Sometime during the middle of this week, June will already be half over! Slow down, why don’t you. Logically, I know that every day of the year is pretty much the same length. Why then do the days when I look out the window at ice and snow seem to last so much longer? In all seriousness, when the weather is summer-time gorgeous after months of waiting for it, it makes me want to get out and cram as much enjoyment as possible into a few short weeks!
Campfires, cookouts, picnics, swimming, ball games, fireworks . . . there is just no shortage of activities and pursuits to enjoy over the summer months. Last month, in mid-May, I had the opportunity to visit North Carolina for my oldest daughter’s graduation. I was struck by how far along their seasons were. All the trees were in full leaf and roadside stands were selling fresh produce, including whole watermelons. That being said, I wasn’t impressed much by North Carolina except for the fact that I didn’t see a single pothole or road patch in the 3 days we were there! During the time we spent there, the temperatures hovered in the mid-60’s with threatening rain, while Smethport topped 80° and sunny every day!
One of the ways I find enjoyment, particularly this time of year is to share a meal with family and friends on the patio. My dad, Sam Costa, Sr., was fond of saying, “everything just tastes better out of doors”. One of the favorite things we did as a kid was to load up the old Chevy with a picnic basket and small charcoal grill, heading out along back roads to find a suitable spot to stop. My favorite places were found on the top of Prospect Hill, but that was in the days before every square inch of road-frontage was posted, “NO TRESPASSING”.
Dad would locate a suitably level spot then pull off the dirt road into a meadow. Mom would spread a blanket or two and begin unpacking the picnic basket. Charcoal lighter fluid added to the flavor of everything we grilled in those days, hamburgers and hotdogs predominantly. After dinner, Dad would stretch out on the blanket and “rest his eyes” for a few minutes. It was a fitting and relaxing end to his workday. Those memories happened some 60 years ago but they remain vividly painted on the canvas of my mind’s eye. Share a meal outdoors with your family and/or friends. You’ll create some warm memories for those cold nights looming just a few months away.