Summer’s in the Air. 8 Reasons to be Happy About That.

All the seasons have something to offer

All the seasons have something to offer

What is your favourite season?  Living in Southwestern Ontario, we are blessed to experience four distinct seasons.  I truly love each one.  I love the crisp, cool fall days where the leaves on the trees change colour and you can just start to see your breath in the air.  You can go out for walks and the air is chilly, but you can get away with just jeans and a heavy sweater.  I love the clean, fresh smell of winter, and get excited for the first snowfall, and for waking up to find a blanket of snow everywhere.  I love the feeling of the air finally starting to warm up after a long winter.  The smell of a spring rain, the sight of daffodils and tulips poking up out of the ground.

But mostly – I love summer.  And summer is in the air, especially this last week.  It hit 30 degrees today, and it is likely to again tomorrow.  I think next week is supposed to have more seasonal temperatures, but this blast of heat that we’ve been experiencing has given us a taste of summer again, and a promise of what’s to come.  I can’t wait!

If you know me, you know that I love a good list.  So in the spirit of the warm weather we’re having, and the warm weather to come, here are the top eight reasons (in no particular order) that I can’t wait for summer:

My happy place

My happy place

1.  The beach.  I love the beach.  It is my happy place, and there is nowhere I would rather be on a  hot summer day.  It can be 35 degrees at home and feel like 45 with the humidex.  But standing on the shore of Lake Huron, it’s warm, breezy, and there isn’t a drop of humidity in the air.  I can sit for hours, staring out at the waves, reading a book, or simply laying on a towel or in a beach chair, eyes closed, listening to the water lap up against the shore.  When the heat from the sun gets to be too much you simply wade out into the water to cool off and bring your body temperature back down.  Back to the sand, you’re good for a little longer, until you’re ready for another dip.  Over and over it goes, all afternoon.

Then of course, there is the beach at night.  Where would you rather view a sunset more than over the water?  The air cooling down, a blanket wrapped around you and someone you love.  You can watch the sun slip slowly beneath the horizon, and if it happens to be July 1st, and there’s a fireworks display, well – you’ve just had about the most perfect day ever.

2. Ice cream.  I freaking love ice cream.  It is my dessert of choice, most of the time.  When I go out for dinner, often I finish looking at all the decadent desserts on the menu and I look up at my server and ask: “can I just get a bowl of ice cream?” My friends are all nodding their heads right now.  Ice cream is awesome, but ice cream in the summer?  That’s what I’m talking about!

I have memories of being a child and hearing the bells of the Good Humour man on his bike with the ice cream treats inside.  The Purple Phantom with the bubble gum nose was my favourite.  Dairy Queen of course is open year round, but of course it tastes better on a hot summer day after an afternoon of swimming.  In a nearby town there is an ice cream parlour called Lickety Split.  In another nearby town there is the Cool Cucumber.  These places are only open in the summer, and there is nothing quite like driving past one of them to find they’re open for the season.  It’s truly a reason to celebrate.

Take me out to the ballgame...

Take me out to the ballgame…

3.  Baseball.  I love baseball.  When I was a teenager, I lived and breathed baseball.  It may have had something to do with the massive crush I had on Roberto Alomar.  It also had everything to do with the game.  I got away from baseball a bit during the strike in 1994-95.  After that I paid attention, but not how I used to.  The game lost a bit of something for me.  In the last couple of years I have returned to the fold.  We have made it out to a Toronto Blue Jays game at least once a season in the last couple of years and I hope this year to get out there again.  Nicholas played baseball for our local league last summer and will again this summer, so he is interested too.  Perhaps a game for Joe and I and a game for the family.  I love the atmosphere of a ballpark.  Especially when we’re winning.

4. Grilling.  Oh, heck yeah.  The smell of the barbecue is a sure sign of summer.  It may sound silly but my favourite thing to eat off the barbecue is grilled chicken breasts, when they’re seasoned properly and done properly so they’re tender and juicy, and they’ve got barbecue sauce on them…..oh yes.  I am fortunate to be married to an excellent grill man.  Joe is so good at barbecuing that I said to my Mom the other day “if I ever tell you that I’m thinking about leaving Joe, just whisper into my ear: grilled chicken breasts.  I’ll be sure to reconsider.”

Barbecue is awesome because it tastes great, the cleanup is minimal, and when you eat outside on the deck, you just leave the food on the grill and everyone grabs their own.  You don’t even need to dirty a serving plate.  Add the spuds and veg in foil packets, and you’re all set.

5. The smell of freshly cut grass.  Need I say more?

Anyone for s'mores?

Anyone for s’mores?

6.  Campfires.  Another summer activity I could do every weekend.  The sun goes down, everyone moves from the deck to the fire pit.  Someone gets the wood, someone else grabs that week’s flyers and a lighter or matches.  Grab some coat hangers and a bag of marshmallows, your drink and a sweatshirt, and you’re almost all set.  All I need is my iPhone set to my “Fireside” playlist, and I could sit there all evening.  It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends.  I love the smells, the sound of the fire crackling, the warmth.  While I’m out there that is.  As soon as I get in the house, it’s into the shower.  I can’t sleep with the smell of campfire in my hair.

7.  Flip flops.  I hate socks.  Once the warm weather starts, I don’t wear them until the snow flies again.

8.  Produce.  Tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, cherries, peaches, corn on the cob.  Fresh, local produce simply can’t be beat, and we in Ontario are so lucky to have access to so much awesome fresh fruits and vegetables.  In late August and early September I would exist simply on corn on the cob if I could.  When the fresh produce is out of your own garden, so you are eating it within sight of where it grew, it’s an added bonus.

So those are just 8 of the reasons that I am so excited for summer.  There are so many more that I haven’t listed here.  Are you excited for summer?  What are your reasons?  Do you have a different favourite season?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Enjoy the heat…and don’t forget your sunscreen!