I have to admit that summer is not my favorite season. Honestly, it takes fourth place in my personal ranking of the seasons. But summer brings me two gifts in which I absolutely delight.
The first is watermelon! That sweet, red nectar bursting, dripping from a million little cells with every bite–could there be a more perfect food for this hot season which constantly bakes you? I submit that there could not!
The second is swimming–especially in rivers or lakes! Only in summer does immersing yourself in these beauties of nature become pure delight. I enjoy canoeing or boating in the spring and fall, but in those seasons, getting wet puts a real damper on the day’s fun (pun intended!). But in the summer, abandoning the boat for water’s embrace only multiplies the smiles and laughter. And there is nothing that makes a summer night so restful as spending the afternoon in the water.
Last weekend, I got to enjoy both of these summer delights with my family. It’s become a tradition for my husband and I to spend Independence Day weekend with his parents at their lake house. This year (with my in-laws’ blessing), we invited my sister and her children to come with us. There was plenty of delicious picnic food–sandwiches made with homemade sourdough bread, raspberry jello salad topped with a cream cheese and whipped cream mixture, macaroni salad with bits of ham and colored peppers in it, and a chocolate mayonnaise cake that was melt-in-your-mouth moist. But nothing beat the watermelon in my book! You know I picked a good one when the two people aren’t really fans went back for second helpings of this juicy red goodness.
Saturday night everyone went out on the pontoon boat to watch the fireworks on the lake. Even though it started late, it was a great show and none of the kids were upset by the noise (the youngest one slept through it all!). Sunday afternoon, everyone but Mom went for a swim. Dad took us out in the boat to a quiet cove–well, it was quiet until we got in the water! Such giggles and shrieks of laughter! The only pictures we got of my niece E.N. smiling that weekend were the ones of her swimming in the lake. (On land, she’s a very serious and sophisticated 7 year-old.) When we climbed back in the boat and headed home for dinner, the wind was cool and refreshing. I was ready to rest, but not exhausted; relaxed and at the same time invigorated; very much at peace, yet bubbling with joy. A huge grin stretches my face right now just remembering it. Summer doesn’t get any better than this!