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This morning I heard a podcast host mentioned having had an Otter Pop. She described it as a stick of sugar water ‘without which the summer is wasted”. I agreed with her in a general way: summers are not complete without at least one icy Popsicle to cool you down and turn your tongue a fun color while you reflect upon childhood when the summers lasted a lifetime.  The expression got me thinking on other summer essentials there are, the type without which the summer is wasted.

Let’s start with the foodstuffs. There is a basket full of summer eats and treats nowadays available all year long but they just don’t taste right outside of summer: strawberries in June; blueberries in August; corn on the cob and homemade macaroni salad throughout the season. Then there are the watermelons, cool, red, and sweet – like my men. I recall Grandmother would not eat watermelon before the Fourth of July.  The urtext summer treat for Spos young and old is the proverbial Small Chocolate Cone which is best consumed at the Dairy Queen on the way home after a day of boating  – which is another summer time must-have-or-perish item. Imagine a summer without boating on Lake St. Clair and chasing freighters! As certain as fish flies in July I sure can’t.

Alas, Babylon! So many of my favorites without which the summer is wasted are no more. Perhaps this is the reason why I no longer relish the summer but I count the days until autumn. I would trade all the watermelon and corn on the cob of August for a proper Midwest summer storm. I want to go onto the porch again and watch the ominous approach of a green-black storm and put up my arms as if conducting the sky. On cooler quiet nights when the summer triangle is high overhead the windows are open with floor fans blowing providing just enough white noise but not so loud as to drown out the chorus of crickets.

Other outdoor items of which without the summer is wasted? : water from the garden hose and burgers on the grill. Gathering fireflys in a glass jar at Charlevoix late into the night as the sun never set in summer.

So many things without which the summer is wasted.

Spo-fans: please tell me about your precious and wonderful things without which your summer is wasted.

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