Monday, June 27, 2016

Getting Back in the Summer Mindset




Hi friends I'm back. We were away on a European adventure and before that both my sons graduated - one from high school and the other from middle school.  Leading up to that I was consumed with the year end celebrations and also preparing for the trip which we insanely planned just three days after the graduations! To say I lost my mind a bit would not be an understatement. I couldn't even think about my blog and when we returned from our holiday I was in a jet-lag and laundry induced haze. I'm just coming out of it and I plan to share about the trip and more summer-themed posts.


I just LOVE summer and the summer way of thinking. I relish the time to recharge, relax, read books, reorganize, de-clutter, and take stock and sometimes just do nothing, but watch the hummingbirds in my yard with a cup of tea. Best of all, are the days that unfold with no plans. Maybe we'll get frozen yogurt or do a craft or bike to lunch. The rest of summer we will take a few road trips, do an annual camping trip to the Sierras with the whole family and then get our oldest ready to go to college, which will be a big adjustment for us all. I just can't wrap my head around it yet.


Most of all I look forward to the things that make summer seem like a little vacation each day-swimming, popsicles, bike rides, fruit from everyone's yards, growing my own tomatoes (which are almost ripe!), lots of alfresco dinners, happy hours with friends, family movie and game nights with the boys and reading as many books as I can happily squeeze in.




Thanks to my dad, I have some wonderful tomatoes coming up. He starts them all from seed.

 Artichokes are quintessentially Californian and we ate them and grew them when I was young.

Recently, I read an article about how the childhood summer of old has gone away. Kids are expected to use summer as a time to get ahead in school, camp after camp so they are not bored, (god forbid) and internships and pricey summer enrichment programs for the older ones.




When I read that I feel fortunate to have had a 1970's childhood of summers doing squat. I think I remember doing 2 or 3 summer camps over all the years of my childhood. The rest was spent flying around the neighborhood on my banana bike, making homemade popsicles, water balloon fights, lemonade stands, visiting the library each week for piles of books, and a lot of the time watching cartoons, Gilligan's Island repeats and often just watching clouds and making daisy chains. That's the truth and though we were often bored and sometimes got into mischief, we were free-ranging big time and I am afraid kids today just don't get that.


One of my favorites of the youngest trying s'mores camping.

Did it harm us? No. Did we go to Stanford? No, but we grew up contented, happy, self-sufficient and able to appreciate that life is not a race, but an adventure daily. We found what we love to do by messing around with stuff, and success without being daily soldiers to a planned existence during our summers.




We scrounged money for bike rides to Quick Stop for Slurpees and brown bags filled with Jolly Ranchers, Bubble Yum and other tooth-rotting gobs. We bartered for Archie and Veronica or Richey Rich comic books, made sling shots and ramps to fly our bikes off of and rip our knees up. I remember having never ending series of band-aids on knees that never healed. We had sunburned noses and we painted our own frosted pink toenails. Mom never worried where we were. We were at a friends or in the neighborhood and we always came home around dinnertime. Mostly it was for BBQ burgers and jello on summer nights. Mom would try to get us to eat an iceberg lettuce salad with Thousand Island dressing and toward the end of the summer my dad's corn and green beans would start coming up and we'd have those for a few weeks.





Parents don't feel guilty if your kids are bored, streaming shows or dribbling snow cones syrup all over and you are walking with sticky feet throughout the house, this is summer in it's element. Savor this that can only happen in summer months. I'm trying to kick back and put my feet up, let the dishes sit in the sink and the food stick to the counter. Let the mess happen. My wise 99 year old grandma says that there will always be time to clean the house. Enjoy the sun tea, blooming flowers, the cut grass smell, the BBQ and the gooeyness of melted s'mores. As my neighbor Kim said this week when I announced we are making snow cones for the neighborhood, 'Summer has arrived!'





Here's to enjoying every minute!

By the way, I'm seeing lists on Pinterest like 100 ways to help your kids have a 70's summer. I'm afraid that defeats the purpose people if you're ticking off boxes. Perhaps though some people just can't imagine going a day without a plan. Kids who are used to being told what to do cannot cope. Well start by doing it yourself and give them some space. You might just find you all learn how to live in the moment and let the days unravel before you! Don't throw this opportunity away. They'll be busy and free summers will be a distant past.



I'll be back more often with little tidbits as I am trying something new, blogging more about less, but the trip posts are coming too.

I'd love if you shared what summer is to you. I know some of you have come from different places and everyone has their own unique summer memories.

Kim

 Pismo Beach camping 1997 with our first car purchase a green Land Rover. Loved that car and kept it until it fell apart. We also never got the sand out, hint- don't take a new car to the sand dunes! Duh.

All these photos are my own originals from summer's past. 

