Songbird gave us the Friday Five this week, and it's all about summer. Here are three things I love, two things I don't come the longest time of theyear.
Three Summery Things I Love:
1. Swimmin' holes. Specifically, the new Furman Aquatic Center here in our lovely town of Ames (Kids' Pool pictured to the right by Ronnie Miller of the Ames Tribune). This water park has been ridiculously wonderful for us this summer - we bought a season pass (with some help from a good friend) and have already gotten return value for the big expense. The Sisters love nothing more than going to the Water Park on an afternoon, and at this point all they can do is walk around in the water and go down the kiddie slides. I can't wait to see how much they love it when they're big enough to go down the big water slides you can just see in the background.
I've loved going to the pool in the summer my whole life, and it's been fun going back with our girls and discovering, among other things, why running on a wet pool deck is never a good idea. Okay, maybe that last wasn't so much fun, but the rest certainly has been!
2. Cooking food with fire. Hot dog roasts, burgers and brats on the grill, hobo packs, corn on the cob wrapped in its own husks - you name it, if it can be cooked outdoors I'll give it a shot this time of year. I'd like to try pizza and a dutch oven roast sometime before this summer's out, and maybe if I get a little adventurous I'll attempt to smoke some ribs, too.
3. Baseball. I grew up in the Baseball Capital of Nebraska, and spent most of my summers pursuing America's pastime until I was 16 and, frankly, got burned out. Even though I haven't played in all the years since, I still love going to the ballpark to catch a game, and joining a summer church league for softball wouldn't be all bad, either. Our campus ministry makes at least one trip to Des Moines for an Iowa Cubs game each year, and it's always a highlight of the summer for me. Hopefully at some point in the near future I'll have the chance to catch a Twins game at Target Field in Minneapolis as well.
Two Summery Things I Don't Love So Much
1. Sun, Heat and Humidity. You can blame this one on my Swedo-Germanic ancestors, I guess. When it comes to the weather, I'm all for sunny days, but I love them best when accompanied by spring or fall temps. Well-insulated chaps like me don't react well to being constantly sweaty, itchy from heat rash and fried to a crisp. An additional frustration for me is the way my body selectively tans: my arms will get comfortably red, my legs will stay pasty white no matter how often I wear shorts, and my face and neck will burn no matter how much sunscreen I use. I bought a nice hat last fall, and hopefully the full-coverage brim will help keep the forehead blisters to a minimum this year.
2. Mosquitoes, the state bird of Minnesota. Nothing ruins a picnic or night at the beach/lake/ballpark/campfire faster than these flying vampires. Yet another reason I prefer autumn and spring: no bugs.
Bonus Target of Loathing: Junebugs
Please, feel free to fly around our porchlight all night, smack into our screens and generally scare the hell out of me or my family by flying into our faces, buzzing like the world's first vuvuzela. Yuk, yuk, yuk.