Jun 27, 2014

10 Things That Made Summer Worthwhile (Almost)

I hate the summertime.  It's too hot, there's nothing to do, and the sun doesn't go down until the middle of the night.  But when I was a kid growing up in Rock Island, there were a few things that ameliorated the boredom of June, July, and August.

Here are 10 Things That Made Summer Worthwhile (Almost)

1. Swimming lessons at Longview Park Pool.

2. My birthday excursion (my birthday is in November, but I postponed the trip to May, so my friends and I could go to Mother Goose Land, the Putnam Museum, or A Little Bit O'Heaven).

3. The Denkmann School Carnival, where you could get comic books and cotton candy, and there were cute guys to dunk in the Dunking Booth.

4. The Pow Wow, the Celtic Festival, and the Beiderbecke Jazz Festival.

5. Watching summer soap operas with my mother with the air conditioner running, then walking outside into a biting-hot afternoon and running through the sprinkler.

6. Summer Enrichment classes in astronomy, Spanish, archaeology, and music.

7. Picking strawberries at a farm across the river in Iowa, followed by strawberry shortcake.

8. Not to mention ice cream sandwiches, drumsticks, frozen Snickers bars, popsickles, fudgesickles, frozen custard, fresh blueberries, watermelon, corn on the cob, tomatoes grown in the back-yard garden, hot dogs grilled until they're almost black, marshmallows held over an open fire until they're black, barbecued chicken, homemade cole slaw, deviled eggs...

9. Visiting my relatives in Indiana, especially Cousin Buster, who lived in the trailer in the dark woods, and Cousin Joe, who I saw naked when I was seven.

10. Beefcake!  Everywhere I went, there were cute guys with their shirts off, tanned muscles flexing in the sun as they played basketball, grilled on outdoor barbecues, worked on cars, or just sauntered down the street...

Excuse me -- I think I'll take a walk outside.

See also: 10 Things I Hated about Summertime; Playing Outside; and The Pow Wow.

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