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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5 Reasons to Love Summer (Even in Texas)


Summer is upon us. Ok, so maybe it's more upon me, seeing as how I get three months off to really experience Nature's way of saying, "hey, sorry it was so cold in January. Now you can go swimming and sleep without socks." Of course, summer in Texas is a pretty shitty apology, Nature. It's hot and dry and with the lake levels dropping like they have been, all the remaining swimming holes will likely be waterless by June. Nevertheless, it's still my favorite season and here's why:

1. BOOKS
It's the only time of the year when I can really sit down and read a book. Sure, I read throughout the year, but by the time I get home from work and feed the kid and get him in bed, I read all of three pages before falling asleep. Even with a little one to chase around over the summer, he still naps twice a day, which means I get to curl up with a copy of A Visit from the Goon Squad and actually finish it in one week instead of five.

2. ROAD TRIPS
No summer is complete without a road trip, though we didn't get to take one last year. Atticus was born in June and driving a newborn cross-country just isn't my kind of adventure. This year, however, we're heading to Ouray, Colorado for a friend's wedding (baby stays with Grandma, though, as I'm still not ready to bring a one-year-old along on a 30-hour drive round trip). I can't wait for the hum of the road, the smell of black coffee, the monotonous voice reading the latest book on tape I brought along for the ride…travel is my religion and road trips are the purest form of worship. Hopefully next year we'll get the guts to drive to the West Coast and visit my sister in San Francisco, baby and all.

Kicking my feet up in the back seat: Summer Road Trip 2009



3. BBQ
The best cure for a hot day is a plate of Elgin sausage, brisket, watermelon, and a pint of Brian's homebrewed Hefeweizen. Even the health nut in me can't be perfect all the time, and BBQ is best served without guilt (so no comments about how grain-fed cows will kill us all…I can't hear you anyway with my mouth full).

4. BUGS
Ok, so I know this one sounds weird, but the sound of cicadas purring in the oak trees is akin to Beethoven's 7th Symphony. It's magical. It's nostalgic. It's a reminder that even small things can make a big impact (too much? Whatever. Sometimes I get sappy about bugs). To me, it's the sound of childhood and quiet summer mornings…plus, when they molt, they leave their shells all over the side of the house and little sisters are easily scared by this. If you're still grossed out by my love of cicadas, just pretend this paragraph was about lightning bugs instead. 

5. SWIMMING
Even with the aforementioned drought, we still have plenty of places to swim in Austin. In fact, one reason I can tolerate the Texas summer heat is because most of my time is spent in water. Between Barton Springs, Lake Travis, and the oh-so-white-trash inflatable pool we just set up in our backyard, I have a feeling Atticus will be the next Michael Phelps. 

I was a fearless child, even at the age of 5

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