Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Lovin'

Happy July!

In Oregon July means, after patiently waiting through the April showers that brought May showers that brought June showers we finally have SUN.

The concept of true sun worship is hard to explain to my readers in sunnier climes.

In places where Vitamin D supplements aren't a regularly prescribed part of everyone's regime and skin doesn't turn glow-in-the-dark pale, it's impossible to have a clear picture of the excitement accompanying the appearance of that warm yellow orb up in the sky.

People crawl out of their hiding spots. Sidewalk cafes are filled to the brim and summer festivals abound.

The streets are crowded with summer bicyclists who infuriate the hardcore year-round cyclists (my apologies in advance to all the impatient spandex wearers forced to swerve around my slow moving trio of bikes. Quick sidenote, this isn't an episode of Portlandia and yelling, "One-side," has the effect of making me and my kids all veer in opposite directions).

Portland is a young town.

At least that's what all our visitors from New York tell us. And if they're right, it never feels younger than during summer.

For some reason, summer here makes age feel irrelevant. It's the time of year when you can see tattooed dreadlock sporting moms dancing in the street with their equally tattooed and dreadlocked children. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure the kids tattoos aren't permanent.

Summer is the time of year when you might walk into your favorite gelato shop and find it occupied by alternative musicians using a 1970's synthesizer with slide cards and occasionally screaming out nonsensical lyrics. When your daughter begins to accompany said musicians on the untuned piano, it's the kind of place where those musicians nod and say things like, "Keep it real, little sister."

It's the time of year when you stop to notice the enormous sun painted on an intersection, talk to the foodies who run the food carts and spend every moment available outside. After all, summer is short and we have to store up the Vitamin D while it's available.

I'm sure you've already guessed this month's theme. It's all about summer, which is vague, I know. But if you're going to be vague, what better time to do it then in the hot, lazy days when bedtimes are late and life revolves around ice cream?

In fact, I'm feeling so vague I might extend this theme into two months. It's broad, summer is short and I have a lot to say that fits under my hazy, lazy umbrella.


Jessica Bell said...

I phased out at the mention of "gelato" ;o) hehe

Beylit said...

In Texas there is pretty much almost never a shortage of sun, and the oppressive heat that accompanies it. I have lived in Texas pretty much my whole life, so when my friends from the north who have sun deprivation talk longingly of sunny days, I always have trouble fathoming what that is like.

A few years back we had the strangest summer ever. It started raining in the first week of May, and did not stop until sometime in late August. It was pretty much constant rain the first month or so, and then the last half of it was sporadic, but there was at least an inch of rainfall every day, and as one would gather, the sun was in short supply.

I noticed that people became increasingly cranky the longer the rain lasted. Tempers grew short and no one was really happy. I am sure it is nothing compared to what yall experience, since come September that year it was bright and sunny through to the next September, but we had a little taste of it.

All I could think was it confirmed in my mind that I could never live someplace where sunny was not the norm.

Barbara Watson said...

Living in a northern climate, I can totally identify. I will enjoy your lovely theme (and may even reread these posts during the winter).

Joanne Noragon said...

Your photos are about youth and summer. Why not? Perfect. Enjoy.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

See, now I want to spend summer in Oregon. It sounds better than summer here, where it's gotten up to the 90s (and last week even up to 100 degrees). I think it's to make up for the rest of the year where we have single-digit weather. I do like the neighborhood festivals in Chicago, though, especially the Taste of Chicago where restaurant vendors sell their food and I don't have to feel guilty about eating a lot of it. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Um, is that Darth Vader in a kilt, riding a bike and playing the bagpipes?

Ciara said...

I grew up in Florida where skin cancer is prominent and sun is always shining. Oh, I have the same question as Dianne. LOL

Johanna Garth said...

Jess, I do the same!

Beylit, sun makes SUCH a difference in my mood.

Barbara, I love the idea of perserving a little summer for the chilly rainy days.

Thanks so much Joanne.

Neurotic, of course, food eaten at festivals never counts as calories. It's a rule!!

Diane and Ciara, yes it is. Portland is umm eccentric. My kids' favorite unicyclist was nary to be found when I did a photo search for him. But his unicycle is a double decker and I have no idea how he gets up on it!

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, man--you've made me so homesick! I love Portland and summer is definitely the time. I hear you, though, on that May showers and June showers thing. My daughter's birthday is April, and when we lived her her party was usually outside--MINE, in JUNE we coudl never count on.

Julie Flanders said...

Your post makes me want to visit Portland. It sounds like a fantastic city! I absolutely love Darth Vader riding the bike and playing bagpipes LOL.

Love your theme and I think two months sounds just right for it. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

I love the unicyclist! Husband rides one, but not with as much class as this guy :)

I haven't been to Portland, but it's on my list. Like someone else said, here in Texas we have mostly sun and heat.

Talli Roland said...

Could you please send some summer my way? It's been rain rain RAIN here in London...

Anonymous said...

Kilt Bike Vader?! Classic.

The Bookworm said...

Summer in Portland sounds like fun. Being from NJ we like to make the most of the hot summer months here as well. "Bedtimes are late and life revolves around icecream"-that sums it up nicely!