This installment of "Summer Is" comes from Coryanne Ettiene of www.housewifebliss.com. I met Coryanne through Twitter (where so many good things begin). I love her piece because it includes thoughts of summers in two distinct places.
Thanks for sharing, Coryanne. And if you'd like to submit your "Summer Is," send me a message. To date they've been posts/essays, but I would also love to see photos and videos highlighting your diverse summer experiences -- past and present.
Four down, 31 to go to help me meet my goal of publishing 35 this summer. Who is next?
By Coryanne Ettiene
Summer is a season of relaxed memories, longer days and where the joy of childhood seeps into every activity. We all share the delights of bright summer mornings that promise the arrival of laughter, and lingering evenings that allow for relaxed entertaining under a canopy of stars. However, the meaning of summer changes with our geography, making our experiences unique, and our memories of summer varied.
For the last 12 years, summer was a break from the cold dark days of London winter. Every summer morning we opened the curtains and hoped for sunshine and donned our summer finest at the faintest hint of it. Doors were opened, flowers were blooming and long summer walks were numerous. Summer was a picnic in full sun when the weather allowed, a road trip with the windows down, cool evening breezes where cardigans were essential and a joyful dash through the sprinklers on the hottest of days. Summer was flying off to distant lands in search of a tan, only to return beet red to overcast skies that hinted at the rain to follow. Summer was the hunt for sunshine and the cherished grasp of it when you found it.
My fondest London summer was our last. Hyde park became our stomping-ground, we devoured every corner, soaked up every ray of sunshine and lived like tourists for 3 months. The wind shimmying through the trees, the buzz of excitement when we stumbled across a hidden path, and the eagerness we paid for overpriced ice cream will remain with me forever.
This year, as we find ourselves newly relocated in Arizona, our experience of summer could not be more different. Our search for the sun has been replaced by the hunt for shade, our doors are closed, our blinds drawn, and our long afternoons are now spent cooling off in the pool. Summer in Arizona is filled with the sound of early morning laughter by the play-ground, afternoon splashes in the pool and evening entertaining under the dark skies above. Summer is now an endless quest for shade and the treasured moment spent cool and refreshed.
I see the summer days before me and smile at the consistency of them: playing in the morning, swimming in the afternoon and entertaining in the evening. I have not doubt that others will be able to set a watch by our routine, which marks a drastic change from our previous summers where every day brought new weather and a new adventure.
For me, summer has always been and continues to be the sound of laughter, the joys of relaxing and the pure happiness that arrives when you find what you are searching for to make the perfect summer memory. I looked for sun, and now I am looking for shade, my experience of summer has changed, but not the contented feeling that comes from hearing my children enjoy the perfect summer day.