Column: One last test


Commentary by Amy L. Stewart

It’s here — summer, glorious summer! Finally, we made it!

Yes, I know, it’s not quite the way it used to be. No more waking up, throwing on the first clothes we find, running out the door and being gone until dinner time — which we rush through so we can run back out again until it’s finally too dark to see.

In neighborhoods like ours, which sadly lack sidewalks or bike paths, we can’t head out on foot or on our bikes, join up with friends across town and log miles before the day is through.

We may not save up our pocket change to take to the corner store for candy or soda. Labor Day no longer marks the return to school, as well as a tribute to the American worker.

No, it’s not quite like that. But that’s no excuse for it not to be glorious. So I’m proposing a summer to-do list. You may want to cut this out and post it on the refrigerator. Challenge yourself — see if you can score 100 percent. Here goes:

  • Roast hot dogs and marshmallows (on real sticks)
  • Play horseshoes
  • Eat a fudgsicle, creamsicle, popsicle or ice cream cone (with at least two scoops) according to your preference
  • Have a watermelon seed spitting contest
  • Skip rocks
  • Catch fireflies
  • Lie on your back in the grass and name the shapes in the clouds
  • Find a forest and explore it
  • Have a real picnic (on a blanket)
  • Go barefoot
  • Walk or bike when you normally wouldn’t
  • Read a book you normally wouldn’t
  • Run through a hose or sprinkler
  • Listen to music (preferably live) outdoors (preferably sitting on the ground)
  • Go fishing
  • Make up a new summer tradition

It’s not the way it used to be, but do cherish the way it is.