Today is the first day of summer (well, actually, if you ask my husband, he’d tell you that meteorological summer began on June 1st). We’ve already had our taste of the heat, as well as a few thunderstorms, and it looks like this week promises more of the same.
I’m generally not a fan of summer. I can’t handle the heat and humidity, and I really don’t relish the thought of the mosquito bites and bee stings that are inevitable this time of year. But there are things I like about this time of year.
- Fireflies! I love going outside on summer evenings as the sun slips behind the mountain behind our house and scanning our property for the first yellow twinkle. Before long, the entire yard is alight with the glow of fireflies winking here and there. My younger son likes to run through the yard and try to catch them. I have fond memories of my own of filling mason jars with them on summer evenings and then letting them go before going inside for the night.
- Stargazing! I love stargazing no matter what season it is, but it’s just a little easier in the summer when I don’t have to put on six layers of clothing just to keep from freezing. I love to lie on the lounge chair on our deck and gaze up at the heavens at the millions of stars shining above. I also watch for jets flying overhead and wonder about the people on board. Also, I always await the announcement of the Perseid meteor shower or the Leonid meteor shower. I’ve never actually gotten to see a shooting star, but I never give up trying.
- Summer fruits and vegetables! Sure, these days you can go to the grocery store and buy any kind of produce at any time of year, but it’s just so much better when it comes from your own garden or from a local farmers’ market (I have never been accused of having a green thumb). My older son loves watermelon, and my husband loves strawberries, so those are among the fruits we specifically look for. My garden is a bit sparse compared to others, but I have my usual pumpkins, tomatoes, and peppers planted, and this year I’m attempting turnips, onions, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce.
- Thunderstorms! I’m actually a bit on the fence about storms. They scare the daylights out of me, especially when they’re severe, but it’s just awe-inspiring to watch the skies darken as clouds roll over the mountain and cover the sky. A couple years ago, we were even treated to mammatus clouds, a phenomenon I’ve heard about on the Weather Channel for years but never saw myself before that evening. Another plus about storms is that we often see rainbows when the rain has passed.
- Vacations! (This one is my son’s suggestion) We try to keep our vacations to times when the kids are out of school and don’t have to make up assignments, which means we travel either over Christmas or during summer break. The kids tend to like the beach, but we typically avoid the beaches during the summer when they’re crowded and expensive. During summer vacations we tend to hit more nature-based or historical spots. This year, we’re hoping to go upstate to Erie/Presque Isle and then hit Titusville and Pittsburgh on the way back.
Those are my top five favorite things about summer. What are your favorite things about summer? Leave a comment and let me know!