This time of year is my absolute favorite.  I got a feeling for most parents, it is, too.  For one thing:  NO MORE MAKING SCHOOL LUNCHES (for those who do).

I remember being so tired of making sandwiches for my kids by mid-June, and relished the thought of not thinking about creating a “nutritious, but appealing lunch for a 10 year old whose peers are eating Ding Dongs.”   At least for the next two months.

I love the barrage of artwork and projects and other schoolwork that the teacher held onto so she or he could measure how far my child had come.  These art pieces came home in a folder in such a condition that surely a bear had grabbed it on the bus and began flinging it around.  “How beautiful,” I’d say, as I unrolled each picture created by my child using pastels, or small snippets of paper; eyeballs glued way back in January now falling off from whatever creature they had created. But despite the mangled work, I treasured every item.

I love that our days are longer.  In winter, by 4:30, the sun has already gone down, creating a night that is way too long.  Now, the sun is still bright at 7:30.  It allows for the next best part about this summer.  Getting ice cream after dinner.  My daughter brought me to the Bellvale Creamery over near the Warwick/Greenwood Lake area this weekend, and if there was ever a place to travel to for ice cream (sorry Monroe’s Wally’s and Mr. Cone..we still love you guys), this is it.  The little white house, chilly from all the refrigeration, is the perfect spot to stand in on a hot day or evening, and the view of Warwick Valley is the perfect backdrop to scarfing down a cup of their low fat Chocolate Chip with walnuts.

And being that I can sit out until 7:30 or later, I enjoy the critters who walk through my backyard to the creek that runs down at the end of my property.  The neighborhood deer walk through it as if they own it; they stop and stare at me as I exit my garage to my car.  Their look says, “Who are you?  This is my territory.”   And I try to look back in an animal-worldly way that says, “Hey, I pay the taxes on this property.  This is mine.”  But my heart melts when I see a new momma and her brand new baby, and I almost want to hand them the keys to the front door.

We’d love to know what summer delights you look forward to.  Walking, biking at your local hiking or bike trail?  Do you take time off from work in summer especially to take day trips?  Do you have summer traditions like visiting as many firework shows as you can?  Signing up for the town pool?  Doing absolutely NOTHING?

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