The good ole summertime!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hi neighbors. Welcome to summer! Break out those shrinkable garden hoses, soak down the Slip 'N Slide, and get the bathing suits out for the wading pool. This is the time when children are re-introduced to the backyard.

Children who have no backyard find their way to the park. Parents plan "play dates" at the swimming pool for their tykes. The heat climbs and no one even notices. Well, no one under 50 any way.

The evening air is filled with the odor of wood smoke or charcoal burning on open fires or in barbecue pits in every neighborhood. Watermelons can't stay on the supermarket shelves from one day to the next. Outdoor seed spitting contests abound in every backyard.

The voices of laughing children can be heard blocks away from every playground. The sound of the music from the ice cream truck rises and falls as the van makes its way around corner after corner.

Now is the time of year when you need to keep loose change by the front door just for the ice cream van. It amazes me how difficult it is to determine the location of the van from sound only. Kids are better at it than grandparents -- I know that much. Still, it is always a race to first find the van and then catch it. I'd think it would move slower in the hopes of letting paying customers catch up.

Front porch swings are popular again. Families sit on the porch and wave to their neighbors. Lemonade and iced tea pitchers are on every porch or under every shade tree where friends sit in plastic or wooden lawn chairs and pass the time of day.

Patios get face lifts, new outdoor furniture or a brand new gas-fired grill.

Let's not forget the badminton nets and rackets! How about a nice slow game of croquet?

Of course, some are more in favor of Frisbee tosses or water balloon fights. Don't forget the water pistols or huge water cannons available now.

Whatever the children or adults find to entertain themselves this time of year, most of the activities will be outdoors.

Some will be on water. Whether you are tubing, surfboarding, skiing, sailing, pontoon boating, speedboating, or just sitting by the water dipping your toes in once in a while summer is a time when water sports predominate.

Don't forget the ever popular rope swing out over the pond, lake or creek. Just make sure the water is deep enough and that you know how to swim before you jump out and fall in.

If you don't have a large body of water to enjoy, remember those little wading pools for the toddlers. Dogs like to wade in them as well.

There is always the sprinkler. What other reason do your children have when they volunteer to "wash" your car? It's a chance to play in the sprinkler even when they feel themselves too "mature" to do so. Hey, it's a free car wash so go for it!

Until the next time friends, remember, the hot weather is only one aspect of summer. There's still a lot of simple fun to be had. Go outside and turn on the water!