RSS

Tag Archives: summer

Music That’s Hitting the Spot Right Now

Header-01

It’s rare that I find music that truly hits the spot with me, but I’ve done it!  Bwahahaha.

Something in my soul is yearning for the cold metal of a tailgate on the back of my thighs while a fire heats my shins.  I want to lock eyes with Mike while the smoke tangles in our hair and beer bottles sweat in our hands. I want the pinch of a sunburn on my shoulders and the pink in my cheeks, to trade snow boots for flip-flops and freedom. My hands miss the calluses of hard labor and I’m nostalgic for the pain my shoulders after 8 hours at the factory.  Late nights, early mornings, sunsets bleeding into sunrises and a day of barely being able to keep my eyes open.

While there are aspects of a blue collar life that are unbearable in the eyes of some, I can’t help but admire those people who have dedicated themselves to hard work and to see their lives through rose-colored glasses.

I think that’s why I like this music…  It has the power to make me feel this way, to ignite that burn in my muscles that’s so familiar, yet merely a ghost of a memory.  When I hear it, I can smell summer corn floating on the air and I can faintly taste the well water from jelly jars.

You’ll be doing yourself a favor to listen if you’ve ever felt like I have.  Here you go:

Turnpike Troubadours

American Aquarium

Ballroom Thieves

J. Charles and The Trainrobbers

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Daily Happenings

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Itching for Some Fremont Fun

It never fails.  As soon as I get a taste of warm weather, I want to go home.  

I want to drive the back roads to Fremont with my windows down, with country music on the radio and a bottle of Diet Pepsi next to me.

I want flip-flops and jeans that are too long.

I want brown skin and messy hair tamed only by a bandana.

I want to smell Heinz ketchup in the air from the factory on 6th and sugar beets from the hill by the fairgrounds.

I want to hear sprint cars revving and beer cans cracking.

I want the cloud spewing from the top of Davis-Besse to be visible on the horizon from Cole Road.

I want to hear my footfalls on the familiar block I run in the sun.

I want Root’s chicken sandwiches and Depot Pizza.

I want to end up at a bonfire and to watch the smoke disappear into the stars.

Mostly, though, I just want to drive.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Daily Happenings

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What I Learned from Watching Children Fight in the Grass

What I saw on last night’s run:

___________________________________

On a late summer afternoon, the grass sways lazily in Autumn’s approaching breath.  The sun is still warm and cutting slants through the trees, and jets move silently through the sky, leaving white trails that spread out and disappear into clouds.  A cardinal is chirping in a nearby tree, the smell of grilled hamburgers is in the air, and the sounds of children laughing in backyards while they throw grass at one another bounces off the houses. 

In the front yard of a white house with blue shutters, four children sit in a circle in the grass.  They are only four or five years old, and there are three boys and one little girl.  All of the boys are shirtless and wearing “play” shorts.  The little girl is in a blue and white sailor dress, her hair mussed on one side, her cheeks rosey.  They all laugh. 

Then one boy tackles another.  They play fight, roll in the grass.  The other boy jumps in on the fight.  They growl.  The girl twirls a piece of grass in between her fingers and watches intently as they begin to tumble into a shallow ditch near the yard.  She hesitates, inches forward and settles back down, then moves forward again and tickles the feet of the boy at the bottom of the pile.

One of the other boys gets up, runs around the girl and plops himself in front of her, blocking her from the boy’s feet.  She smiles, leans back and crosses her arms.  

The cardinal continues to chirp.

The boys continue to fight.

And the girl has gotten her first lesson in dating.

____________________________________

Oddly enough, I saw this in only a matter of seconds as I ran past the house.  It just seemed so clear to me that it encompassed everything about the way boys and girls interact.  The girl wants to play like the boys, but they’ve already singled her out as different.  She likes the one who doesn’t want anything to do with her.  And the boy that does like her?  The one who can’t stand the fact that she’s tickling somebody else’s feet, well, she wants nothing to do with him.

It’s no wonder that so many love lives are full of turmoil or difficulty.

We’re all lucky to find that guy whose feet we want to tickle, and who actually wants us to.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Domesticity

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My Super Awesome Amazing Weekend

I had a crazy busy weekend.  But it was so amazing!

Friday:  Went home and saw my parents.  Drank a bottle of wine.  Watched Jackass.  Listened to my brother sing, “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood.  We went to bed at 3am (which is really late for me!).

