My Essential Summer list * (*-Excludes NASCAR, sunburn, and lake swimming)

summer lede
photo credit: DSC01779 via photopin (license)

Things I want to do this summer

Everyone loves summer.

We count down the days ‘til it starts. We long for it in the depths of winter. Give us sun and sand, sleeping in and summer vacation. I’ve never been on board. Cooling autumn winds, short days and chilly nights sustain my soul the way the sun does others’.

Summer’s nearly here, though.

Antsy kids foreshadow summer. The Colorado Rockies find themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt, even though the playoff hunt won’t heat up for another four months. I’m a Vans kind of guy when the Carolinas turns to flip-flop weather.

Maybe summer can usher that renewal I’ve sought so deeply.

Connections can be restored, energy extended, faith reaffirmed, peace reestablished, stillness begun.

A hand back to feel rock bottom counts as close enough. A vice grip on the wheel with eyes closed and the myth of control abandoned will yield to a smooth road. Connections can be restored, energy extended, faith reaffirmed, peace reestablished, stillness begun.

No matter how long those take, when summer’s here, here’s what I’d like to do.

Lie on a blanket and gaze at the clouds.

Lie on a blanket and gaze at the stars.

Camp, fish, and camp again.

Fish somewhere new.

Get lost.

Be found.

Chill out.

Hear my kids again. Hear them want to share with me.

Accept my fate.

Embrace my fate.

Dip my feet in a mountain stream.

Feel healed.

Laugh. Laugh like life is good.

Meditate. Inside and outside.

Grill, cook, bake, and order takeout.

Play disc golf at sunrise.

Play disc golf as twilight approaches.

Set my mind to goals I’ve not even dreamed of yet.



Use sunblock.

Teach. Learn.

Climb. Rest. Climb more. Rest even more.

Pay my price.

Trust. Be worthy of trust.

Stop meditating on letting go of attachments, and practice it.

Waste an entire day. The whole thing.

Find health.

Play my harmonica.

Work late. Leave early.

Toss a closet-cleansing yard sale.

Find a new show, like The Bletchley Circle. Watch it a lot, but don’t become a slave to it.


Hike on a Sunday morning (or many Sunday mornings) with Marie.

Fish on a Saturday morning (or many Saturday mornings) with Grace.

Work out on a Friday morning (or many Friday mornings) with Elise.

Sit in the bleacher seats at day baseball games and score the game. Not care about anything else around me but the way a game unfolds simply and beautifully and uniquely.

Outrun a thunderstorm.

Help one of my kids with an outlandish idea.

Take a ball and snacks and drinks and my kids to a field.

Do that with other kids, too.

Walk alone. Walk with others.

Feel the sand in my toes, feel the salt of the sea on my lips. It’s been a long time.

Write. Read. Read even more. Maybe even a book. Writing and reading.

Feel the grass on my feet, the breeze in my hair and the sun on my face.

Love myself again.

summer quote.jpg



  1. You, Marie, Grace and Elise are so blessed to have one another. May your Summer be filled with joy, peace and love.

  2. I love that list. I’m an autumn/winter kind of person myself.
    The weather here is just beginning to cool and we are almost finished autumn. Bring on the cold I say!

  3. Summer is truly my favorite season here as I think you already knew about me. So, I couldn’t love more your post here dedicated to my favorite time of the year and yes I hope to get to do all of the above and more this upcoming summer season now, too! 🙂

  4. You made a summer bucket list!!! My daughter makes one every summer. I love this and I especially love the quote at the end!

    We have 4 days until schools officially for the summer!

  5. Great post! A wonderful reminder of all the fun that Summer brings but I too am a fan of Fall… Cooler days, football and scarfs! Have a great week!

    1. “Bucket” implies I’ll kick one at the end. I believe they’ll all play out how they’re supposed to, Eric, and that I’ll still be standing (or leaning) at the end. And really for Autumn.

      1. Summer is good. Fall is my favorite. Warm days. Cold nights. Perfect weather for running. You can sometimes feel the world quieting down getting ready to sleep.

      1. Nope, not really… Well, having said that, we have rather unusual mild temperature at the moment and the water is cold all the time anyway, so might still try some of them over the next days 😉

      1. For some reason Fall makes me feel so warm and comforted! Yes it would probably lose it’s allure! I need to make a list for sure! I am not ready for summer lol

  6. I, myself, am a Fall/Spring kinda girl. I think it’s the settling in/waking up that happens in those seasons. It feels like a rebirth of sorts to me.
    I love this post. A lot. I see a lot of myself in it and my own goals for the season I’m heading into in my own life. Not gonna label it a “bucket list” because it’s more a self inventory to me. Goals are good but you’re making note to enjoy the journey TO those goals and that’s what stands out to me. You’ll get there. Baby steps and deep breaths.

    1. I could handle fall and spring back-to-back, Nikki. The transitions are magical. It’s a movement away from harsh cold and harsh heat.

      I’m glad you liked this post. I didn’t want it to read like a bucket list. It is a new season for me, too.

      Self inventory takes place on its own. At this point, it’s more about experience to me than reaching goals.

      Maybe those experiences will reveal my next goals.

      1. Yes, yes, and yes.
        Meander and explore and everything else will fall into place. Happy Friday Eli. I hope your weekend holds good things.

  7. Yes, yes and YES to all of it!!
    Hubby and I just watched Bucket List with Nicholson and Freeman last night and maybe that is the trick: you need someone else to do the list and hold you accountable! We need a Master List and keep encouraging one another to cross those items off. And, allow some space for those spontaneous moments like backyard BBQs and running through a cool sprinkler and eating Popsicle on the front lawn.
    Okay, so I did those 3 : you’re up Coach. 🙂

    1. Thanks Les! Oh, I hated that movie. You’re right though – accountability, with a partner in crime or published post, motivates.

      Mine’s more a guideline, and contains so many items impossible to metric. That’s fine with me.

      Just reviewed my list. Yes, I’ve gotten three, at least. I wouldn’t mind doing them again.

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