Soda Fountain Summer…

One of my all time favorite books is Summer by Alice Low and first published in 1963. I’m not sure when my mom first bought the book for me, but as long as I can remember, it was a permanent fixture next to my bed from June until the first few weeks of summer. The other night, Alex sat in bed laughing as I read Summer to our three pups, Dunken, Tucker and Boo Radley. All three were extremely attentive as I came to the final page…”We ask a farmer, ‘Will you stop and let us ride back home on top?’ We let the fireflies go away. The moon is out. It lights our way. We hear the horse go clop-clop-clop. Our pup goes fast asleep on top. We stay awake and think of things…the happy things that summer brings!”

After the reading was done, our small pups curled around us and Alex turned off the light. The soft whir of the fan drifted over me as I laid in bed and thought about how much we had already done this summer and all of the things that I wanted to do. I thought about what summer meant to me and when I woke up yesterday, I began writing a list of what I loved about summer and all of the the happy things that summer brings.

Fried chicken and potato salad on Fourth of July. Sweltering heat in the car when you can’t wait to get out. Staying in the pool long after the moon comes out. Watching horror movie sequels with friends and bringing the television out on the patio. Lightening bugs. Staying up late and getting up late. Watching the sun rise. Boat rides. Waving your hand out the window of your car like your fingers are surfing. The State Fair. The feeling of the cold grass at night. Visiting with your neighbors at night when you wouldn’t normally talk to them. Concerts and live music on a perfect night. Reading books all day long and staying up late, just reading one…more…page. Summer television series. Fishing and watermelon. Bike rides on shady, country roads. Picnics with little bottles of Cokes and turkey and cheese sandwiches. Ice cream. Oh how I do love ice cream. Fireworks exploding into the sky; red, purple, white and blue! The sun being out at eight at night. Amusement parks and water parks. Swinging in an elementary school playground closed for the summer. Visiting farmers and fresh markets. Butterflies and even bees slurping at the amazing orange blossoms. Carnivals in parking lots and winning gold fish that I name Johnny. Hosing each other off in the driveway and making your own slip and slide with trash bags. Campfires, sleepovers and smores. And more than anything…the .89 cent fountain drinks…

Ahhhh…summer. How wonderful. I’ve been trying to stay focused on living in today and enjoying every day and everything that each day has to offer. And this summer, I want to remember my past summers, enjoy the present summer and make each day as amazing as possible.

Today I was in a hurry on my way home from my office and I drove past this gas station that had a sign luring me inside, “Cool off today with a fountain drink”. I immediately pulled my car inside, paid my .89 cents and walked out with an enormous soda. As I drove off, I cranked my Bob Dylan “Lay Lady Lady” and smiled because I’m so blessed to have today and all of it’s gifts and magic and it’s all so magical. It’s just too wonderful to waste because we’re on borrowed time as it is!


One thought on “Soda Fountain Summer…

  1. Oh, Peter. You stole a little piece of my hear with each and every item on your list – nothing beats fried chicken and potato salad on the 4th…and believe it or not, I’ve yet to go to the State Fair but perhaps we should make it a date?

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