Summer Praises

How are you spending your 92 days of summer? On this July day, while sitting on my third-floor balcony under a bright blue sky and puffy clouds, I recalled some of my joys of summers past. Here they are in the form of a litany:

Response: I praise and thank you, God!

For the times I enjoyed . . .

Swinging on a tire my dad hung from a tree

Catching tadpoles in puddles at the side of the road

Picking plump strawberries on a neighboring farmer’s lot

Watching the advance of a summer storm of thunder and lightning

Putting on a play in our backyard with friends

Collecting lightning bugs and keeping them in a mason jar

Splashing through rainwater on the sidewalk

Picking four-leaf clovers

Playing badminton on the street

Dancing to accordion music outside of Family Tavern across the street

Bringing home three new books from the library to report on and merit red dots after my name there

Eating peach slices from toothpicks, a snack Mom prepared when it was hot

Putting on a play with costumes in the backyard

Making a block-long paper chain with my sister and a friend

Skating around the block in second-hand, white, high-top skates

Running through the sprinkler in my swimsuit

Drinking a cold glass of lemonade

Catching candy that clowns threw from a truck to advertise the St. Vitus Church festival

Going on long drives just for fun

Eating fudgesicles my mom made in an ice cube tray

Dancing the polka at my father’s shop picnic at SNPJ farm

Taking our red wagon down Ginny Hill to the cultural gardens for a picnic with my aunt and cousins

Having my picture taken with a pony that came to houses on our street

Playing in our green pool in the backyard

Sleeping on the floor beneath the large fan in the window on hot nights

Being excited because a parish priest was visiting houses and came to ours

Going to Euclid Beach and riding the racing coaster (though Laughing Sal terrorized me)

Eating the vinegary candy kisses in yellow paper, popcorn balls, and cotton candy at Euclid Beach

Swimming in Lake Erie at various beaches and playing in the sand

Playing tennis in the courts by the aquarium near Lake Erie

Hearing the happy music of the ice cream truck

My siblings and I playing volleyball with my father on our property in the country

Going barefoot and feeling the warm sidewalk under my feet

Using the playground equipment at Hodge School, especially the sliding board (if it wasn’t too hot)

Going to bed while it was still light and the neighbor kids were still playing outside

Attempting to do cartwheels on the lawn

Watching fireworks at the ox roast in Rome, Ohio

Making chains out of white clover flowers

Getting a tan, and sometimes a sunburn, from playing in the bright sun

Dear God, you have showered so many gifts on me. My heart fills will love for you as I ponder them.

• Take some time to reminisce about your happy summer experiences. What were a few?

I was going to post the classic song “Summertime” sung by Nat King Cole, but found this one that is more fun:

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