So, it’s Friday. And it’s darned near the middle of July. And I’m wondering a lot, as I work at a lot of the this-and-that that fills my days and check off the to-do’s that somehow found their way on my list…

…am I really doing what really needs to be done?

Am I really living this one amazing and glorious life I have…as gloriously as it deserves?

Summer in New England is such an amazing thing. We wait for what seems like forever for these days when the sun lingers long. Or at least it seems like we’re waiting forever…if you ask us in the middle of February. Or March. Or maybe even January, depending on how high the snow’s piling up.

And yet, somehow, when summer settles in for a visit, we oftentimes don’t settle in and visit too. Life – and work – gets in the way, and it always seems to seem like there’s lots of time because the sun’s shining hot and it’s gonna be summer for a good long spell, so there’s no rush, right?

We tell ourselves that we’ll take some time (maybe next month?) and do something amazing and fun and we’ll enjoy summer just as soon as the work’s done and the house gets cleaned and the dry cleaning gets picked up.

And then, somehow, we don’t.

We don’t end up enjoying the time, savoring the sun, stopping the racing around and running to catch the wind…and we don’t end up delighting in now…today…this moment.

And me? Well, basically I’m an expert in forgetting to remember that this moment won’t last forever, and neither will this sunshine, and neither will this summer. So I need reminding.

Reminding to be mindful that memories are made from moments, but only when we really notice them.

Only when we really live them.

And yeah, make hay while the sun shines, right? Well, the sun is shining right now, so I think that now is the perfect time to be mindful of the season I’m in.

And so, in no particular order, here is my list of 20 things to do before summer ends. All of which I am intending (and challenging myself) to do.

1. Go to a drive-in movie. Like the old-fashioned drive-in type. Bring blankets and pillows. And bug-spray.
2. Go see live music outdoors. Preferably in a venue where you need to bring a blanket. And bring a blanket.
3. Rent a canoe and paddle down a river.
4. Swim in the ocean. Walk along the shore. Bury toes in the sand. Bring a book. Spend the day.
5. Stay up late and watch lightening bugs.
6. Have an ice-cream cone.
7. Ride a roller-coaster.
8. Stargaze. And dream. And wonder at His wonder.
9. Blast some music in the backyard and dance…and dance…and dance…
10. Watch the sunset. Photograph the sunset. Paint the sunset. Write the sunset…
11. Make homemade ice cream. With a crank, the old-fashioned way. Cajole my kids into turning the crank.
12. Fly a kite.
13. Sleep until noon. And then take the rest of the day off.
14. Wake up super-early and watch the sunrise. Marvel again.
15. Go to a carnival. Play all of the games.
16. Go on a picnic. With a basket. And a blanket.
17. Walk in the rain. Maybe even dance a bit.
18. Buy a whole (large) watermelon (with seeds) and have a seed-spittin’ contest. (Which I will totally win, because even though I haven’t done it in thirty or forty years, I’m pretty sure I still rock at this.)
19. Take a spontaneous trip. Get out of Dodge for a day or two. Bring along a friend or two.
20. Go to a playground. Swing on the swings. Really high. (But not, you know, too high.)

Summer will, in fact, end. Before you know it (or before I know it). Fall will follow and winter will soon enough be nipping at its heels. And you know? I don’t really want to miss this season, or this moment. I want to embrace it.

And make some amazing memories.



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