A summer place

There are apparently only 20 Fridays left until Christmas, although I must admit I didn’t count them myself because I draw the line at self-inflicted punishment. Why is it that winter seems endless even though it lasts (from a calendar perspective anyway) exactly as long as summer, while summer zips by like a BMW convertible on the autobahn. This was an actual headline in the newspaper this week: “Have you made your summer plans yet? Too late!” And it’s only June 20.

But I understand exactly what they mean. There is so much angst associated with mapping out how you would like the summer to unfold to maximize its fickle timeline. The mere act of deciding what you might be doing in August brings Labour Day into the line of sight. Then when you get to that final long weekend, there’s the summer remorse that kicks in when you realize you didn’t get around to doing most of the things on your list (or maybe that’s just me…). And I now defy those who say it’s too late to plan. This is what I’m doing this summer:

1. Cooking new things. Of the seven magazines that arrive in my mailbox in any given month, five of them have recipes (and one is entirely devoted to food preparation). I read them voraciously, noting to myself the items that look particularly promising, then add them to the precarious pile of previous issues, completely losing all track of potential future meals. I am going to go through the stack of magazines that lives at the cottage (come to think of it, maybe I need a whole separate list item for that), tear out the summer recipes, and cook my way through them. Right after I finish reading those books I didn’t read this winter.

2. Growing tomatoes. This is, of course, a more long term project because people that know more about it than me say it takes at least 40 days from planting to picking. I have the planting part done, so I can already say I am well on my way to achieving this goal. Or maybe not. The most recent progress inspection revealed only two microscopic proto-tomatoes among four plants that otherwise seem healthy. Therefore, I reserve the right to rescind any invitations for BLTs that might otherwise be on the table.

3. Kayaking. I know many of you will be skeptical about this one, especially those that delight in pointing out that the kayak has not seen water in two years. In my own defense, it’s not that I haven’t thought about taking it out for a spin, it’s just that other things got in the way. This year, I promise, just as soon as we stop dipping down to single digits overnight and the water gets warm enough, I will be circumnavigating the lake. Right after I figure out where I put the paddle.

Check back with me in September. Surely I won’t have spent far too many perfectly good reading hours staring mindlessly at the lake, or squandered a sunny day by washing the windows, or never mastered the art of the quinoa salad. There’s always a first time.

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