On Monday, officially the first day of summer, I realized that today would leave me only five days left in June.
Last weekend we drove to St. Louis to visit my daughter and son-in-law — there may or may not have been a plant convention of the Hosta variety in the same city.
But I noticed on my daughter and son-in-love’s apartment refrigerator a hand-written check-off list of things they wanted to do in their limited spare time. Of 11 items, two had been checked off: rooftop dinner and canoe the Meremac River.
Some of their other ambitions this summer include: go caving, kayak the Lake at Ozarks, attend a Blues hockey game, visit Johnson’s shut-ins, backpack weekend and Ride Katy Trail (which I found out is the longest rails-to-trails conversion in the U.S. — a flat 240-mile trail open for hiking, running, walking and bicycling through Missouri countryside.)
Chloe and Michael’s list motivated me to spring into action and write my own, but first I interviewed some local residents on what they hope to do for the rest of the summer before school starts.
Triplet Reese Hommel, who will be attending preschool, wants “to play with her sister — and brother, and play catch.”
Four-year old Emery noted: “swim at aunt Janet’s and the (Greenwood) Water Park — they have buckets that get poured on our heads.”
Faith, who agreed with her brother and sister, succinctly added: “swim and go to the water park.”
David Hommel, father of the triplets, noted “off the record” that he planned on “playing in the water with my kids.”
Nine-year-old Eli Hommel, who just finished his baseball season, will be a fourth-grader at Sugar Grove. He hopes to go to “Holiday World, and go back up to Lake Michigan, stay in hotel with an indoor water park and a café where we eat breakfast. Most of the time you spend your time out by the lake.”
Seven-year-old Isaac Hommel, who will be in second grade and also just finished his summer baseball league, has enjoyed going to the library every week.
“We went today and I got a Nate the Great, a baseball book and a book with a story on Bigfoot. I also like to play Taps Sports Baseball Game.”
Nev Hommel, 12 years old, a seventh-grader, said she was looking forward to visiting “Brimstone National Park in Tennessee and a number of different summer volleyball camps. Oh, and I hope we go to Outback Steakhouse.”
Reagan Hommel, 10 years old, a sixth-grader: “During summer break I hope to take my dogs (Tucker, a German shepherd/labrador mix, and Scout, a beagle/labrador mix) to a pet store and pick things out for them — that’s fun for me. And I hope to get my mom a little gray kitten.”
When I think of my fondest summer memories, I think about the evenings that my brothers and sisters and neighborhood friends played kickball in the street on Rose Lane until we were all drenched in sweat and called inside by our parents at nightfall.
I remember the nights catching lightning bugs and putting them in mason jars with a little bit of grass and a spritz of water. I remember drive-in movies with homemade salted and buttered popcorn stored in brown-paper grocery bags. I remember riding bikes around the neighborhood, finding junk behind Wilgro Shopping Center and dragging it home to create something wonderful — re-purposing back in the 1970s.
I remember being bored — and the feeling one gets when you think of a great idea to fill the boredom.