Today is Summer Solstice … June 21st, the advent of summer and the longest day of the year … if you're north of the equator, that is. For the folks down under, it's the shortest day of the year and winter sets in. I'm glad I'm in New England because summers here are absolutely grand.
We hear the local kids out early in the morning. The same kids that grouched about having to get up early for school are now up early without prodding and heading out for summer adventures. I remember early morning swimming lessons and running wild in our woodsy little neighborhood with an unparalleled freedom and feeling of abandon. Much like sailing, I'd say.
There are certain signs of summer that fill me with nostalgia. The musical sounds of the ice cream man as his truck wends its way through the neighborhood streets … usually just around dinner time to the dismay of parents. The kids clamber up to the truck with their nickels (that was when I was young), I mean dollars, and choose some mouth-watering delight from the smiling vendor's endless list of wonderful frozen novelties.
Beach chairs are set strategically at the ends of docks at freshwater beaches. Local ponds always have muddy bottoms and I used to hate it when my feet sank into the oozy, thick slime. Best to keep afloat as long as you could. The swimming pools have opened and soon they'll be swarmed as the temperatures continue their upward trend … at last.
Carnivals, sponsored by the local Lion's Club or the Rotary or the Elks, come to town. I like to watch the amusements, but we're not inclined to jump on board any rides that swirl you in the air upside down, then jerk you around precariously. We've watched how fast the carnies set up these rides and it doesn't provide too much confidence. Not to mention, I'm really a carousel kind of girl.
Long summer days here are characterized by sweating, the sound of June bugs and cicadas and spacious blue skies often darkened by late afternoon thunderstorms. Warm, humid nights bring fireflies and the sounds of owls hooting nearby. Though we wish were back aboard Nine of Cups, perhaps experiencing a long awaited New England summer beats living aboard through a cold, wet winter in South Australia.