20 comments :

  1. I could have been riding right next to you on the way to the hardware store down the street to buy a candy bar or running down the street to catch the ice cream truck. There is a lot our kids have that we didn't but I'm so thankful we grew up during a time when kids were allowed to be kids. Great post, Kim! Have a fabulous summer :)

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    1. Valerie I had forgotten about the ice cream trucks! The sound of them now brings back the best memories. Remember missile pops and 50/50 bars? Yes, I am total agreement our kids have so much, but yet are lacking what we had...time! I wish we were friends then. I bet we grew up not far from each other. Hope you enjoy summer with your guys! x Kim

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  2. I can't tell you how much I agree with you. Even those kids who do wind up at Stanford would have benefited from time spent puttering around, from boredom, from nothing and everything to do. Young adults are more emotionally fragile now and we do not serve them by structuring their every moment for achievement.

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    1. Lisa, maybe that needs to be a new prerequisite, spending a summer doing nothing! Instead of a summer abroad how about a summer unplugged? Let them figure how to fix a flat bike tire, get around on a bike and fill a day when there is nothing to do away from screens. I think they might lose their minds.

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  3. We didn't schedule any camps this year, I just didn't want to be tied down to it. And I'm so happy we didn't. It's been such a relaxing summer!

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    1. Whit I was always a little nervous at the beginning of summer when so many moms had a ton of camps and activities planned. Later I was always glad we had the easy schedule and no stress! Enjoy your summer!

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  4. Tire swing, blackberries, Nancy Drew/The Hardy boys books from 'the library', roller skating with those metal skates that fit around your shoes! ��. Great post!
    (Suzanne)

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    1. Suzanne, Tire swings! That sounds so fun. I too loved Nancy Drew and Dana Girls books and had this metal skates. Remember they sometimes hardly rolled? Maybe that was a safety feature. Lol. Good memories! Hope you are having a great summer.xo

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  5. Sooooo true!! For us it was riding our bikes to 7/11 for a slurppee. Now getting a slurpee is first putting it on a list.

    And that green Landrover...our green Landrover, is now what Patrick drives around town. We just can't get rid of it! Too many memories of trips to the beach with surf boards on top if Brent came or thrown in the back if I were driving.

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    1. Annie, Loved 7/11 too! How wonderful you still have your Landrover! I wish we did. I bet Patrick loves it. The older they are the cooler they get in my opinion!

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  6. We are having an unstructured summer with no camps this year, and I'm loving it. Lots of swimming, hiking, reading, spontaneous movie outings, ice cream runs, and yes, getting bored - all signs of a great summer! Love your grandma's reminder that there will always be time to clean the house! :-)

    I loved seeing your Europe photos on IG! Looks like you had a fabulous time!

    Andrea
    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

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    1. Andrea, Hope you are having a nice summer that sounds relaxing and wonderful. Thanks so much. Life has been crazy. The trip was great.

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  7. What SCHOOL will HE be attending?
    XX

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    1. Elizabeth he is going to Santa Clara University. We are excited because it was his top choice and it's not to far, but he'll live there. xo

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    2. GREAT!A GREAT SCHOOL TOO>
      My neighbors SON goes there!

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  8. Kim- thanks for taking me back. I loved the visit down memory lane. Who would have thought a plan free summer would have turned into such a gift.

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    1. Aimee, I know you think it's going to be disaster, but that's exactly what it is a gift if we can learn to enjoy it!! Thanks for reading.

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  9. SO funny because I just had a text from my daughter who is 14, it's the last day of school and she let me know she was hanging out with her friends drinking Slurpees and talking about life. She's well on her way to a 1970's summer :)
    I was born in 1970 in a small town so I had just the sort of childhood you did. Our kids, it hasn't been exactly the same for them, we send them to camp in Algonquin Park for at least part of the summer but here in town they don't do much of anything. The difference is that back in the day my grandparents helped keep an eye on us and my own kids didn't have that, sadly.
    Wow big summer with your oldest off in the fall, I feel for you! My oldest just graduated Uni and is working at his first real job (and loving it) but I still can't believe he's not at home anymore, he's a grown-up, and I guess he's not coming back? Which is what we want because he is strong and independent but I still, quite often, think of him when he was 6 years old. And I miss it.
    So happy to see you back Kim and I loved these photos! (also loved your trip pics on insta) XOX

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  10. Loved this post! So true about kids being over planned and over scheduled! We were so lucky in many ways to grow up in the 70's and 80's....good times for sure! My kids are half scheduled this summer. I'm thinking that by the end of August I will be ready for them to be fully scheduled! Hee! Your garden looks amazing already! Our tomatoes are trying so hard and hopefully we have some before the end of July! Have a wonderful long weekend! xo

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  11. I so agree with you Kim. My kids had swim practice but other than that they had summers filled with fun just as I did when I was a kid.

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