Taking Tea in the Kasbah

I love summer.

I love everything about this fine season. I was born in the summer so we bonded from the get-go. It is the peanut to my butter, the flip to my flop, the Sherlock to my Watson (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?). Summer is woven into the strands of my DNA. It is my BFF, my paramour, my first true love all in one.

I’m so glad it’s finally here.

Oh sure, I like the other seasons just fine. In fact, autumn is practically tied with summer in my book. Winter is o.k. I can appreciate the quiet beauty of it when the world seems to slumber outside my window, giving moments to pause, reflect and rest. And spring? Well, that’s another story. It is way too fickle for me. One day it’s all “Hey, come outside! It’s warm and sunny! Frolic among the pretty flowers!” and then the next day it’s all “Hahaha. Too bad, so sad. It’s gonna rain for days on end and be as cold as winter so all of those nice veggie starts in your garden are gonna die a slow, painful death.”

But summer? Oh, how I adore thee! It is right up there with a certain classy, British actor. No, I couldn’t possibly choose one over the other – I ardently and equally adore them both. But what I will do is share with you all of the things I love about this glorious season:

Gentle, cool mornings: They start way earlier than I ever seem to get up to fully enjoy, but when I do? Total bliss. Me and the birds and the dewy soft grass and the quietness of the world around me. Oh so lovely.

Hot, steamy days: Bring it. You read that right. Bring. It. Aside from my wavy hair sticking out in a more horizontal fashion, I actually like aΒ bit of humidity. Consider it another one of my ‘features’, if you will. Growing up in the Midwest, hot and steamy meant summer was here. In the Northwest, hot and steamy doesn’t happen very often. In fact, hot isn’t a typical descriptor for most summer days that barely eek out above 80 degrees. If it gets above 90 degrees, people here areΒ dying. Oh, if they only knew what true heat and humidity was like then they wouldn’t mind those few hot days. Why do I like ’em hot? Because then it will be warm enough for me to go swimming and, as an added bonus, the nights will be luscious and sultry.

This pretty much sums up how I feel about summer, courtesy of my trampoline-jumping daughter.

Long summer nights: I could go on and on about how I absolutely adore a long, lingering dusk. I can’t get enough of them. The warmer the better. I love it when you don’t have to be bundled up in jeans and a jacket to welcome it. Besides, playing Kick the Can, Ghosts in the Graveyard and Flashlight Tag is so much more enjoyable if you can move stealthily through the night in your dark t-shirt and shorts. All the better to scare your friends that way.

I love the twinkle lights on a warm, summer night. Source: petitehermine.blogspot.com via Tami on Pinterest

Fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market: Happy days are here again! I love going to the market each week and seeing the delectable fruits and veggies on artful display. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, fresh greens, tomatoes, herbs, eggplants, carrots, peppers of all colors, and so much more. Pure joy.

Luscious veggies and fruits, how you tempt me so! Source: attic24.typepad.com via Tami on Pinterest

Summer storms: Love ’em. The more brooding they are, the better. Lightening and thunder? Ooooh, yes and yes! I am like a moth to a flame with storms – almost foolishly so. No, I don’t go stand under a tall tree with an open umbrella wearing my metal-plated gladiator disguise. Just a nice, wide front porch with a view of the action will do.

This looks like the makings of a GREAT storm. Source: thetypewritergirl.blogspot.com via Tami on Pinterest

Shorts, sundresses, flip-flops and my favorite sunny yellow skirt: I am always deliriously happy to shed all of the sweaters and coats and bulky winter gear when summer finally arrives. Dresses and skirts are my go-to garb all summer long. The gentle summer breeze is better felt on your legs that way.

Ice cream and gelato and s’mores made over a camp fire: Do I really need to explain this one? I didn’t think so, except to add that eating them outside under a star-filled sky is a must.

Pass the marshmallows and cozy up to the fire. Source: 2.bp.blogspot.com via Tami on Pinterest

Fireflies: As a kid, I marveled at these fascinating bugs and the way they could light up a night. Swaths of darkness would be transformed into a sparkling, twinkling light show right before your eyes. Catching them and temporarily putting them in jars to watch was fun, too. Unfortunately, the Northwest doesn’t have fireflies, at least not where I live. I have to make a yearly pilgrimage to the Midwest to get my firefly fix.

Seriously, is there anything more amazing about summer than fireflies? If so, I’d like to know. Source: bing.com via Tami on Pinterest

Sunscreen on sun-warmed skin: There’s just something about the coconutty smell of sunscreen that puts me in a good mood. Maybe it’s because I am always covered in the stuff throughout the summer and associate it with sunshine and warmth. Or maybe it’s because it just smells so good. Either way, it makes me very happy.

Gardening and harvesting your own crops: I plant my favorites each year – tomatoes (what on earth is better than eating a warm, ripe, freshly picked tomato?), beans, peppers, eggplants, mint, cilantro, and tons of basil so I can make a boat load of pesto to freeze and enjoy all year-long. Yummmmm.

Not my garden, though this is quite a lovely one. Source: squidoo.com via Tami on Pinterest

Swimming in a lake: The rivers here are lovely and fun to go rafting on but they are insanely cold because the water is primarily snow melt from the mountains. Ditto for swimming in the Pacific Ocean. It’s gorgeous and all, but way too freakin’ cold for me. The local pool is o.k., but it can be crowded and difficult to goof around or just swim. Lakes are much more conducive to such shenanigans. Plus, having the mountains as the backdrop to it all is priceless.

One of my favorite places to go for a summer swim

And last but not least: summer is followed by my other favorite season: autumn. Don’t worry, autumn. Your time will come and I’ll send you a love note, too.


