"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

11 Sweet Senses of Summer Time

And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high.”
George Gershwin

Why is it that the senses explode during the summer?

As children, we soaked it all in: the touches, tastes, smells, sights, and sounds of that glorious period of freedom.

Summer takes on a different meaning as adults. We watch our children, or other youngsters, share similar experiences that we did in our youth. But beyond all that, we become children again as our senses bring back the memories of those lost days.

So shake off the cobwebs and go back to that simpler times of …

1. Popsicle sticks and glue

popsicle sticks, glue

2. Tetherball


3. The ding ding of the ice cream truck

ice cream truck

4. Hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill

summer, hot dogs, hamburgers

5. Making friendship bracelets

6. Finger Painting

summer, finger painting

 7. Kids fighting

 8. Carnival Rides

 9. Summer Camp

summer, summer camp, tug of war

 10. Sand on your feet

sand, feet

11. The Bookmobile


 What is it about summer that you love?


  1. I have never seen a book mobile! How wonderful is that? The rest I can identify with easily! Especially the kids fighting! :) We might replace friendship bracelets with origami. :)

    • Oh the bookmobile was the best. I was quite the book geek in grade school. The BM would come around every week. We would get certificates for reading so many books. Just loved that thing.

      I love your origami, BTW.

  2. OMG,,,I loved the Bookmobile,,,it was the coolest thing ever,,,I know I’m a dork.
    I sooo miss the taste of Banana, Lemon Lime and Root Beer flavoured popsicles in the summer,,why do all the coolest stuff become extinct I wonder?

    • Wasn’t it just the best. I was a total book dork, myself. Even though I spent most of my time outdoors, I still made time to read books off of the BM.

      Oh, I loved those root beer bomb pops (that’s what they were called in our neighborhood). Also had red, white, and blue ones too.

  3. I love summertime. I went to camp, so maybe that’s why I’ll forever love it. Long days. Letting your skin (and feet) breath instead of being bundled under layers of clothes. Grilling. Afternoon Happy Hours on the patio. As far as childhood memories go… I miss chasing those lightning bugs around. We don’t have them in Colorado.

  4. Anonymous says:

    MJ, I am DOWN with all of these activities. I just need someone to go to work for me!

    What I like about Summer is going to Maine, where it is cooler than here in Washington DC and I am by the sea. Perfect.

    • Just get yourself a work clone and you’re set.

      Do you get to stay in Maine for a long period of time, or just for a short vacation? You’re getting pummeled by the hot weather right now in DC.

  5. The smell of freshly mown grass, wild flowers, picnics, reading outside, soft summer sounds of evening outside, deckchairs, sandcastles…oh I could bore you for hours!! Lovely post mj xx

  6. I love visiting Minnesota with above zero temps. 😉

  7. Feeling more motivated to do things at night because it’s light out!

  8. I love fireflies, fireworks and butterflies, and waking up to birds singing every morning. I enjoy it more now that the woodpecker has taken up residence somewhere far away from my bedroom window. I hated that bird. In fact, I hated it so much, I considered buying a gun. Or a grenade. :)

    I also love that I can grill any time I please…without worrying about frostbite and my food being snowed on. Yes, I do grill in the winter.

    • You are dedicated to grill in the winter. I don’t even do that in California.

      Love your Woody the Woodpecker conflict. Glad you didn’t have to go to the grenade. That would have been so messy. :)

  9. Kricket says:

    I love having my girls home with me during the summer. BBQ’s, dinners with friends, movie nights complete with a full selection of “movie candy”, Staying up later, sleeping in, Pajama days, Play dates with friends (the girls friends and my friends), birthday parties, Breakaway summer camp volunteering (this week and next), coming up with “Cool dinners” on hot nights. I love the high temps (not happening so much this week, fortunately) $1 movies at the theaters on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, some
    day-trip travels.
    That about sums up my summer! Loving every minute of it!
    Now we just have to plana time to come down and get those surfing lessons we talked about last month. August/September was the best time, right? We’ll have to see what we can do. :O)

    • Definitely have to do the surf lessons. Aug, Sep, and beginning of Oct are all good (course the girls will be in school, won’t they?).

      You have a busy and fun summer going. Saw the pics of BA from Suzan on FB. Really cool sets.

      If you ever need to cool off, you know where to go. Not San Fran, San Diego. :)

  10. Melissa says:

    I love not making lunches, waking up slowly and long light nights in the garden. Oh, and taking the black out curtains (“school night” bedtime helpers) off the windows.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Aahh, summer. I can’t comment on Summer camp – practically non existant here in Aus. The Bookmobile was a fixture in my childhood – it ran on a weekly basis year round, and then they decided it wasn’t viable or some other adult thing and it was never seeen again. I used to love it, the wonder and excitement of climbing the steps into the darkened interior and looking for just the right things to read…. And the best bit, as I live in the country (i grew up 5k from where I live now) and we hada long drive…. it would park at our driveway… sweet. :)

    • Fantastic – you had the bookmobile right down the driveway? That would have been heaven for me. Mind you, we didn’t have to go far in our neighborhood, but how cool to have it right there.

