Simple Pleasures: four ways to make the most of a summer day

by Heather Kallevig

As we say goodbye to spring and transition officially into the heat of summer – it’s important to remember the many things that make this season special – good food and fresh drinks, friends and family, hot days and cool water, green grass and blue sky.  When we think of summer, our minds generate memories perforated with feelings, smells, and sounds. With so many meaningful memories and fun-filled future plans, it is very easy to pack our days tighter than an ice-filled cooler. It’s not until we really start to sweat that we see the mistake of overfilling the lazy days of summer. While the adventures and games are definitely worthwhile and should be a part of your seasonal schedule, remember to take the time to enjoy the sweet simplicity of summer.

Below are four forgotten ways to bring simple pleasures back into summer.  Return to activities of the past, sit back, relax, and enjoy the lazy days of summer.

  1. Dry your clothes outside

Simple pleasures of summer - clotheslinesThis is a practice handed down by our grandmother’s that is quickly coming back into style. As energy prices rise, and we become more conscious of our earthly impact, taking small steps to lower our footprint can make a difference. Hanging your clothes on the line is a great first step. You won’t have to contend with the dryer, and when you bring your clothes back inside they are sweetened, not by fabric softener, but by the fragrance of the natural outdoor air.  Also, it gives you the chance to spend a little extra time outside while completing your household chores, rather than barricading yourself in the laundry room.

  1. Run through a sprinkler

Simple pleasures of summer - sprinklersRemember when you were a kid, and the best entertainment you could find was throwing on your bathing suit and running laps through your dad’s sprinkler? Well, consider revisiting this childhood pastime. If you are ever watering your grass on a hot, dry day, solve two problems at once. Give the ground a drink and cool yourself down. It’s cheaper than a pool, and you’ll get a little exercise while you’re at it!

  1. Read a book

Simple pleasures of summer - readingThroughout the year we are too busy to really bury our nose in a good book. Summer is an excellent time to sit outside, absorb the heat, and pass the time visiting with old literary friends or maybe discovering new ones. I often like to re-read my books and find the idle sun and a cozy chair to be perfect companions. I leave my phone, computer, tv, and all other new-fangled technologies inside, taking only myself, my book, my dogs, and a cold beverage to read outside.

  1. Take a nap in the sun

And if the book, the sprinkler, and the laundry become too much, don’t be afraid to sit back, relax, and take some time to lie in the sun. Whether you’re actually asleep or just lying with your eyes closed, it’s important to reserve moments to be quiet, unwind, and simply listen and observe the sweet tranquility of summer. Watch the flowers nod in the breeze, taste the humidity on your tongue, and watch the beads slide lazily down the side Simple pleasures of summer - hammocksof your iced tea. Small observances, yes, but important ones you miss unless you take the time to slow down. One side note – if you are not lying under an umbrella, make sure you remember the sunscreen.

Summer days are for fun and play, but don’t forget to step back and relax. There are many forgotten simple pleasures we should bring back into our schedule – hanging our clothes on a line, running through the sprinkler, reading a book, and napping in the sun are only a few.  Hans Christian Anderson, made famous for his creative children’s stories, may have expressed the simplicity of summer most effectively:

Just living is not enough…

One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

~ Hans Christian Anderson

Simple pleasures of summer - flowers

@ HeatherKallevig

What are some ways you enjoy the sunshine?  Please share in the comments section!