So, dear readers, what do you love about summer? Anything you would add to my list? Any fond memories to share? Any summertime traditions that you enjoy? The doors are wide open in the kasbah, the sun is pouring in through the windows and I’ve just poured some fresh tea. Sit a while and share your summery thoughts.

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24 thoughts on “All Things Summer

  1. I don’t love the hot Midwest summers (friends are posting 103 degree thermometer shots – in June!), but I’m glad we have more of it than the Northwest. I don’t think kids play flashlight tag or catch lightning bugs any more. So sad. But I’m with you on the dresses and skirts thing. On a hot summer day I want the slightest breeze to be able to reach and cool all parts.

    • I draw the line at 100 degrees. That is too hot, even for me. The kids in my neighborhood don’t play those kinds of organized games like I did as a kid, but they’re out til it’s dark running around, playing soccer, climbing up to the fort or jumping on the trampoline. Oh, to be a kid again. πŸ™‚

  2. Summer is my favorite season and I love all the things you’ve listed. I wistfully look at the chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker aisle at this time of year. And fireflies! You’ve done a terrific job of pointing all the best things about summer.

    • Thanks, Brinda. Yes, s’mores makings call to me when I’m at the store but not nearly as much as the gelato. πŸ™‚

  3. What a lovely post, Tami! Thanks for reminding me to be grateful for summer. Pictures are gorgeous.

  4. I love summer too. But, I may love autumn just as much. Loved Spring a lot when I lived in Baltimore. Winter: not my favorite except when it snows.

    My favorite memories of summer: catching lightnin’ bugs (fireflies in Baltimore-speak) in backyard with neighbor kids; going to outdoor ice cream stand with my siblings for softserve cones at least once a day; a week at the beach with 80% of each day spent body surfing in the ocean; playing tennis for 4 hours straight, day after day, in 95 degree heat, 98% humidity, at age 12 or 13, with the same girl whose name I can’t recall. Current summer favorites are taking our little motorboat into the open ocean and going really fast and eating supper on our backyard deck just past dusk, just after the mosquitoes have gone into hiding.

    What a cheerful way to enter into what looks to be turning into a perfect summer day.

    • Such great summer memories! Makes me want to come hang out at your house in the summer. πŸ˜‰

      You reminded me of one I missed in my list: playing tennis. Around age 14, my friends and I took up tennis and played for hours every day, often times well into the evening. That became our summer thing to do – meet up at the courts, play for a long while, then hang out at someone’s house. Our tennis coach loved the fact that we practiced so much, but we didn’t do it for the team. We just liked to play and it was just one more way to hang out with each other.

  5. You hit my favorites, Tami, especially farmers’ markets, fireflies, summer storms, gelato…and more. I have to add white corn-on-the-cob and watermelon to my list. And walking on the boardwalk by the shore is at the top of my Best 100 for summer!

    • Fresh-picked watermelon and corn on the cob are definitely highlights for me, too. Walking on the boardwalk sounds divine. The only time I was near an East coast boardwalk was the time I went to Coney Island with my then 10 yr. old daughter. Unfortunately, it was a chilly, drizzly day so we didn’t do much boardwalk-ing. But we did have a blast on the Cyclone. πŸ™‚

  6. on ,
    Mary Ann said:

    I thought we were soul-mates…but I guess not since my favorite season is fall!

    • Autumn is practically tied with summer for me. I’m thinking we can still be friends. Or at least office mates. πŸ™‚

  7. Summer Soul Sistah! At last I have found you! Twins, separated at birth, is the only explanation! WOOT.

    • Yay for finding my long lost twin! I just knew you were out there somewhere. I feel like we should have a Summer Soul Sistah special handshake or something. πŸ˜‰

  8. Midwestern summers were my favorite — Iowa to be exact. I loved the fireflies and mad-crazy thunderstorms that always made me feel like I was going to be whisked off to Oz. Summers in Northern California are “nice” but don’t have the depth of soul of Midwestern summers (and other places I haven’t been yet, I imagine). Thanks for the beautiful imagery and wonderful photos!

    • There is something very different about a midwest summer vs a west coast summer, that’s for sure. I’ve lived on the west coast for almost as long as I lived in the midwest so you’d think I would have adjusted by now. But there’s something about having grown up with the midwest summer that has made it a “true” summer in my mind. I like how you said it: “the depth of soul”. Sums it up for me.

  9. on ,
    livrancourt said:

    Hey, can you email me when summer starts? Cuz I ain’t seeing it yet…

    • Ugh, I know. What is up with this weather??? Summer had started to arrive and then the soggy remnants of spring sloshed its way in. Let’s pack our bedazzled road trip t-shirts and get outta Dodge. πŸ™‚

  10. Summer has always been my favorite season and I’m still searching for the endless one. The heat and humidity can be oppressive in the south, but even that can’t kill my enthusiasm … only melt it a little.

    Loved the beautiful photos and wish I could step into that pic and walk through that shimmering forest of fireflies!

    • Totally agree – the heat and humidity can get overwhelming but it won’t keep me from enjoying summer, either.

      Fireflies are so amazing, aren’t they? They have a way of making summer evenings so magical.

  11. on ,
    marcia said:

    Hope you are enjoying your time away from the office. The sun is sure to show itself soon!

    • Missing my peeps this week! And one can only hope the sun will eventually appear, preferably before the season is over. πŸ˜‰

  12. Pingback: Historic Roller Coasters: Beaches, Boardwalks, and Abominable Bobsleds « Elizabeth Fais

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