I’ve always loved the idea of summer more than summer itself. When I think of summer, I think of possibilities. Maybe I’ve read too many YA novels, where the season often represents an idyllic in-between time when anything is possible. Maybe that’s why I love YA novels so much. Everything in your life can change between May and September.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz describes it this way in his book Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe:
I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That’s why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.”
In reality, summers are less glamorous. They’re hot, humid, and don’t even get me started on the mosquitos! Growing up on an apple orchard, summer meant long hours of tedious farm labor: crawling up and down ladders and digging up weeds in the dirt. Even when I worked as a camp counselor and the season was everything it’s promised to be, I never got enough sleep, was perpetually dirty, and there were always campers to care for.
Every year, I go into the warm months with rose-tinted glasses. I’m filled with so many ideas for all the people I will see and adventures we will have. Every year, I reach the middle of August and realize all I did was sit at home, mow the lawn, and read a lot of books.
This summer, though, I wanted things to be different.
This summer, I wanted to believe.
If we were having coffee, we’d be at my local coffee shop once more. It’s a full house for a Sunday and I had to take a table close to the counter, which is noisier than where I usually sit. I have a clear sight of the door and keep getting distracted by all the people coming in.
If I were to pick a word to describe this week, it would be quiet. My parents have been on vacation for the past week and I’ve had the house to myself. The solitude has been a much-needed break. I’ve been able to dive into my head in a way I haven’t in a long time. I’ve been writing again in a way that feels fresh and natural. And I’ve been reading! Between audiobooks from my commute and normal reading, I’ve finished about five books over the past seven days. Whew!
Not that I’ve been home much… with work and doing things with friends, I’ve kept pretty busy.
I had an enjoyable dinner with an old friend, who was visiting from the East Coast (where she’s about to start her PhD program). Yesterday afternoon, a college friend came to visit me. I’ve been trying to get her up here for years and was so glad it finally happened! We had quite the adventure! I showed her around our apple orchard and took her to the coffee shop (where I now sit). Then, we wandered around this really cool sculpture garden and hung out at my local State Park. The evening wrapped up at the vintage Drive In restaurant, with rootbeer floats and burgers–the perfect summer meal.
Over the next couple of days, my family will slowly fill the house again. My parents return from their week by the lake in the north woods this evening. Tomorrow, my younger brother comes home from his summer internship in North Carolina. It’ll be weird having everyone around again, but a nice kind of weird. Too much time alone makes me go crazy.
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the quiet while it lasts. I have absolutely no plans for today and tomorrow and I intend to take advantage of it. I’m hoping for long hours reading on a blanket in my back yard and at least one big hike in my local state park.
But enough about me! What have you been up to this week? What would you share over coffee?
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster. Be sure to check out the weekly Link Up to see what everyone has been up to.