Sunday, March 18, 2012

Summer Fun (The Happiness Challenge Day 18)

Today has been one of those wonderful days that feels like a sneak-peek of summer. A lot of people like to complain about the heat, but I think you probably shouldn't complain when it's only March, because by July no one is going to want to hear it.

I love summer. It is, hands down, my favorite season. I am like a kid. I'm already counting down the days until the last day of school. Summer makes me happy. Summer is cold beverages and fresh salads. Summer is bare skin and flip-flops. Summer is tank tops and swingy cotton skirts. Summer feels like freedom. It feels like possibilities.

Today, Kate and I went to Railroad Park and enjoyed slushy NOLA Ice with Erin and Nate.
It was delicious, a cool taste of Louisiana on a hot day in Alabama. Our mouths were bright with sweetly-flavored colors of red and yellow and orange.

Afterwards, I took Kate shopping and she picked out two bathing suits. One is navy blue with white stars. The other one has red and white stripes. Since both suits are bikinis, Kate said she can mix and match. That girl is ready for the Fourth of July already. We might be a little anxious around here for our favorite season.

Since earlier this month, Tina has been telling me to write about last summer for The Happiness Challenge because, "I hadn't heard you that happy in a long time."

She's right. Last summer, I got to relive the fun of summer when you have no job to go to. When you can spend a weeknight drinking cold beer and talking on the back patio until the early morning hours and it doesn't matter because you don't have to go anywhere the next day (unless it's to the store to buy more Corona and some meat to cook on the grill).

Summer is a gallon of margaritas.
Last summer was a gift, no doubt about it. There's not much better than patio drinking and listening to music. After almost two years of intense grief, I felt a lightness of spirit that I thought maybe I'd permanently lost. Until then, I could be in a good mood, but it always felt like a cold finger was tapping me on the shoulder to remind me of the dark thing I'd forgotten. It was a relief to simply be in a good mood and know that it was OK to turn away from the darkness, to turn my face toward the sun.

I have absolutely no clue what I'll be doing this summer. Maybe I'll relive the days when I had a part-time job at Lo-Bil Grocery Store, when I wore a striped uniform and scanned groceries four hours a day. (I fell asleep each night with the strange sensation that I was still moving products across the scanner. Boop. Boop. Boop.)

I've got to get a job somewhere but, confession, I wake up most days (especially now that the weather has improved) and I think, "I'm so glad I don't have a job yet." (This is an improvement over waking up and thinking, "Holy crap! Why don't I have a job yet?" and then crying into my oatmeal.)

That summer of '92 at my dad's in Indiana, when I wasn't at the grocery store figuring out how to take WIC certificates or memorizing the UPC numbers for 12-packs of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke, I was lying out by the swimming pool, listening to music and reading and trying to achieve a tan as dark as my dad's. Minimum wage/maximum fun.

I would have no trouble reliving that sort of thing (even the part where I got in trouble for letting my brother and his friend jump off the roof of the screened-in porch into the pool).

It's not even officially spring until Tuesday, but summer is already on my mind.

Only 67 days until the last day of school. Let the countdown begin.

For more tastes of happiness, visit these blogs: 


  1. I love the phrase "minimum wage/maximum fun." I will be recycling it.

  2. when i said write about the summer i was talking about sun tans sex slutty and not very sophisticated sultry fun in the sun with sea breezes. :)Don't be afraid to Jackie it right up next time.

    I love your summer attitude and that pic eating snow cones is just plain happy awesome.

    Im flying to Leavenworth WA come June. B&B cleaning the AM, OFF BY NOON..I'll save you a seat on the plane.

    1. Tina, this is not an X-rated blog. : )

      I could definitely go for another summer in beautiful Washington state, working in the morning, playing in the afternoon! And this time we'd be legal drinking age!

    2. No doubt..all those beer gardens! scenery. sun. long walks. mountains. Maybe run into a few celebs.

      sex sells, even the G rated kind.

      Love it!


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