I had a professor in college who seemed like she was the feisty camp counselor in an 80s made-for-tv movie. She had red hair, curly like Mrs. Roper’s, and she started every lecture by snapping her gum and saying “Hey gang!” in a way that was at once jolly and sardonic. Every once in a while I try to bust out a “hey gang!” in her manner, even though no one knows what I am up to so I just end up looking weird. I would love to be jolly and sardonic, but I will settle for weird. Apparently.
Let’s catch up on the happenings around here. There is a regional “joke” in Seattle that says that summer really doesn’t kick in until July 4th. This year that was quite literal. It rained up a storm (ha ha, now THAT’S a joke, fellas) (oh dear lord) right up until July 3 and then on the 4th and ever since it has been super gorgeous. Sorry to rub that in the faces of all y’all reading this in other parts of the country, where I know that the weather has been crap on toast. I would send you all a little package of this heavenly stuff here if I could.
My July 4th was as low key as could be. My brain has just been running amok lately and so I think I just needed to max and relax as much as possible. I took myself to a quiet lunch by myself, and then Biogirl and I hiked it over to a lakeside park and sat in the grass for the entire afternoon and then strolled over to get gelato and strolled some more. Nordic Boy and I spent the rest of the night in, no fireworks, no barbecuing, no nothing. America was pretty mad at us I am sure.
Once the weekend rolled around I found myself, still due to the previous month’s madness, completely and totally without plans. I love a good activity-filled weekend, don’t get me wrong, but a gorgeous, sunny, summertime weekend with absolutely nothing that has to be done? GOLDEN.
This meant that I spent the whole weekend just thinking, in the moment, “Self? What would you like to do next?” What resulted was a sort of unremarkable weekend, but it was the kind of weekend that I hope I will remember for a very long time.
About 10 years ago, when Nordic Boy and I lived next door to our friends Neighbor B and Neighbor J, there was this one summer evening where we were grumpy and tired and hot, and the Neighbors invited us over for watermelon. And we sat in their living room, which had a view of Lake Washington, and ate this watermelon, and it seemed the sweetest, tastiest shit ever, and we were laughing and talking and looking out the window to the lake in the distance. There was nothing about that day that was memorable, yet I have never forgotten it. I felt content, and happy, and just inside a cocoon of friendship and love, if you want to get right down into hokey-town. Just so ordinary, but so beautiful. I love those days the best. The ordinary and beautiful ones.
I got to have two of those this weekend, and here’s some of what went down.
Nordic Boy and I wandered to a little Italian restaurant where I had some sparkly white wine that made me hiccup all the way home.
I met up with Biogirl and one of her high school besties and his wife who were visiting from California, and we wandered around Pike Place Market, eating ice cream and listening to the seagulls over Elliott Bay.
I saw Moonrise Kingdom, which seemed so appropriate for summer. If you want to see it, see it in summertime.
I had brunch with Biogirl at our favorite haunt.
Nordic Boy and I drove to Snohomish, which is known for its antique stores, and wandered around a bunch of them aimlessly, digging up World War II aviator goggles and 1970s McDonald’s collectible juice glasses and cut glass grandma-style bowls.
On the way back from Snohomish, instead of hopping onto the freeway, we got onto some curvy backroads that cut through farmland and looked at blue sky, and wide green fields, and white-topped mountains on the horizon.
I sat on my front stoop and talked to my mom and dad on the phone, and we laughed a lot, and I missed them, so very very hard.
I opened up all of the windows in the house, put my feet onto Nordic Boy’s lap, and read a book from beginning to end all in one sitting.
I wore summer dresses all day every day (which are hard to take self-portraits of, by the way).
Thanks, July. I needed that.