Summer Lovin’


By Chris Watson

“Summer lovin’ had me a blast…

Summer lovin’ happened so fast…”

–Grease, 1971

I fall in love every summer.  More accurately, I fall in love WITH summer, every summer. I was born on the first full day after the summer solstice and my mother seemed to think it affected me from that moment on. I get depressed when there isn’t any sun, I think anything cooked on charcoal, from raw to burnt, is worth eating, and I truly believe that soft serve ice cream served from a window has magical properties.

I also love fairs, festivals and farmers markets. And I don’t diet when I go to one.  Corn dogs, for

Corn dogs, slushes, snow cones, REAL lemonade..fair food is the best. And skip the calorie count. Nothing lo cal is served on a stick. Photo courtesy of

instance, are a no brainer.  Really anything on a stick. And don’t be giving me some dainty, sanitary, individualize packaged mustard either.  I want the mustard that squirts out of a big plastic gallon jug that has been sitting in the sun since…well we really can’t say how long that mustard has been sitting around but that risk is part of the fun.

Walking tacos seem to be all the rage.  I am not much of a fan.  Don’t’ misunderstand me, I still eat them.  Walking tacos are traditionally sold by groups who are promoting a worthy cause, like youth groups raising money for mission trips. The conversation usually goes:

“We are going to South Dakota to help a community after a flood.”

“That’s great, kid.  I’ll give you an extra buck if you load on more cheese and salsa…”

I am a sucker for anything sold out in the open.  Last summer I had to put a moratorium on purchasing homemade soaps when I discovered the 15 or so bars I had stashed away by early July. I didn’t need to buy soap in the grocery until April. And don’t get me started about all the little seasoning packs and dip mixes I pick up at stands during the summer markets.

Beyond the food and the heat, it is the atmosphere that I love. To be sure, someone will complain

There is something amazing about food cooked outdoors. Burnt edges are just a little extra minerals. Photo courtesy of

about the heat by noon on the first really hot day. I try, usually unsuccessfully, to keep my comments at bay. Yes, summer is HOT.  Yes, it can sometimes be hard to beat that heat. But summer is NEVER depressing.  Plus, having lived through summers in Kansas and Florida, we really don’t’ have it that bad.

And that is the crux of the matter. I love summer because I can never remember wishing for it to end.  Not once, not in all the summers I worked good or crappy jobs, went on vacation or not, had a good relationship or a not so good one, lived in a beautiful house or in a one bedroom apartment that leaked when it rained…not ONCE did I say:  “Please let this summer be over. All I want is the overcast, damp, cold grey of late fall.”

I am a definite lover of seasons and their change.  I love a good cold snap in September.  I love a dark, cold, silent December night lit only by a candle.  I love the fact that in April I consider 50 F warm enough to wear a tank top, shorts and sandals.

But Summer is the diamond in the seasonal crown.  And it is here!

Have a great Summer!

All photos courtesy of