Summertime And Livin’ Easy

Summertime And Livin’ Easy

Last week I got an email from a reader who was concerned. Because I called the governor of Arizona an idiot, I was a hate-filled rage machine. I’m here to state, for the record, I don’t hate anyone.

Sure, there are a few people who I wish would have their crotches invaded by fire ants, but I don’t hate them. I merely dislike them passionately.

It’s OK to dislike people passionately because some people deserve it. I learned a long time ago bitterly hating someone doesn’t do any good. It’s rather like taking poison and hoping the other person dies. So, whenever I post a column that has an extra dose of biting cynicism, please don’t think I’m about to pop a cork.

To prove I can keep my fury in check, this week’s column is going to be 100 percent vitriol free. Today is going to be about summer and how to regain some of our childhood.

Remember how freeing it was on that last day of school? The entire summer was shining before us like Mr. Bradley’s bald spot. We were free, not only from Mr. Bradley, but from homework, gym class and early mornings.

There was our summer, ready for us to grab it with both hands and shake as much fun out of it as we could.

I think we should bring back some of that fun. I’m encouraging you to kick off your shoes, grab on to your imagination and be a kid again. Here is a list of 15 things to do that will get you started on recapturing some of your childhood summers.

1. Catch lightning bugs — I’m not sure if it’s PC to still catch them, so be nice to them. Release them before they croak.

2. Chase down the ice cream truck — If the ice cream truck driver has a look of horror on his or her face and refuses to stop, you may be a little too enthusiastic about getting ice cream.

3. Blow soap bubbles — If you break a glow stick into a bottle of bubbles, you’ll have glowing bubbles.

4. Swing — Make sure the swing will hold you, though. You probably weigh a few pounds more than you did the last time you were in a swing. I said a few.

5. Have friends over to play hide and go seek — It’s even more fun if drinking is involved. Be forewarned, though, drunk hide and seek may result in losing a friend. I played once with friends who were a little tipsy, and we still haven’t found poor Roger.

6. Watch clouds — Grab a blanket and go lay out in the yard or the park, and see how many figures you can make out of the clouds.

7. Camp out in the backyard — pitch a tent, build a camp fire and tell ghost stories.

8. Jump off a rope swing over a river — Please make sure the water is deep enough before you jump.

9. Play in the sprinkler — Clothing is entirely optional, however, your neighbors may not agree.

10. Have a mud fight — Make sure the body of water you’re getting the mud from isn’t where cows are allowed to roam. I may or may not be speaking from experience.

11. Build an indoor fort with chairs and sheets — Grab a flashlight or a lamp and read a book from your childhood.

12. Eat watermelon on the back porch and see who can spit seeds the farthest — Gross but fun!

13. Have a water balloon or squirt-gun war — Don’t put out anyone’s eye.

14. Skip stones, skip work, skip to my Lou, my darling.

15. Laugh until your sides hurt.

Why are you still sitting here? Get out there and start shakin’ out some fun!


Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can drop her a line at

Categories: Commentary