Saturday:  We were awoken by the sounds of roofers tearing off our shingles at 8am.  Mike and I went for a long walk around Fremont, then got ready to go to the Cleveland Indians game with my Mom, Dad, brother Jason and his girlfriend Katie.  We got up there and sat at the Thirsty Parrot for awhile before the game.  We realized Taylor Swift was in town, and my mom got really really tipsy once we made her take a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake shot.  🙂

The game was awesome.  LaPorta hit a homerun at the end to win it for the Indians!  Then we watched the Rock’N’Blast fireworks show (which is farking amazing, by the way).

I was obviously tipsy, myself.  This is a photo of my cousin Britta and me, and also, Mike and me.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Sunday:  The roofers woke us again.  Mike and I  went to Cedar Point.  It was so so so hot.  I almost passed out in the middle of the line for the Maverick.  We had a lot of fun, though, and rode all the big rides and exhausted ourselves to the point that we got home, jumped in the pool, and pretty much fell asleep.

Monday:  We took Monday off, and hung out by my parents’ pool for a little bit.  But then it clouded up, and all of the sudden we had a tornado warning, and the sirens were going off.  The roofers had gone home for a bit to take one of the workers to the hospital (rolled ankle) and the roof had a gaping hole in the top.  Dad and I climbed up there and managed to nail down some plastic before the rain picked up.

We stuck around long enough to see my momma and then we came back to Brunswick.  Rented Cedar Rapids, ate Chinese food, and wound down from the long weekend.

I like those kinda weekends.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Daily Happenings

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Adult Summer

Do you know what adult summer means?

FARKING NOTHING!  It means nothing.  There isn’t some huge long break to look forward to anymore.  You can still stay out late at bonfires and concerts, but you’re going to be dragging ass at work in the morning.

So for now, I will remember kid/teen summers:

Cartoons in the morning
The sweet “ooh OOH ooh ooh ooh” of the mourning doves
Bologna sammiches on white bread
Running through the sprinkler
Catching lightning bugs
Sneaking out late to shoot hoops in the driveway
Letterman and Leno
80’s rock in my 1990 Cutlass Ciera
Bonfires
Hide n Seek
Camping out
Toilet papering trips
Long long bike rides
Entire weekends at Grandma’s house
Lottery tickets in the spokes of our bikes
Mud pies
Mopeds
Rollerblading in the cemetery down the road
Climbing trees
Falling asleep with no worries
Swimming at Whirlpool Park and the Chemi-Trol pool
Tacos and footlong hot dogs
Softball
Kickball tournaments
Dirty feet
Nicktoons
Tangled hair
Late night swims
Cedar Point
4-wheeling
Backyard wrestling
Reading for fun

Oh man.  Kids, appreciate your summers.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 21, 2011 in 1990's Nostalgia, When I Was Young

 

Tags: , ,

And then there was nothing to look forward to…

Remember when it was all shoobopshebangshebang?

They say once you hit 25 years old, the time seems to just fly past you.  This is true.  And I know why.

  • When you’re a little kid, you look forward to staying up late.
  • When you’re in elementary school, you look forward to art class, recess, Saturday morning cartoons.
  • When you’re in junior high, you look forward to seeing that boy or girl you like in the hall and the end of the day.
  • When you’re in high school, you look forward to the end of each class, to the parties on the weekends, and college.
  • When you’re in college, you look forward to the next kegger, the end of the next paper, the end of a test, Thirsty Thursday, fall break, spring break, summer, to being a senior.
  • When you’re in grad school, you look forward to finding your scene downtown, to going for long walks and talking intelligently with people who are interested in the same things that you are.  And again, you look forward to breaks and summer etc.

But once you hit the real world…

You realize that there are no classes that you look forward to.  You still live for the weekends, but the weekends are so short.  There are no long breaks to look forward to, and really no end point to anything.  That is why it is so important to like your job.  You’re doing it 40 hours a week, almost 52 weeks a year, until you’re 65 (70 for the Gen-Y kids).

As a single adult, it’s hard to find things to look forward to.  Currently, I am looking immediately forward to the following:

  • The weekend
  • My cousin’s baby shower
  • Meeting my friend’s baby
  • Swimming
  • Seeing Mike in 2 weeks
  • Doing my darn laundry

Is that sad?

