June 21, 2011

Making the Most of It


In this season of busy days and weather that goes from 101 to 60 and rainy in a day or two, I am reminded of the importance of seizing the moment. While I could try to plan for the perfect picnic, an afternoon of reading in the shade of a tree, or an evening lingering in the light and warmth of a summer's day, this doesn't happen often. Over the weekend I remembered that these moments present themselves shyly, like a four leafed clover that can only been seen at a glance. They truly have to be seized and held onto for dear life. If you're not looking, you might miss them and if you're waiting for them to be perfect, they might not happen at all.

On a Friday evening that was pleasantly warm enough to enjoy sitting outside, I decided we didn't need a great restaurant patio, a grill of our own, or any sort of outdoor lawn furniture. We barely have a proper backyard and the grassy patches boast a parking lot and alley view, but the evening beckoned. All it took was two of our kitchen chairs, a bench that doubles as a tiny table, and a couple of sputtering beeswax candles. The pizza in the oven made the kitchen too hot to stay in, but we enjoyed the perfect evening outside. Perfect is, of course, what you make of it. A mosquito or two, a few sprinkles of rain wouldn't deter me from enjoying a cool drink and dinner on the lawn.

On Saturday, I found myself again making the best of a less than perfect situation. We were headed to an outdoor concert about 10 miles away and had planned to bicycle there. It was raining, but I set off with a change of clothes and a blanket stuffed in a huge waterproof messenger bag. At first I grumbled, but once I got going I was wet but not cold and traveling by bicycle usually makes me pretty happy. When I met Ray half way there, I was completely soaked but since the bike path was nearly empty we got to ride side by side catching up on the day so far. After a few hours, we were fairly dry and having a good time, along with thousands of other people, many stylishly clad in garbage bags and plastic rain ponchos. The rain didn't make things better, but we didn't let it keep us from enjoying the evening.

Today marks the official start of summer. It doesn't look like I'll see the sun today, but I'll still celebrate the solstice no matter how rainy. Reaching the longest day of the year is bittersweet. The days start getting shorter, but it reminds me that we still have so much of summer to enjoy. Don't let the gorgeous, fleeting, imperfect moments of summer pass you by.


  1. Sublime! Thank you for the reminder.
    This evening we celebrated the longest day of the year with ice cream in the park overlooking the harbor. Folks were playing baseball, walking their dogs; kids and families were enjoying the playground. People were strolling after their dinners. It was timeless fun.
    Here's to more of those moments this summer!

  2. Many years ago I dragged out a kitchen chair into our yard and used it to prop up our little electric indoor grill, which was the only grill we had then. I made chicken kabobs on a very hot 4th of July that way :)

  3. Jen - It's those moments of doing what you can with what you've got (and enjoying it) that make a day memorable, right?

  4. Yep. I am grateful, now, though, to have a regular grill, which we picked up at the end of the next summer and have had for about eight years. Way simpler, if less generally memorable :)