Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Is it Summer Yet?

By Joanne Rock

I hate to sound as whiny as your school-aged kids, but all week, I’ve been dying for summer to arrive. Not the solstice per se. I don’t need the official date that marks the change of season. But I crave the summer that begins with the last day of school and means that I have months ahead where I don’t have to wake up to an alarm clock.

Anita on Flickr "Once Upon a Time Was Summer"
Now, I sincerely apologize to those of you who have to wake up to an alarm clock all summer long. I don’t know how you do it. One of the criteria for choosing my job as a writer was having flexible hours since I’m not a morning person. I will work an insane number of hours in a week—no problem! Just don’t make any of those hours six a.m.

Or, for that matter, regimented. I’ve been self-employed long enough to recognize that it is the repetition of the daily alarm that is most troublesome for me during the school year. There’s something so relentless about its chirpy announcement day after day after day. I wouldn’t mind an alarm so much if it went off at various times, perhaps.

My hat is off to my youngest teenage son, who starts his school day at 7:05 a.m. That’s when he is in a class and paying attention (in theory, anyway). I’m lucky I can drive him to school at that hour. I’d certainly never be able to sit in a classroom and absorb a lesson until 9. And only then after some serious time with my coffee cup.

Stephanie Vacher, Flickr, "tire swing"
I do a lot of thinking work in my job as a writer and sleepiness is a death knell for thinking. Have you ever tried thinking while you’re tired? The end result is you fall asleep. So over the years, I’ve worked hard to maximize my most alert times. And during the summer, I have far more of them because I’m well-rested. It’s a lovely feeling.

Today, I’m wishing you days of not waking up to an alarm. Days where the song of birds or a sliver
of sun brings you to slow wakefulness. Or maybe a hot guy beside you. Any of those are preferable to the electronic wail that is the counterpart of my school year.

While I’m at it, I’m going to wish you all a summer full of simple joys like you savored when you were a school-aged kid yourself and the summers felt endless. Swimming with friends. Picking flowers. Riding bikes to nowhere. Or – knowing you—maybe you were happiest in the summer when you were laying on a blanket in the backyard with a good book.

***Share with me today the happiest moments of summer past so we can all look forward to the dog days! I’ll give one random poster a copy of my latest Harlequin Superromance, NIGHTS UNDER THE TENNESSEE STARS.


girlygirlhoosier52 said...

I love sitting on the screen porch and reading.

Sterkowski said...

If you need new summer hat Check our webstore :)

Marissa Yip-Young said...

Family picnics in the park.

dstoutholcomb said...

We had a pool in our backyard, and it was great playing in it all summer.


Diane Jones said...

Think the happiest summer days were those spent at our camp in East Berne when the kids were young - not a care in the world and able to enjoy summer to the fullest. And often had family and friends there enjoying it with us. As the song goes "those were the days".

jcp smith said...

summer just seemed to last longer back when I was a kid

Deanne said...

My happiest memories of Summer past are of visiting my grandpaents every Summer for the whole Summer vacation at their cottage. That was 3 months worth of the best grandparents around. They lived in the country in Pennsylvania and I now live in the country in Pennsylvania but not near where they lived. I swam in the creek and had fresh vegatables from the garden. I remember chipmunks used to get into the house somehow and store nuts in the dresser drawers and under the pillows, yet we never saw them in the house. Ah, the lazy days of Summer. I miss them ! Thank you for the book giveaway opportunity.

penney said...

I love being with the girls out shopping and having short trips all together and in the evenings sitting back and reading out on the porch with ice tea. it gets hot here in the 90's to 108. Last year it got up to 112 I hope it don't this year.

Laney4 said...

Lying down on a blanket or beach towel in the backyard - reading while getting a tan (long before sunscreen was invented).
Playing Monopoly on the front porch, screened in on three sides by a Dutchman's Pipe Vine and staying cool.
Walking to the library by myself.
Stopping in at the bakery on the way home so I could "sneak" round buns. Shhhh!

Mary Preston said...

When I was a child we always holidayed up the coast. There is nothing better than falling asleep to the roar of the ocean.

Sue Peace said...

First of all, I am glad I've found someone else who is not a morning person!! After years of working night shifts, I can't function until well after 0900!!! ;) I could also never manage a Mon-Fri job - I love having days off during the week!

My favorite summer times are heading to the beach with food, kids and a good book!! :) Now that they are older (14 and 16) I really miss the days when they were little and I'd pack up the beach toys also and off we'd go, for hours of fun playing in the sand, swimming, etc. Although we still have good times with them, they are just different times and sometimes I really, really miss the little times, lol!!

I also am so looking forward to their summer vacation (doesnt' start here until the end of June)...I love having the kids home. :)

Christy said...

Picnics at the park! I have a cute summer story to share. My seven-year-old daughter, who is out of school for the summer already, asked me this morning when daddy would be done with work. I answered with the usual time, around five or so. She said, "No, I mean when will he be done with work for the summer?" She's definitely a daddy's girl and was quite disappointed with my answer. Thanks for sharing! Wishing those simple joys right back 'atcha!

Joanne Rock said...

Sue, I miss the days when my boys were little too!! I took them to the park for hours on end while my critique partner and I brainstormed books. Love the sound of squealy kid laughter in the background and knowing they were happy. I have to say, some of my biggest joys with them now is hearing them tease and joke with each other when they are reunited. It's rewarding to see how their relationship grew and still rewards them (and me!!). But yes... miss those days of little-ness :-)

Joanne Rock said...

Our winner for the thread is girlygirl! All you need to do to claim your prize is email me at and I'll get your prize out to you ASAP! Thank you so much for visiting with me this month and helping me wish summer a little closer :-).