Dog Days of Summer

Summer snuck up on me this year: after weeks of weird weather the rain took respite, the sun started shining, and suddenly it was summer.  I suspect traveling to California, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Massachusetts in a matter of months had something to do with it.  Seems as soon as I got home it was time to travel again so trips to the island were few and far between.

What a contrast to the long lazy days of lying in the sun I enjoyed as a teenager.   Sleeping late, rolling out of bed to cheese toast and watermelon, slipping into my string bikini and slathering on the baby oil.  Oh yes, baby oil, or thick Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil were the potions of choice.  We weren’t wasting any of those radiant rays by protecting our skin with sunscreen!  I remember my brother reminding me this would likely result in wrinkles as I aged.  I don’t care, I said, by then I’ll be old and it won’t matter.  Boy was I mistaken!

After a full day of sun and gossiping over General Hospital, we invested another hour ‘getting ready’ to go to the ball park.  Cutoffs or short white shorts and bright tank tops showcased our tans and our tight toned bodies. Our pockets stuffed with Super Bubble and cigarettes, we wandered from the Little League fields to the American Legion, where the really cool kids played.  We were living large, loving life in a sacred era of simplicity and safety.  My most consistent concern was keeping my green snow cone from spilling on my shorts.

We maximized every moment, not a care in the world beyond who we might see, who would see us and what they might think. I don’t recall my mind racing regarding what comes next,  wondering where I needed to be and what I needed to do in the days and weeks that followed.  Lately it seems regardless of what I am doing, I am thinking about what I should be or will be doing next.  Even enjoying a leisurely lunch with my husband, our conversation can quickly convert to what we will eat next!

The funny thing about the future is that a little piece of it arrives every day.  It’s what happens while we are busy making plans, and all too often we miss it without even realizing that we have.

Don’t let the dog days of summer pass you by!  Embrace and enjoy each and every moment!  Be who you are, where you are how you are right now!  This moment will not come again, and you don’t get more until you use it.  Life can change on a dime so take the time to enjoy the dog days of summer.  And avoid the oil; opt instead for sunscreen!

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