Long term, I look forward to:

  • Having Mike with me on more than just the weekends
  • Marriage
  • Babies
  • Moving out of my apartment
  • Moving into a house
  • Getting that passion for writing back
  • Being able to forget sometimes

The long term is so far away.  The point is that you look forward to things as a kid, and that just makes time drag.  When you’re in a whirlwind adulthood and you’re constantly focusing on the now and making yourself better each day, you kind of lose track of time.  Hell, it’s the middle of summer and I’m not even sure how we got here.  It’s crazy.  Time really does fly.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Daily Happenings, Domesticity

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Summer Feet

I am not so patiently awaiting my summer feet.  In the Winter, we all get soft, padding around in Mukkaluks, boots, those horrendous looking Ugg things that people wear (but I hear are quite warm).  We walk around our house in fluffy penguin socks and store away our flip-flops.  And then we slip on rain boots (well, those of us in Ohio anyway) for about 3 months before the summer because God forbid we have a dry day.

But not me.  Oh no.  I’m working on my summer feet.  I’m wearing those flip-flops already, sliding around in them until I twist my ankle.  And if it gets below 40 degrees, I’m wearing my Sperry’s, sans socks, because I’m ready for summer feet.

I used to be able to run across my grandparents’ gravel driveway barefoot and not think a thing of it.  I want that back.  I want those tough callused feet that could withstand anything.  And I want to not care if my feet are dirty.

Take Jenny for instance:

Jenny's Feet After a Weekend in DC and Cooperstown, NY

Oh we ran barefoot and in flip-flops through fields of goldenrod.  We climbed trees and felt the bark with our souls…and our soles.


Those were the days.  Let’s do that again, friends.  Say in Wilmington?  This July?  We can run barefoot like madmen and drink on docks?

Wait, I know why I don’t have my summer feet yet…I need to have someone to romp around with.  Okay friends–we now have a mission.

Happy Friday!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Daily Happenings, When I Was Young

 

Tags: , , , ,

Running Barefoot in the Stone Circle

I spent the majority of every summer barefoot, running through my grandparents’ yard in Clyde, Ohio, though the ditch and past the row of pine trees, underneath the front porch and back behind the barn that left white marks on our fingertips as we ran our ringers along its wind-battered sides.  I loved the way the grass felt underfoot, soft and green after a quick morning rain or crisp and sharp as our parents’ voices when a drought threatened.

There’s something to be said about walking over the earth barefoot, through grass and dirt, mud and gravel, but nothing felt so wonderful as the warm stone circle in the back corner of the yard I roamed over.  I knew every inch of my grandparents’ property, around the house where the pricker bushes pushed us at least three feet away from the farthest outreaching branch to avoid the ever-frightening situation of our feet up in Grandma’s lap and needles and tweezers poking through the skin that withstood so much.  I knew where the sharpest rocks were in the stone driveway, towards the edges where hardly any cars were driven, and where the gravel was crushed so much that it felt like powdered sugar between my toes.  After the white blossoms fell from the cigar tree, my cousins and I would pile them up and imagine that we were running through sweet-smelling clouds as petals got caught between our toes in a euphoric and angelic sight and finally we would collapse in them for the sheer enjoyment of sinking into the whole cycle of things.  But of all of the places I felt on the bottoms of my feet, the stone circle was still my favorite.

It was only about four feet across in any and every direction, although I never bothered to measure it.  I assume it was made of concrete, but nothing like the concrete that paved our sidewalks at home or covered the bottom parts of the walls in our classrooms.  It was dark and mottled, littered with colonies of insects and each crack was the home to some new and interesting plant that sprouted a multitude of colors.  It wasn’t a perfect circle, straight on some edges and cracked and crumbling on others, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.  The sweet summer sweat on dirty skin, the smell of cut grass and thunderstorm, the gold foil sun high in the sky never felt better than it did from the stone circle that sat tilted in the back corner of my grandparents’ yard.

Summer is sacred to children, sacred in a way that adolescents dismiss and adults have lost complete sight of.  In the early mornings, when the grass is still wet and cool and the air was thick with moisture and mischief, before the rest of my cousins arrived, I wander outside to watch the sun reflect off of the roads.  I love the way it gathers in shimmery pools where the road dips and disappears and fills with water, but always drains before I  can reach it, before I can baptize myself in the sun water.  The roads and their images are fleeting, but my stone circle always remains.