  12. Judy Berman says:

    Right now … I’d settle for the Ice Cream man to drive down our block. But, my ultimate summer frolic would be to either be in the cool woods of Beaver Lake Nature Center outside Syracuse, N.Y. OR cruising thru a metropolitan city, visiting art museums, and sipping a latte at an outside cafe table as I watch the world go by.

  13. Hi,
    Summer for me is staying cool as much as possible, so I love the water, nothing more refreshing, whether it is the beach or under a waterfall in a fresh river, and of course the BBQ’s. :)

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  15. I loved tether ball! Getting out and riding my bike or skateboarding. Those were some of my favorites. Running through the sprinklers, too! Got my dad to chase the ice cream man half way across town once. The guy just wouldn’t stop! I don’t recall us having a bookmobile, but that is a pretty darn sweet one you have pictured. Dang!

    • Tetherball was awesome. I didn’t win a lot, but a fun game nonetheless.

      Those ice cream guys can be elusive when they want to.

      So sorry you didn’t have a bookmobile. They were so great.

  16. We lived on a big corner lot on an L-shaped road so our house was the hub of play. We spent the entire summer outside, riding, skateboarding, running through the sprinkler, and especially playing hide and seek until after dark, never afraid to tromp through neighbors’ yards and hide in their bushes. The sound of the bells from the Dickie ice cream bikes sent us scrambling for change and running down the street after it. And sunscreen was only required a couple of times a day.

    Now I love hiding from the heat and the sun so my hot flashes don’t turn me into a puddle, wear sunscreen all year round and reapply twice an hour on those days I have to be out. Lactose intolerance stopped ice cream binges years ago. And no kids better be hiding in my bushes at 11 p.m.!

    • I forgot about hide and seek, and a variation of that called “kick the can.” You had an old coffee can that was like the home “free” spot. Always played after dark!

      Wow, you had an ice cream bike?? That’s sweet.

  17. We can totally pick and choose here…right? (Like more ice cream truck and less kids fighting?) 😉

    Swimming and dining al fresco definitely top my list! I also get a little thrill when the lightning bugs come out.

  18. Ice cream to your heart’s content.

    Eating at an outdoor cafe in these parts, is purely sublime. Much like New Jersey.

  19. What do I love about summer? Besides all the things you mentioned (finger painting rocks!)… I love longer days, making s’mores by the campfire in our backyard. Picnic dinner at the beach, taking the dogs to the beach, hearing the laughter of kids in the backyard from early morning to long after the sun goes down. I love hearing the kids just hanging out talking about stuff that matters to them. Swimming in the pool on a hot summer day. Comic-Con. Tour de France. Olympics. Sweet ocean breezes through my office window while I’m working. And of course, popsicle sticks, glue, and finger paints.

    • Such a lover of life, my friend. Always a pleasure to see your name pop up on the blog.

      You have a great list, there. I should have consulted with you before writing this. Love the line about hearing the kids. So true. And who can argue with sweet ocean breezes.

      Hmm, I’m waiting for the s’mores invite. hehe

  20. This post has renewed my love of summer, my friend…Thanks!

  21. My favorite thing about summer is swimming in the ocean. :)

  22. What I love about summer is that in the evening/at night, you can sit outside with the stars out, the air is refreshing: not too cold, not too hot, not too humid, not too dry. And just listen to life. Have a happy summer! :-)

  23. Great nostalgia here, Mike, but I have to ask, “Did you go back about 30 summers to get the ‘new’ Gravatar?”

  24. I loved going out to the lake with my parents and family. Sadly, now I’ve come to associate summer with INTENSELY LONG workdays. Maybe I can start ‘snowbirding’ and find summer somewhere south during my winter months. :)

    • Isn’t it sad that summer becomes different as an adult. Especially when it’s associated with too much hard work.

      You should winter it in California. It’s in the low 70s in spring and summer here in Oceanside, and low 60s in the winter. Really heavenly.

  25. In my youth it was fresh fruit and fresh cut grass.

    Now it’s warmth and loooong days :)

  26. sunshine says:

    what i love about summer MJ is the whole sunny thing…long hot days that never seem to end, like–OMG! how is it 9pm already and not quite dark out and OMG! dinner!! it’s time to eat?? *wah*
    …enjoying the extra hours to sleep in
    …water play…icy margarita’s…sweating–just think of all the toxins we remove during the summer!
    great post! :)

  27. I love the heady smell of grass, just after it’s cut.

  28. As a kid I loved swimming at our local town pool all afternoon. I loved riding bicycles with my siblings, going to the Dairy Queen for a 25 cent ice cream cone.

    Now I swim in my own pool, looking out over the slope and woodlands below… I still love basking in the sun, and having a big bowl of ice cream too!! I guess things haven’t changed all that much now that I’m all grown up!

Love to hear from you.

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