Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 2012

It’s summer, Poppets. Remember when that used to mean freedom? No school, longer days, fewer rules. Every day was an adventure. As adults, summer doesn’t mean that so much. The commute is hotter. Places are more crowded. Tempers are a little shorter. We are five months out from peace on earth, goodwill to men and really can’t be bothered with that in this heat.

But… remember when that used to mean freedom? I vote we say fuck it, Poppets. Not to everything. Not even for long. Just for a day, two at the most.

What was your favorite thing to do as a summer kid? Think about it. And now think about when was the last time you let yourself do it? When was the last time you had the time? Or took the time?

Picnics were a big deal when I was a kid. McDonald’s was actually running a commercial one of my childhood summers, and these people grabbed a huge bag of food and took it to a park. I bought into the advertising dream hook, line and sinker. Thirty-five years later, I still remember the ad campaign – and I still love taking a big bag of food down to the park. I’ve moved beyond McDonald’s, but the concept is the same. David and I – or just me, when I’m alone – will pack a lunch, grab a blanket and a book, and head down by the river. And these days, one can never rule out a nap in the shade after lunch. (Lake Padden Park; Boulevard Park; Fairhaven Park; Cornwall Park; Samish Park…so many to choose from!)

Water parks. Another amazing day. Sun block and flip flops and water wings. I would’ve told you I had outgrown water parks until just a few years ago. I was juggling two books and had deadlines back to back. The stress was beginning to take its toll. A friend of mine asked me to join her and two of her other friends, as the fourth to a local water park. I had an absolute blast. It was fun; it was peaceful. We laughed so hard. The stress melted away. I certainly couldn’t work; there was water everywhere. But when I went back to work the next day, my mind was clearer and I was far more focused. (Birch Bay Waterslides, in Blaine, WA)

I grew up in a town without a zoo, but my grandparents’ town had one. Now, I recognize this was the smallest, saddest little zoo you’re ever going to see, but at the time? At the time, it was nothing short of an African safari. I loved the apes and the big cats and the elephant could make my day. (Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle; Cougar Mountain Zoo, Issaquah)

Another summer draw was the boardwalk. The ocean to one side, fun shops to the other, and an ice cream cone in my hand. Who can resist, even now? (Fairhaven, WA)

The point, Poppets, is to take a day and revisit a happier, more peaceful time. Whatever that means to you. Part of what makes this part of the world so wonderful is that we have access to just about anything we want. If none of these float your boat, or take you back, do your own thing. Find a way to enjoy yourself, to say fuck it. Read a book under a tree, wear a fabulous hat, dance in a rainstorm. Be silly. Be childlike. The world will wait. The stress will still be there when you’re done, I promise. For now, it’s summer and the adventure awaits…

Until next month, Poppets, take care of you.

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