Dreaming of Summer (and an extra fantasy)

You know, I’m tired of being angst-ridden and depressed about how life is going. It actually takes a lot of energy to maintain sadness. I wish it burned calories, but I’m afraid the reverse is true. Or, ehm, I’ve had too many nights of strawberry cheesecake ice cream topped with crumbled potato chips. (Have I really done that? No. But it sounds good. I eat a handful of chips, then the a scoop of ice cream.)

So I’ve decided that while I can’t really escape my life and go on vacation to England (which is something I’d really like to do), I can take a little break mentally and go…oh…anywhere I want. I could take myself on a saucy escapade where I’m wearing nothing but a little apron and heels and a hunky guy (a nice ctranger) comes into my kitchen and wants to know what I’m cooking. “Who?” I ask, raising my fingertip to my red, red lip. “Me? Why I’m just cooking a little melted chocolate.” I dip my finger in the chocolate and offer it to him. He’s so hot in the kitchen he has to take his shirt off and….

That was supposed to be a short example of what I’m NOT going to write about. Ahem. Let me take a moment. I’ll be right back….

(Ten minutes later.)

Okay. Phew. Just had to run and eat some potato chip topped ice cream.

What was I saying?

Ah yes. I was talking about summer. Well, not really, but I meant to. Here’s what I love about summer: I love visiting my friends Brendan and George, something I haven’t done enough of in the last years, but I love seeing their cottage and walking on the beach where the waves are sometimes so loud that it drowns out the sound of your thoughts. I love getting sand in my hair and between my toes and in the cuffs of my rolled up jeans.

I love making fresh bruschetta from my garden. I pick the basil and a sun-warmed tomato, chop it fine and add lots of garlic, a little olive oil, pinch of salt, and then pile some homemade bread tall with the stuff. I can eat vats of it. Vats. All while sitting in the sun and listening to some jazz while drinking a nice crisp glass of pinot grigio. I actually couldn’t do that while married because my ex only wanted to listen to NPR…but now…now I can listen to music and close my eyes, imagining the notes dancing across my skin.

I like going for walks around Reed’s Lake. I might not be able to run this summer, but I’ll walk, and maybe there will be someone with me this time, someone more interested in just spending time with me then actually exercising. And maybe, maybe, I’ll stop in the shade, tell him to wait up, and then I’ll kiss him. I’d like that I think.

I like ice cream in the summer, and the sound of kids playing in the neighborhood. I like cars going by playing music that I would never listen to, but for a moment, I do. Sometimes it’s so loud I feel it in my heart.

I like having the windows open and on windy days when I hear the leaves rustle I feel like I’m underwater and that those trees are giant stalks of seaweed. I can imagine being a fish.

I like sleeping with the windows open and hearing crickets and bugs…its own peculiar music. And I like waking up impossibly early because the sun is so bright.

In the summer, my kids play outside. We go on adventure walks and toss sticks into the lake. We look for frogs. I scream. They laugh at me. We go home, exhausted, and fall asleep before it’s even dark.

And this summer, this summer, I’m going to sit on my deck, the deck of the house I will have, and I will put out Christmas lights so that the backyard sparkles like its own universe. I will play music and serve so many appetizers that my friends will wonder if I’ve finally gone over the Edge of Crazy. We will laugh. We will toast to the night and hot breezes. And when they’re gone, well, maybe then I’ll put that apron on…only it won’t be a stranger in my kitchen, but someone I’ve grown to know and love. And we won’t even need melted chocolate to get…

Okay. Someone needs to read a romance novel. And that someone is me. A perfect night to do it…it’s not summer yet, after all, but still frozen winter. But trust me…my life is about to heat up. I’m certain of it.