grill, but we finally had a meal that looked and smelled like summertime.

There's no particular reason we didn't grill earlier. It was just one of those things that passed us by, as summer wore on. But yesterday I marinated a steak all day, and after I got home from work, Rick pulled the canvas cover off the grill, scraped off a little of the detritus left from last year, and lit the flame.

And the summer flavor didn't end there. We also had our first corn on the cob of the season, plus asparagus. It was truly a midsummer meal.

Which feels appropriate, as the mood this week has been very much heart-of-the-summer. Both kids are done with their week of camp, but it's still too early for back-to-school shopping. This morning I received an email containing Tim's freshman football training schedule, which begins on August 19. A friend asked me when the middle school would post homeroom lists and I realized I had no idea.

All of this is because it's still only the very first few days of August. At the beginning of every summer, I spend a lot of time planning out our time, investigating different activities, stocking up on sunscreen and bug spray, and reminding the kids that once in a while they'll need to be out of bed before 9:30 a.m. And at the end of the summer, my thoughts turn to back-to-school issues and I become more insistent that the kids start getting up earlier, in preparation for the 7 a.m. bus pick-up that awaits them next month.

But right now, we're still in the heart of the summer, even if we only uncovered the grill for the first time last night. I've read just one of the three novels I set as my summer reading goal, and we haven't been to the beach yet nearly as often as we'd like. But the beauty of August 6, a full four weeks before school starts, is that there's still time.

The weather has cooled off a little since last months heat waves, but the daylight still lasts well past dinner. Friends are still leaving on vacations or for camp. And we still have plenty of summer plans ahead as well, including my niece's arrival next week and another trip to Maine after that.

It's August, yes. But it's early August. The summer hasn't ended yet, and the corn on the cob is only just now reaching perfection. We'll take our time for these next few weeks; we're in no hurry for fall. Not while summer still holds so many pleasures.

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