summer forever. plus a day.

I have a love hate relationship with routine. Even though I know it has great benefits for me personally, something always prevents me from making a habit out of anything. I am even bad about the things I love to do a lot of the time. Things that keep me thinking creatively, or that keep me healthy usually have a 3-4 week life span, then it's on to something new. For a time, I had a personal(ish) post on here every Friday. I really enjoyed doing it. It was usually some ranting, thinly veiled complaint about how I am getting older, and my sons are cooler than me. Which was extremely therapeutic, despite the sting of truth. And then it just  kind of trailed off into nothing........ Being the fantastically supportive wife that she is, L often gives me little pushes in the direction she thinks I need to go. As in, she approves of routine. Especially, when it involves something that keeps me well.

So, that's why I am here today. I suggested in passing that perhaps I would write a little something today, but only if I could think of a topic. You see, keeping myself obligation free has almost become an art form. Creative excuses and buck passing abound. At least in my mind, all my arguments are sound. Lindsay on the other hand is pretty quick to call bullshit on the whole lot of it. Not only is she quick to call me out, she always has a bulletproof answer to/for my knuckle dragging. I foolishly expected that my lackluster defense of "no ideas" would hold up for yet another Friday. She thought differently. I'd barely breathed my woes when she said, "Summer. Write about summertime".

I know what you are thinking, summertime seems a pretty boring choice. Not so. That wife of mine, she is a clever one. This seemingly mundane subject brings everything full circle. She knew that it would. You see, L knows that I am a secret romantic. Although, I am pretty sure I have admitted to this more than once on here. So, I guess the secrets out. Anyway, she knows that stories of summertime will always stir something up in me that I absolutely cannot go without sharing. But, what made it even more eye opening is that as I reminisced in my head about all the fun times I have had in summers past, I began to see the origins of my contempt for normalcy.

We often tease each other about our collective childhoods; spending the hottest months of the year wandering aimlessly from one far away family member to the next. Always with the obligatory stop to visit some person your parents swear that you have met dozens of times, but whom you have no recollection. Despite the wandering, I don't think either of us would argue the fact that summer would not be summer without doing time at the lake. Everyone knows someone at the lake. Maybe it's just a Mid-west thing, but I don't think so. We both had relatives with little retreats that would always complete our summers. It is not uncommon for an entire conversation to be derailed while we wax poetic about eating cold hot dogs from the cooler in the boat; our hands covered in worm dirt. It probably drives other people crazy. Sorry, we can't help it. I do find it kind of funny though, how something so trivial could be so memorable, and stick out well over everything else. But it does, and I will carry it with me, always.

And that's it, some stupid little weekend trips to podunk nowhere. This is what I will consider the root of my disdain for obligation. L would say that it's because I am hopelessly sentimental. I would argue that it is because I believe that you should always be open to adventure. I think honestly what I am chasing is the feeling that I always got when I was there, in the middle of nothing. I don't ever want to forget that. But, I do need to be careful. I suppose it is possible to over analyze it. If I dig too deep I may realize that I confused adventurous spirit with desperation. That perhaps, Eden is only Eden if you're there on holiday. That it was only an adventure for me, and that the inhabitants of these rustic strongholds were hopelessly bored, and would gladly have traded lives, even up.  But, I will choose to believe the former. At this point, I kind of have to.

When I was there, there were no rules. No clocks. No dinner bell. You didn't do things, things just happened. As a kid it was an amazing thing. I suppose it didn't hurt to have a healthy dose of 80's adventure movies fresh in my brain! I always believed that right around the next bend in the river, everything could change. I had to be open to it. I could have been swept out to sea (yes, from a river in northern Michigan), or kidnapped and sold off as a child slave. Thus, making plans for later that afternoon just seemed silly. 

For the record, yes, I do fully acknowledge and accept the extreme level of cheesy nostalgia contained herein.

Maybe its a stretch to say that by making plans you will never have an adventure. Maybe it's naivety, or refusal to grow up. Which to be honest, is totally o.k with me. Because, it doesn't really matter to me what holding onto these ideas says about my character anyways. It's not really about me anymore. I have two eager little brains following me around soaking it all in. And like it or not, summers today are not as carefree as the ones I used to know. So, I will be damned if I will ever acknowledge an impossibility to them. It is my responsibility, to maintain that anything can happen, and that you have to be ready. At all costs.

It's summertime, so let's let it do what it does.


roasted tomato spaghetti + crispy chickpeas + dill

tomato tart + goat cheese + honey + thyme