I felt most content there by myself, when I could enjoy everything that encompassed me, in me and outside of me, through me and beneath and above me.  The warmth from the sun was somehow captured in the small circle I lay in, climbing up through my clothes and onto the small of my back, my hip, each shoulder and arm.  It was almost intimate, trying to push as much of my body against the stone at one time-starting with the souls of my feet.  Most of the time I imagined the circle conforming to my body, curving to fit the curves I barely had as a child, trying to sink into the stone, to disappear and to be seen.  But most of all, to feel.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 21, 2011 in When I Was Young

 

Tags: , , , ,

The Track that Action Built

60 degrees outside.

The first time warm weather emerges from the winter like the fiery red snout of a fox from a briar patch, I think of the racetrack.


Every Saturday night during the summer of 2004, I climbed into a bright blue dune buggy, slid my glasses down off my head, and headed to Fremont Speedway.  We always parked at the bottom of the hill, climbed up so that the dust swirled around the bottom of our pants, so we looked like we belonged.  Among the sea of neon t-shirts and torn jeans, we walked.  The pits were buzzing with jumpsuits and sprint wings, and the people from Tennessee put lawn chairs atop their trailers and watched from the sky.

Moths danced through the path of the stadium lights, racing one another to the brightest spot in Fremont.  The sun always set right behind turn 3, opposite the Grandstand where we sat, bathed in an orange afterglow.

The National Anthem sung high and proud to the flag waving in the dust from practice runs sent chills down my spine.

The push trucks, driven by friends and relatives, pushed each sprint car until it snarled to life on the dirt track.

3… And once everyone was lined up,

2…the crowd on their feet,

1…and the town roared with the wave of a green flag.

I cannot wait to go back.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 18, 2011 in Daily Happenings

 

Tags: , , ,

Camp Lackawanna Grow Up

I never went to summer camp, but lately, I’m regretting that decision.  I did go to Camp Storer for a week in sixth grade.  I wasn’t ready for it.  I cried almost every night.  I cried when this douchebag counselor named Dirk reenacted the Underground Railroad way too realistically.  I quit halfway up the climbing wall.  I did like the cabin, though, and the ghost stories, and the night there was a tornado warning. I liked knowing there was a cabin of BOYS just across the field.  I dunno…just didn’t wanna be there in sixth grade.

But now I wish I woulda pulled summer camp duty.  As an adult, nothing seems as though it’s off limits.  If you’re old enough to pay, you’re old enough to do it.  I pay taxes, loans, bills…therefore, I can drink, live alone, have wine for dinner, pick the color of my curtains…  Whatever happened to someone telling me I can’t?

Because you all can agree with this:  When someone tells you that you can’t, it’s so much more fun when you get away with it.

So I propose to you, my friends and bloggies, that we begin a summer camp–FOR ADULTS.

We shall call it Camp Lackawanna Grow Up, and it will be in the hills.  We’ll have to earn our alcohol by winning competitions and races to the mess hall, and or we’ll have to sneak it in.  This is where the flasks engraved with “Shameless” that Jenny and I bought for each other will come in handy–whiskey and wine, baby.

There will be bonfires at least three times a week, and an endless supply of marshmallows for s’mores.  There will be ghost stories, and cuddling by the campfire.

NO co-ed cabins.  If you’re going to sneak a boy into your cabin, well you’d better get permission from your other bunk mates, and make them vow to never rat you out.  And then you have to keep the giggles under control when said man begins to snore and you have to pretend it’s you.

There will be canoeing, dancing in the moonlit summer rainstorms, music, food fights, skinny dipping in the lake, softball, catch, and awkward tan lines.  Hitchhiking into town, quiet whispers of scheming girls to attack the boys’ cabin.

GAH.  I missed out.  What do you say, friends?  We can’t do it for a whole summer, because we have jobs (we hope).  But we can do it for a long weekend.  Who wants to go camping this summer?  In East Harbor, or Mohican?  In PA?  WHO IS COMING WITH ME?!?!?

RSVP in comments.  Because I’m serious.  This thing is happening.  If I get a big enough response, I’ll set this thing up for summer time, and we can meet up, eat s’mores, and sleep in tents.  Yes?

Great, I’ll see you there.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2011 in When I Was Young

 

Tags: , ,