By K. Taylor, Aurora ON. Summer officially started with a bang last night. I mean hundreds of gorgeous, brilliant heart stopping bangs. Cascades of glitter, golden waterfalls and ruby explosions; a celebration of light swooping, sizzling and swirling into the night sky. Aurora really outdid itself this time, I’m quite sure last night’s were the best fireworks this ol’ town has ever put on.
So what does one do to follow such a night? Well after feeding breakfast to a couple of happy but bleary-eyed children, one checks it off the list of course.
I confess I’m one of those list people. The kind that have lists to keep track of their lists. I’m that person who writes down a chore already completed for the sheer joy of ticking it off. So last summer, when a friend told me about her “Summer Bucket List” I was at first excited, followed quickly by a sense of foreboding. After all, I spend my days trying to let go; simplify; live in the moment. Making a list of things we have to complete to enjoy our summer seemed counter-productive. How could we chill out with an ice cream and watch the clouds go by if we’re frantically filling in checkmarks and fretting over how to get it all done?
But I was intrigued and figured I’d throw caution to the gentle, caressing breeze and see what happened. Well, what happened was joyful. Instead of the list being one more thing to add to my other to-do list, it forced us all to stop and smell the roses (#43.)
So here is our Summer Bucket List for this year. Special thanks to Elaine who gave me the idea in the first place. Oh, and one last thing; it may seem that some of these are geared towards families with kids. Baloney! In this season, above all others, we are all kids at heart. Let the games begin!
50 Things You Simply Must Do This Summer (but no pressure.)
- Ride your bike to Fairy Lake, take the Nokiidaa trail all the way.
- Run barefoot in the grass.
- Eat fresh, local strawberries, raspberries, peaches. The best stuff on earth.
- Lie on your back and watch the clouds go by.
- Dance or play in the rain.
- Eat ice cream from the ice cream truck (it still tastes as good as it did when we were kids.)
- Go for an early morning nature bike ride or walk.
- Roast marshmallows or hot dogs over an open flame.
- Lie back and watch the stars.
- Head out to the MacKenzie Marsh and see what you can see.
- Lose yourself in a book for an entire afternoon.
- Swim outdoors. In a lake if you can, but even the kid’s turtle pool will do.
- Build a sandcastle, bonus points if there’s a flag and a moat.
- Head to a Farmer’s market or farm, wonder at the colours and smells. Pay with cash for that back to basics feeling.
- Walk barefoot in the sand, any sand.
- Bake cookies. Eat at least five. Feel a little sick.
- Go for an evening nature walk or bike ride.
- Drink from a hose.
- Eat watermelon.
- Stay in your PJ’s and veg in front of the TV, watching shows you haven’t seen since you were little (bonus points if you can include The Littlest Hobo or The Beachcombers.)
- Wash the car.
- Have dessert for dinner. Just once. Just for the sheer naughtiness of it.
- Play mini golf. Or regular golf if you’re so inclined.
- Climb a tree, I dare you.
- Play pooh sticks (Winnie-The-Pooh’s game of tossing twigs into a stream on one side of a bridge and seeing who’s comes out the other side first. Best. Game. Ever.)
- Search for a rainbow.
- Splash in a puddle. Bonus points if you’re over 30. Double bonus points if you’re over 60.
- Eat something you’ve grown yourself.
- Help someone else.
- Find a bug, watch it closely, let it go.
- Run through a sprinkler.
- Cover the driveway in chalk drawings.
- Play hopscotch.
- Play baseball, soccer, Frisbee, tennis… run like you haven’t since you were eight.
- Go on a walk through Sheppard’s Bush. Wonder at the peace in the heart of a busy town.
- Hop on your bike and ride for the sheer joy of the wind in your hair, forget that you ever knew the meaning of the words cardio; calorie burn or workout.
- Sit outside and daydream.
- Drink homemade lemonade (recipe below).
- Enjoy a campfire.
- Have a picnic.
- Eat a Popsicle. Bonus points if you sit on the curb as it drips down your fingers and leaves colourful streaks down your shins.
- Stop and smell the roses. Literally, not metaphorically.
- Create a list (I know…I know…) of all the wildlife you’ve spotted. Snails and worms totally count.
- Freeze fruit or herbs or make jam, save the taste of summer.
- Shuck peas.
- Try something new, anything.
- Swing till your feet touch the sky.
- Sit on a patio and enjoy your favourite drink, grown-up or otherwise.
- Laugh like you never heard of a to-do list.
I hope you enjoyed this list. I hope you try a handful or two of these things over the next two months. And whatever else, I hope none of us let this fleeting, happy season pass by while we’re busy fussing over our to-do lists.
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup lemon juice
4 cups water
Dissolve sugar in lemon juice. Add water and enjoy. Happy sipping!