The Dog Days of Summer

It’s humid, sticky, sultry. It’s summer, the end of summer.

For kids, the freedom of June has turned to into the boredom of August. They have resigned themselves to heading back to school.

Parents are shelling out money hand-over-fist for clothes, school supplies, and hefty fees for every program imaginable.

It’s how we say goodbye to summer. It’s time to get back to regularly scheduled life.

Summer. I can’t get over summer. I am an old guy, but I feel like a kid in the summer.

It has been a good one.

A couple of weeks hidden away on an obscure sliver of a barrier island on a Florida gulf coast beach will spoil you. Days of no shirt, no shoes, meals on the patio by the ocean, and gorgeous sunsets with a glass of wine in hand, are perfection for me.

Enjoying a fortieth anniversary spurge with an amazing apartment on the beach was a great idea. (Thank you, Patty.)

Honestly, the summer here by the big drink of water, called Lake Michigan has been unusually cool and fluky. But the big lake makes a fun pretend ocean with its bike paths, beaches, and restaurants. If you are a hardy soul, you can even get into the water during the dog days (but it will still be pretty darn cold.)

From summers past and present, I love…

  • Walking along the shore splashing in the water like a kid looking for mud puddles.
  • Finding interesting shells or rocks.
  • Working really hard on an outdoor project, getting really dirty, being bone tired, but feeling very alive. Stump-pulling and landscaping the yard did that for me this year.
  • Drinking a really cold beer when it is all over.
  • Absorbing the warmth of the sun.
  • The good workout of a bike ride.
  • Going to the beach with my grandson, playing with high-powered water guns, and watching him have a heck of a good time with just water, sun, sand, and grandpa.
  • Exploring the small town where my grandparents lived via bicycle.
  • Baseball games, the playground just beyond the outfield, and the popcorn from the concession stand.
  • Our annual Brewers game at Miller Park with good friends.
  • Free outdoor concerts. They are everywhere around here. Many along the big lake. Jazz, Rock, Blues.
  • Getting really close to the stage to watch a great bluesman. I can’t not smile at that point.
  • Cooking anything on the grill.
  • Wiener roasts!
  • Fresh tomatoes and corn on-the-cob.
  • Any kind of carny food (county fair, state fair, festival, whatever). Deep fry it. Charbroil it. Smoke it. Put it on a stick. 
  • Backyard fire pit.
  • Fishing for anything, anywhere with my grandpa.
  • Sitting with my grandpa, in an old springy metal lawn chair, under the evening shade, with the cicadas rhythmically chirping. 
  • When it is all over, air-conditioning.

Care to add to the list?


Photo credit: Keven Law . Creative Commons.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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  1. I miss the sound of cicadas in the evenings down South.

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