Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Five: Hot Stuff!

This week's Friday Five from the RevGals is about SUMMER. Now I'll freely admit that summer is my least favorite season. Heat makes me feel ill, and the heat + humidity in southeastern Virginia can be brutal. This is the time of year that makes me thank God for creating air conditioning. But there are compensations, mostly due to contrast. So here we go...

...or town, or suburb, or hamlet, or burg, or unincorporated zone, or rural area of your choice---pretty much anywhere but the southern hemisphere, it's summer. (Australians and others, consider this an invitation to take a break from winter for a while.)

1. Favorite summer food(s) and beverage(s)

Mmmmm... I love fresh strawberries and peaches. I was just commenting to a friend the other day that fresh off-the-tree peaches make my lips itch, but they are so good! We're lucky here where I live to have lots of places to get fresh, locally grown fruit during the summer. Watermelon is wonderful, too, but it makes such a mess. Ice cream has been making my tummy feel icky lately, but I love sorbet and Italian ice, too.

2. Song that "says" summer to you. (Need not be about summer explicitly.)

There are three that immediately spring to mind: Boys of Summer, Summer of 69 (I love Bryan Adams!), and Rod Stewart's Forever Young. That one isn't really about summer, but it's a wonderful prayer, and I'm always reminded of graduation and the summer before embarking on a new life when I hear it.

3. A childhood summer memory

I'm a Navy brat. And throughout my childhood, whenever Dad went on a six-month cruise, the Homecoming was in the middle of summer. So we would get to the pier really early to stand and wait, all dressed up to look our best, and just wilt and sweat in the heat. And, of course, the men would be in their white summer uniforms so all that sticky sweaty makeup on the wives and girlfriends would stain their uniforms.

My favorite summer was after sixth grade, when we lived in quarters at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. I had my own ID card, so my friends and I pretty much had the run of the base. We could walk to the Commissary or to the swimming pool or to the playgrounds. We could ride our bikes to the bowling alley or to the Exchange or to the tennis courts. This was also the only place I lived during my childhood where there were girls nearby who were my age. In other places, there had been boys close to my age, or girls much older or much younger, but somehow, there was always a girl my sister's age for her to play with. So my girlfriends and I would roam through the park playing imaginative games, and we would go for a swim, and we'd make candy and ice cream runs. We felt so grown up and free!

4. An adult summer memory

Today I am making my own new summer memories - speaking of embarking on a new life. In under an hour, I leave this house to sign the lease on my apartment - my own private, safe, sacred space. I don't know yet what the memories will be, but even though at times I feel a bit overwhelmed by the bigness of what I'm doing, I know to my deepest core that it is the right thing to do.

5. Describe a wonderful summer day you'd like to have in the near future. (weather, location, activities)

Ooh! This is easy! I'm going to be spending Canada Day in Ottawa this year! I know there's going to be lots of wonderful stuff to see and do, and I love fireworks. The weather forecast is looking much more pleasant than July in Virginia, too. I'm very much looking forward to this - seeing a new capital city, meeting friends, and taking part in the huge celebration.

Optional: Does your place of worship do anything differently in the summer? (Fewer services, casual dress, etc.)

We have the same services, but our contemporary service (The Gathering) is now earlier, during what is the Christian Education hour during the school year. In the late service, the choir does not vest or process, and we say the psalm rather than chanting it. And, I recently discovered, the organist takes requests for favorite hymns and tries to get them included during the summer.