There’s something about listening to an old-school hip-hop song that makes me want to roll down my car window, flop my arm out onto the side of the car, bob my head and cruise through town at about 10 miles an hour.
And there’s something about me really doing all of those things down our Mayberry Main Street that makes Cheyenne want to hide her face in her hands and slide down in her seat about as far as she can without actually sitting on the floorboard.
Yeah, there’s a word for people like me–actually, there are several words–and I welcome the descriptions. I know I’m a lame soccer-mommyish-white-girl-wannabe-cool person. I know it. And I’m okay with it.
I caught Will Smith’s (A.K.A. The Fresh Prince) "Summertime" on the radio today as we were driving back from "the city" in 110 degree weather, and I have to say–as hot and miserable as I felt at that particular moment, when that song came on, I cooled off and sat back and remembered all those good times I used to have back in Philly, at the barbeques and the reunions, chillin in the car I spent all day waxin’…
Oh, wait. That never really happened to me. Nevertheless, the song gave me a renewed appreciation for the mellowness of this lovely season. Summer has been my favorite time of year for as long as I can remember. That could just be the Pensacolian in me talking, but looking back, I’ve always had good summers. No matter how bad the rest of the year had gone, those 3 hot months could be counted on to be phenomenally wonderful. Plus, I always got really good summer action.
My best summer memories definitely took place in back home in Florida. All I can think of right now is driving over the bridge to Pensacola Beach, looking out at the sunset and the shimmering ocean…the sugar sand…
"Relaxing" does not even begin to describe a day spent down on the end of the beach with Cheyenne and Caleb and that water–pure aquamarine from a distance, but clear right up close. I loved looking down and being able to see my feet under the waves.
The best feeling in the world…being in love and going on a date out on the beach. God, I miss being there with Caleb–night or day, if it was summertime, it was the place to be. It got crowded, and that could be fun, but if you could slip away to a quiet spot, it was 10 times better. I never really minded the sand in my clothes, or my hair. And I actually miss having sand in my car–after living in Oklahoma for the last year and a half, the sand is all gone. Even the sand that I thought would permanently be in my trunk–gone, vacuumed up.
We have a different kind of summer here. I used to worry that some of the "magic" would be lost–no ocean, no sunsets on the beach, no Bamboo Willie’s High Octanes…or Flounder’s Diesel Fuels…
No more freedom, no more starry nights in the sand. Kids and jobs rule our lives now–and sleep takes over where those two leave off.
But there’s most definitely magic–a different kind, but it’s still there. Maybe it’s grown-up, maybe it’s Oklahoma–when we’re on our back porch at sundown, grilling, looking out at the hills and the fields, watching the dogs chase each other around the yard and listening to the kids shriek in the pool over the radio…Caleb will get this look in his eye and smile like he can’t help it. And it’s the same look and the same smile as it’s always been.
We’ll settle down after the kids are in bed, out back in these collapsible canvas chairs that I swear are about to fall apart, and the sky is so huge and sparkly that you can’t help but look up, and just stay looking up. The sky is our beach now. The stars, and the moon–it lights everything up, just like during the day. Caleb and I will hold hands and talk for an hour or so and say to each other as we head inside for the night, "Wow. I’ve just never seen anything like this–you won’t find it back home for sure. Can you believe all these stars? This sky? Aren’t we lucky?"
I’m making a vow to start loving summer again despite the heat–maybe you guys can help me out with some of your favorite summer memories–write them down for me, and enjoy the weekend! ~Toni