Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Favorite things...

It's 80 degrees outside and I'm downright tingly with joy. Giddy. Ecstatic. It seems like everywhere I turn I come face-to-face with some scent, sound, or sight that is hardwired into my personal happiness index from a lifetime of coming alive in spring. I always say that I want to live where it's 75 degrees year round... But then I wonder if I'd feel this sweeping, almost epic delight in every little precious warm-weather experience. Somehow I doubt it.

Rather than try to be coherent, I'm going to leave it to lists today. These are the things I especially love when the sun-warmed grass turns green...

-The street washing ceremony before the Tulip Festival parade. For some reason the scent of water on warm cement heralds summer and all it holds.

-Throwing all the windows in my house wide open. Who cares if I have to dust daily?

-Marching bands. Spring and early summer in Iowa seems synonymous with parades, festivals, and fairs. And I love marching bands. They make me choke up. Weird, I know, but there you have it.

-The first radishes (just got mine today!). Soft white bread, real butter, thinly sliced radishes, and a sprinkle of salt. There's nothing better.

-Kissing all the bumps, bruises, scratches, and raspberries that my boys accumulate when their arms and legs are bare and vulnerable to every sharp edge and uneven sidewalk. Of course, I don't love it that they get hurt, but I love it that my kiss can still make it better. Even my 5 1/2 year old believes in the power of his mommy's kiss.

-The warm skin smell of little boys who have spent the day in the sun and wind. Mix in the tropical-sweet coco-nutty goodness of sunblock and you have a fragrance to rival any $100 perfume.

-Eating nearly every meal off the grill. We grill frozen pizzas, peach halves, all our veggies, bacon and sausage for breakfast... Carcinogen or not, everything takes better with a little char.

Yay for summer! I was a cheerleader in high school (imagine that--ha!), and if I was fifteen years younger and still capable of executing the splits I'd make up a summer cheer. But I won't. Lucky for all of us. I will, however, ask you to share... What do you look forward to when the days get long? What's your favorite thing about summer? We have three and a half months left--I plan on enjoying every minute of it.


  1. Hey Nicole, its Jamie. The one that emailed you early last week.
    Here in Brazil it is going into winter, although it's not winter like iowa winter. But I here you can tell the difference between summer and winter here... =] I'll find out.
    But my favorite this about summer is that you get to go to the beach non-stop, you can smell the ocean. I love that smell. You get to see kids throughout the day having an amazing time because they love breaks! =] Cant say I blame them! I love them too. It's a nice time to relax. My break from Masters in the end of June until the end of July. And I'm excited although I have no idea what I'm going to do. But I'm excited non-the-less. =] This is my blog, you can follow me if you want. I would like that. I'm following you now. Take care.

  2. My favorite thing about summer - no school! Especially this summer - since I'll get to stay home with Brogan and write! But some other favorites... well, early spring I love lilacs. I had a lilac bush outside my window growing up. I also love the idea of not wearing anything but flipflops or barefeet for the next three months! I love the tired feeling you get after a day spent outdoors. And cooking out for sure! How in the world do you grill frozen pizza?!

  3. Too many things to list - but I'll give you some favorites :)
    -Seeing what God can do to my garden when all I do is weed and water
    -Play with my kids on the playground and realize they can do more than last year
    -Fly to Western Washington and see the first starbucks, fish being thrown at pike place market, fill my memory files with ideas for a northwest cottage garden in Iowa, and enjoy Scott's AMAZING family
    -Going to the garden to get the majority of our supper - words can't explain how wonderful that feels!

  4. I love, just absolutely love the way the leaves look swaying in the wind. My vote: the leaves.
    ~ Wendy

  5. Jamie, no fair about the ocean. We used to live in Vancouver and I still miss the Atlantic. Breathe in the air for me!

    Katie, oooh, I'm so with you... no school, no shoes. Though I'm not as good at going barefoot as I used to be. I prefer cheap flipflops. As for grilling pizza, warm up your grill (as low as you can get it) then place the pizza right on the top rack. I protect my crust by placing it on tinfoil, but you don't have to. Shut the lid and grill it for about as long as you'd bake it. So yummy.

    Rachel, you're a gardener extraordinaire. God may have lots to do with your garden, but you know what you're doing! ;)

    Wendy, I'm watching the leaves as I type. We live in an old neighborhood with centuries-old trees... I so know what you mean.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. Nicole, yes, the ocean is simply amazing. Being in Brazil makes me realize how much I took advantage of having beaches near me. Although they have Brasilian beaches here and I really want to go to one. It is doubtful I will anything soon! So I, like you miss the ocean!

  7. We are going to grill our next frozen pizza (sadly, we eat at least one a week). I'll let you know how it turns out!