lazy summer days? (soLs)

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live”  — Lin Yutang

I strive for this on summer days. I wake up early, attempting to get my 1000 words in before all of the kids are up. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Often our days don’t have anything specific on the agenda. This is especially true here in the early days of summer because I have a couple days each week for the month of June committed to school.

Yet we haven’t seemed to stumble upon spending an afternoon in a perfectly useless manner. (Yet.) Our days, completely clear when I get up in the morning are filled by this and that (all good, of course) and I find myself pleasantly exhausted by a very good day at the end of it.

Here are the things filling our days.

  • Books. We are reading piled on the couch, under the shade tree, around a camp fire, on the swing set, under the clouds, in the car, and around the kitchen table. It is great.
  • Bike rides. Yesterday I forgot my watch. I didn’t turn back, because time didn’t matter. We could be gone as long as we wanted, no rush.
  • Softball games. And T-ball games. And professional baseball games. It’s great spending time at the ballpark. It really is a happy place.
  • Skateboarding. This is one for the little guy. He spends hours on his skateboard. The girls ride their bikes. I pull on my old roller blades. We’re quite the crew. Tonight Andy and I took Sam to the skate park after his game. (The girls were busy doing their own thing.) It was relaxing just watching him try and try and try again to learn the art of skateboarding.
  • Swimming. Our neighbors rock and invite us over to use their pool. Andy’s parents invite us to their lake house. Hannah goes to the pool three times a week for swim team practice. We just may be permanently prune-y be the end of the summer.
  • Braids. I’m braiding both girls’ hair each day. I’m going to need to spend some time pinning new braid ideas because I may run out of my own ideas soon.
  • Trains, Hot Wheels, dominoes, and marble runs. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
  • Cooking. Strawberry shortcake and ribs and sloppy joes and cole slaw and grilled chicken and stuffed mushrooms and watermelon are just a few of the things filling up our kitchen. Yum.
Maybe one of these days we’ll hit a perfectly useless afternoon. Then again, maybe we have already. 
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7 Comments »

  1. Yesterday was my first useless day. My mom asked, “What did you do today?” and I answered with a genuinely happy, “Nuh-thing!”

    It sounds like you are putting your non-useless summer moments all to good use, though!

  2. I don't even have a favorite line, Ruth, I like them all. I do remember sitting on a porch on hot afternoons with lemonade & a book, but suspect it wasn't nearly as long as I think. Someone has to prepare the lemonade or the shortcake, etc. But summer brings such a promise to us, doesn't it? And it seems that you are keeping those promises very well indeed. Thanks for sharing such delight.

  3. What a wonderful way to spend your days, Ruth. Such succinct yet descriptive words. I'm not sure such memory-making activities could be called useless, but you have certainly learned how to really live. Have fun!

  4. Summer is such a lovely time to participate in unstructured activities. In teaching we are so fortunate to be able to enjoy this in our adult lives. I agree about time at the ballpark and it being a happy summer place. I like the way you shared what fills your days.

  5. Summer is such a lovely time to participate in unstructured activities. In teaching we are so fortunate to be able to enjoy this in our adult lives. I agree about time at the ballpark and it being a happy summer place. I like the way you shared what fills your days.

  6. I love how you're filling your summer with family togetherness and family relaxation. It's so important for kids to know how to unwind in ways that don't involve a video game or television. What perfect gifts you're giving your family! And the food — yum!