About the Last Days of Summer or 8 Ways to Make Boring Life Awesome

This summer, I have gone to concerts and on road trips. I’ve visited friends and gone to amusement parks. I’ve worked at camps, attended camps, and even read a few books. That being said, there’s a lot I haven’t done.

Days disappear in summer.

This is not a particularly romantic or tragic sentiment. At least, it isn’t supposed to be. It’s just an observation made from my years of less than practical experience. They’re lazy, hazy and dull, filled with more thought than action and sometimes more sleep than thought. They drift and melt, sizzling and white at the edge like an egg broken straight into the pan.

I suppose that might be romantic. In fact, I’m sure it is. My apologies. I don’t mean to go to Harper Lee territory or honeysuckles and strawberry jam sweetness here, and I promise that my life is not a Smuckers commercial. I want you to know, too, that I never drank lemonade while rocking on a porch swing or anything remotely close to that brand of stereotypical Southern charm. At least, not since the summer I was ten and my sister, cousin, and I stayed a week with our great aunt.

(At this time, I got really into tea sets so “Turtle” as we call her let us stay up past eleven and sit outside drinking white coffee in chipped teacups while she smoked and we listened to crickets.)

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying any of this lazy, rose-colored activities are a bad thing. In fact, despite the days that are often too hot to think when all I do is literally stare at my ceiling and watch the sun drop out my window, sometimes ceiling staring or midnight coffee sipping are the most wonderful and luxurious activities of all.

With this last thought in mind, and because summer is coming to a close for everyone that is not part of the Phineas and Ferb universe, I hereby humbly suggest a list of quintessentially Southern lazy-day activities for those of us who love them dearly:

1. Sleep. I mean it. That’s all you have to do. Sleep late, too. If possible, sleep all day, or in a hammock, or both. Don’t worry about the inevitable yard work, schoolwork, or “real work” that “needs doing.”  Let your mom’s phone call go to voice mail. Get up to use the bathroom and eat. Nothing else.

2. Eat cereal and watch cartoons. An oldie but a goodie, this little classic is the secret to perfect happiness that every red-blooded American child from the ages of 4 to 13 knows. No, you are not too old or cool for this and no, your cereal cannot be Kashi or Special K. I’m talking turn-the-milk-blue, more-sugar-and-marshmallows-than-a-S’more-bar, why-did-your-parents-ever-let-you-eat-this candy you eat with a spoon. Anything less will be an affront to your inner child.

3. Drink coffee on a midnight. Preferably, this activity is done outside, by someone who already knows how to make coffee, sitting in a comfortable chair and curled up in a throw blanket. (For Relaxing Purposes only — this is not to be done to pull an all-nighter for work or papers.) For those too young to be allowed coffee and/or with usual bedtimes, try this caffeine free white coffee recipe from Beirut. You might also try convincing your parents of its family bonding or culturally-broadening potential.

4. Pull an all-nighter. I am still not talking about doing anything for work or school. Just stay up all night for the heck of it like in the good ol’ days when our ten-year-old selves wanted to prove that we could. Invite friends over. Watch a movie, or an entire series of movies. Play video games. Pop popcorn, eat unhealthy food, and play pranks on the first one to fall asleep. You know, the good ol’ days.

5. Visit a farmer’s and/or flea market. Luckily, this isn’t even a strictly summer activity, and the stuff you can find (off the top of my head, everything from lavender jam to Space Jam respectively) are pretty sweet.

6. Eat honeysuckles off the vine. While they might be painfully hard to find, if you can, do it. They’re delicious and one thing everyone needs for the proper Southern summer. Take a flower, pick it off the vine, bite the bottom and suck out the juice.

7. Pick blueberries. I do this every summer in my grandmother’s back yard with empty ice cream buckets, but there are plenty of patches in Alabama (like these) to pick blueberries and more . I don’t even like blueberries that much. I just love picking them.

8. Sleep. Seriously people, school’s about to start again. We need to get it in while we can.

  • Amber

    that, friend, is depressing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/annaphawkins Anna Patricia Hawkins

    I love honeysuckles. I used to go to West Virginia every summer to visit family, and they’re everywhere up there. My cousins and I would lay under a huge bush and eat all the flowers we could find.

    Also, I wish I did more of these things over the summer. I used to. But having class/a full-time job makes it difficult :-/