Summer is for lying in grass, counting the stars

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Summer is for lying in grass, counting the stars
By Bonnie Smith
What are your favorite summertime memories? Perhaps it was a summer job, maybe as a
lifeguard or camp counselor. Maybe it was all about the Mississippi summertime heat where
you splashed in the pool with friends and tried to define your feelings about your summer
crush. Summer likely brought you much pleasure listening to your favorite music. You might
have had a lemonade stand, water balloon battles, beach time, and watching memorable
sunsets. Summer invites us outdoors. There is a feeling of freedom to roam outside and
enjoy nature. Go barefoot in the grass. Listen to the cacophony of the various crickets, frogs,
and insects who await the darkness to entertain.
Summer is one long holiday if you play your cards right. It is whatever vacation you plan.
Think travel—near or far—and lots of playtime whether it’s a destination beach or a home-
town attraction. Be a tourist in your town. Read that novel. Have lunch on a patio and watch
the world go by.
My favorite memories include spending time at the lake, listening to classic rock on my
transistor radio, sunbathing, and spending time with friends. Family time was pretty special
too. I recall when my two younger brothers, my mom, dad and I would go down to the creek
near our house carrying the makings for a “weenie roast.” That consisted, of course, of
hotdogs, buns, both ketchup and mustard for those of us who had a hard time deciding on the
right condiment, a jug of Kool-Aid, and marshmallows for roasting. My dad would find a few
small tree limbs, cut them into about 3-foot lengths, and then with his pocket knife, he would
carefully strip away the outer bark at one end of the stick. That’s where we would slip the
hotdog on and hold it over the fire he had made among the rocks. While my dad gathered the
limbs for cooking the hot dogs, my brothers and I would skip rocks. We went for distance and
more importantly how many “skips” we got. These outings were such simple summer holiday
celebrations, yet I remember them with such fondness.
There’s nothing like a county fair to provide entertainment for all ages. Our county fair took
place the week of my birthday in August, so it felt like everyone was celebrating with me. I’d
tag along with my parents who enjoyed seeing the livestock and various displays. You
absolutely must have some cotton candy, pronto pups, and caramel apples. And while the
rides didn’t compare to Disney, they were still fun. Who hasn’t been on a Ferris wheel at
night or gotten nauseated on the tilt-a-whirl.
July seems as if it will go on forever, but it won’t be a minute and August will roll around
signaling that summer is on the wane, and it will soon be back-to-school time.

This quote by author, podcaster and newspaper columnist Regina Brett sums it up: “Summer
is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie
in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.”
So, get out there, lie in the grass and count the stars. Enjoy all that summer has to offer!
Before you know it, we’ll all be complaining about the cold, nasty winter weather.

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