Monday, May 7, 2007

Sweet, sweet summer

Today was a flurry of activity. I was on the move all day long, and got a ton accomplished. I am paying for it now with an aching back. It is so terrible I had to take a pain pill and I can still barely move. :(

Around 7:30 Chloe was getting restless, so we went outside to play. It was such a beautiful evening. I strapped Alivia into my favorite carrier, a Hideabug Skytai Mei Tai. Check them out here..... . These ladies are SO talented, they do amazing work. I absolutely love my carrier, it gets used at least once a day. It is a total lifesaver when I am shopping. If I don't have the mei tai, I have to take the whole car seat in and put it in the back of the cart, Chloe goes in the front of the cart, and where the heck do all the groceries go??? It is so convenient, and Alivia always snuggles up to me and falls right asleep.

Anyway, I strapped Ali into the carrier and we watched Chloe ride her trike. We talked to the horses that are in a corral by our apartment. Chloe wanted me to lift her up so she could touch the "Poke E Tree". It was the most beautiful evening. The temperature was perfect, we had on a light jacket for those slight breezes, but we probably didn't need it. The sun was sinking low in the sky, and casting a gorgeous light over everything. We went on a walk down the street, just for something to do. My girl is so well behaved. She listens so well. She held my hand the entire time, and if I let her walk ahead of me, she never got more than one or two steps away. And if I asked her to stop, she obeyed right away.

As we walked I was amazed at the sensory overload. Several of our neighbors had recently cut their grass, and the sweet tangy smell of the freshly mowed lawn permeated the air. One of our neighbors was having a barbecue, and the smell of the charcoal and smoke was tantalizing. The glasses of their guests clinked, and their laughter filled the air. A few streets over, several dogs were barking at each other. A group of kids were chasing each other with their brightly colored bikes and laughing. Two preschool aged girls were drawing on the sidewalk with flourescent chalk as their mothers watched on. An elderly couple lazily rocked on a porch swing, with glasses of ice cold sweet tea. A girl squealed as her brother chased her and squirted her with a water gun. A woman headed towards us, holding the leashes of two large dogs. The dogs sniffed Chloe and she tightened her grip on my hand in nervousness. The woman laughed and knelt down, giving Chloe the okay to pet the dogs. Chloe giggled as the dog's rough tongue tickled the palm of her tiny hand.

It does sound a bit Leave it to Beaver-ish. Our neighborhood isn't always so perfect, although it is generally a pretty safe place.

We stayed outside and played until nearly 9:30. It was past Chloe's bedtime, but the amazing weather, beautiful sunset, and summery atmosphere lightened my mood. It reminded me of my school aged years. Riding my bike with my friends, and racing inside at the very last second before my curfew was up. Getting up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays to go play. Swimming in the canals (which now make me shudder in disgust!) with my friends. Befriending the new neighbors and going on summer evening adventures. Exploring an abandoned barn and saving up our own money to build a tree house with our own hands. Sleeping underneath the stars on the trampoline with a group of my giggly, boy-crazed friends. The countdown to the end of school, and the beginning of three months of fun. The anticipation of a summer vacation. Stealing a cigarette and hiding in an alfafa field to take my first drag (fire hazard much?) with my best friend. To this day the smell of alfafa reminds me of my first cigarette (I never inhaled, I promise!). I was a book nerd, and I would climb into one of our orchard trees with a pillow, perch in the branches, and lose myself in the pages of a book. As I got older, summer nights meant outdoor parties. Camping trips, bonfires, hikes, sneaking out, late parties. Skinny dipping, cruising, the county fair, laying on my back in the grass and staring at the stars, wondering what was out there.

It's so amazing how the smells and sounds of summer can bring back so many memories. I had some of the best times of my life during the summer season. It's only May, and our Idaho weather is so unpredictable, tomorrow may be gray and stormy. But tonight I got a little sneak peek of the sweet, sweet summer nights ahead.


Megan said...

Julie! That is just gorgeous. I can totally picture it all - the sights, sounds, smells, all of it! - the way you described it. I bet you went to bed feeling so very blessed.

Meghan said...

It's so amazing how the smells and sounds of summer can bring back so many memories. I had some of the best times of my life during the summer season.

Here, here! Also, I know what you mean about the smells and sounds of summer brining back those awesome memories. Summer in LA just wasn't the same. Now that I'm back on the East Coast... it's like I missed 10 years of what summer really smells like.

Jules said...

Yeah, I can't imagine summer in a big city. The smell of 100 degree sidewalks and the sound of car horns and sirens all night doesn't appeal to me!! Although it is fun to visit. I loved going to LA. I don't know how you managed to live there though! Wasn't the cost of living astronomical?

Corey said...

another great post....took me back....I almost felt like I was there with you Julie! Oh and it also made me alittle scared for when Makenna is off doing those!

Jules said...

You know what though Corey? One drag of that nasty cigarette is all I took. Ever since that day I've never touched one. I'm glad though that I 'experimented' and tried it for myself. I was too young though.

But my poor kids will never leave the house when they are older. Nope, we'll sit around and play board games and lock our doors and won't even peek out the windows! We'll call for grocery delivery and invent a robot that will go out to bring the mail in. That way they can't ever get in trouble!

Corey said...

ummm yeah....we'll come visit you better let us in! we'll play charades with you! :)

oh....go visit my blog. You have been tagged! Go see what I mean! :)

Lori said...

I miss summers like that! Now we can't even go out of the house bc it's 1000 degrees out! But, at least we can go camping. Those are some GOOD TIMES! Wish we could all go together.

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