From the RevGals, Presbyterian Gal writes:
It’s August. An oppressively hot and humid month where many of us live.
I remember the Al Pacino movie (Dog Day Afternoon) though not much about the plot. Just that it was very, very hot. And he had giant sweat stains on his shirt.
As I pass through this year’s dog days in my felon ridden neighborhood (OK, just two housefuls. But isn’t that enough?), I am trying to focus on the blessings apparent around me, past and present, that I might not notice, necessarily. In that spirit, this week’s Friday Five goes thusly:
1. What is your sweetest summer memory from childhood? Did it involve watermelon or hand cranked ice cream? Or perhaps a teen summer romance. Which stands out for you?
Sweetest summer memory...hmmm...there are lots! Going to 4th of July fireworks, getting scared by the loudness and crawling into the safety of my mom's lap; getting my first bike for my birthday (which Dad had made for me); catching fireflies in the back yard with my sister; driving in to Marriott's Great America with my best friend and a couple of other people, and later, with my boyfriend Tony, his best friend Rob and Rob's girlfriend Jenny...jeez, I'm almost a Capra movie here.
2. Describe your all time favorite piece of summer clothing. The one thing you could put on in the summer that would seem to insure a cooler, more excellent day.
When I was 11 or so, I had a reversible halter top that made me feel Very Grown Up. It looped over my head and tied in the back, leaving my back mostly open and creating the illusion of a bosomy presence in the front. I was pretty sure I was 20 when I was wearing it...and because it was reversible, it went with LOTS of my shorts. :-)
3. What summer food fills your mouth with delight and whose flavor stays happily with you long after eaten?
Fresh sweet corn, dripping in butter and gritty with salt. Garrison Keillor's right about this; it's one of life's great pleasures. Maybe not THE best thing, but it's up there!
Strawberry shortcake (fresh strawberries and real whipped cream on angel food cake) is a close second, and my favorite birthday treat.
4. Tell us about the summer vacation or holiday that holds your dearest memory.
My dad's side of the family went to the same family-run resort in northern WI for years and years, starting in the 1930s. We went there every summer, sometimes bringing our best friends along. Often, there'd be another group of the extended family in one of the place's three cabins, so there was always someone to hang out with. They had an old-fashioned soda machine whose lifted lid revealed bottles of Squirt, RC, Orange Crush, Hires root beer...fantastic. Many, many sweet memories there of swimming in the lake, walking in the woods, baiting my sister's fish hook (OK, that's less sweet) and playing cards at the kitchen table while eating chocolate-covered peanuts. Canasta, anyone?
5. Have you had any experience(s) this summer that has drawn you closer to God or perhaps shown you His wonder in a new way?
We got Linus & Lucy. Their groundedness in the present has made them gurus to me on one level. :-) The sweetness of sleepy puppies fills me with gratitude for them and for my family in a new way, too. My friend Ruth has a series of Dog Parables that describe the loveliness of this from a spiritual perspective; check out her musings about her dog Smokey!
Bonus question: When it is really hot, humid and uncomfortable, what do you do to refresh and renew body and spirit?
A cool shower usually can restore me from Supreme Humidity Crabbiness to something resembling reasonable behavior. That, and an icy diet Coke...and as little motion as possible. When I was a kid, before air conditioning was such a "normal" condition in homes, my mom used to take us to the movies. That was fun! :-)