Summer Wish List

Last summer, inspired by Damaris, I copied her. She’d written a summer wish list. I wrote a summer wish list. Given that it was pretty fun to dream about things I hoped to do and that are fun to do, I decided to do it again. One nice thing about this year is that over the course of it, I’ve gotten to know Damaris. We are blog pals (who even share one friend in real life).

Looking back over my last year’s list, I was struck by 1) how many neat things I wanted to do, and 2) how I didn’t do all that many of them, but 3) how many I still want to do and finally, 4) how many I guess I did, in fact, do. Talk about wavering in my response.

I am putting this up earlier than I did last summer so I’ve added that many days, bringing my total to 73 (and ignoring that last summer I posted it later than I meant to, meaning there were fewer days of summer left by then, anyway; it’s the spirit of the thing, right?).

1. Plant more raspberry bushes (we just put in two about a week ago).

2. Hang out by a lake.

3. Swim in a lake.

4. Visit the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market and at least one other farmers’ market I’ve been curious about (maybe Great Barrington). Best source for all things local produce and farm-related is the CISA site, FYI.

5. Pick blueberries (at our friend’s house).

6. Pick peaches (at an orchard).

7. Start an impressive collection of rigid plastics for a one-time recycling opportunity, thus rescuing those plastics from the landfill.

8. Get my kids to see the pediatrician for check-ups and the dentist, too.

9. Get myself to the eye doctor—and the acupuncturist.

10. Make sure we have a couple of working flashlights and that I have some candles at the ready (the power went out after a thunderstorm—fortunately it was back on before dark, because otherwise… dark house).

11. Bike to Easthampton, Amherst, and Williamsburg (almost solely on bike paths).

12. Bike to the farmers’ market in Florence some Wednesday afternoon.

13. Take advantage of a month of yoga for $30. Go often. Give yoga another shot.

14. Make sure to bring many friends to see all three Paintbox Theatre productions (this year, Rapunzel, the Emperor’s New Clothes, the Sword in the Stone).

15. Get my three year-old to sleep by 7:30 PM. Oh, wait a second, this has totally happened… once this summer.

16. Apple-rhubarb crisp: make it when the early apples return.

17. Grill peaches when the peaches arrive.

18. Get to the brand-new GoBerry (our local, fresh, tart frozen yogurt) shop in Amherst, ideally on its opening day to be part of the festivities.

18. Midnight in Paris (the movie)—see it, in the theater.

19. Organize a pie contest (and give away a copy of Pie Contest in a Box on my blog in July).

20. Write something on my blog that is breathless, confessional and funny (channeling blog-crushes Whoopee and the Blogess).

21. Since I can’t be Whoopee or the Blogess, read them copiously.

22. Buy the new Paul Simon CD. Put in car. Play until I know it well.

23. Get my bike outfitted (basket, maybe panniers) and then do the quick errands I might be tempted to use a car for on bike.

24. Get hooks for my bathroom (will look first at Emily Rosenfeld’s studio).

25. Use our screened porch much more than last summer.

26. Put up bulletin boards (maybe even follow some suggestions about ways to display kids’ art).

27. See my adorable nephews (plural!) a bunch if possible.

28. Finish reading Little Town on the Prairie to Remy before he leaves for overnight camp at the end of July.

29. Visit the swim clubs around town with my friends who belong to them at the moment.

30. Get a photo I like made into a poster.

31. Venture to Great Barrington (to meet Matthew Rubiner, of Rubiner’s Cheesemongers and Grocers) with my foodie teen (who is desperate to go there). If possible, do this on a farmers’ market day (see #4).

32. Savor the end of the last season of Friday Night Lights and the whole of the last season of Rescue Me.

33. Make sure to do these small kid adventures nearby with perfectly aged preschooler: at Look Park, ride the train and splash in the sprinklers.

34. Brush that preschooler’s hair… successfully.

35. Trim the next brother’s hair and cut the young teen’s hair (the latter, per his request).

36. Take a photograph (or more) every single day.

37. Look at more photographs.

38. Learn to use some apps on the computer that allow me to make my images Polaroid-esque or Hipstamitc.

39. Get into bed at 6:00 PM. Be cozy or cool, as needed.

40. Walk at night with a child or two or three for something frozen and tasty.

41. Still trying to solve the four children/three bedrooms issue; get that second floor cleaner, clearer, and more functional. Not sure about solving the actual problem.

42. Making comfortable workspace for the rising third grader in my study is another priority.

43. Read more of a favorite writer: Marion Winik.

44. Walk at night with a friend just to catch up in the quiet, cool-ish air.

45. Go to theater.

46. Obtain a few extra copies of my pal Mister G’s new CD, Bugs (kids’ music)—and obviously give copies away to bug loving pals as birthday gifts and such.

47. I’m not sure I did this last summer: photograph my kids’ hands and feet. I just photographed our very young pal Declan’s foot, though.

48. Spend some time with Saskia in the studio at the Eric Carle Museum (if you don’t live here, check out the art studio’s blog, which has ideas about making art with kids).

49. Fill out all back-to-school forms quickly and efficiently; keep copies of medical records close at hand for ease in completing the task.

50. Enjoy our new swings (and with luck, figure out how to write about this fantastic swing project).

51. Act as server for the thirteen year-old’s belated birthday party supper (he will be the chef).

52. Bike with my eight year-old.

53. Write my eight year-old at his fabulous overnight camp every day of the two weeks he’s gone. Make sure others do, too.

54. Figure out a few silly things to send (not food, that’s not allowed) like stickers or origami paper or a tiny treasure.

55. Get a pad under Saskia’s adorable new rug (rug made by Crispina ffrench).

56. Frame some photographs.

57. Don’t let the rain stop me.

58. Website! (Mine, this summer… that is the hope/dream/aspiration).

59. When my friend is in the States from Israel this summer, burn up the telephone lines (and try to see her, somehow, somewhere on this East Coast).

60. Work toward a solution to two vexing issues on the home front: containers without lids, orphaned socks. Likely, the answer has to do with becoming more decisive about them more quickly—that’s to say, toss rather than hope in vain for safe return.

61. Send postcards, liberally.

62. Regardless of not needing any more cute cards obtain more anyway. Use them. Don’t feel guilty about this.

63. Sleep way more.

64. Whatever it takes, make more time to stretch.

65. Swim in swimming pool (often, not occasionally).

66. Drink iced tea with friends at café. Do so more than once.

67. Revise more essays. Send them out.

68. Revel in the farm share pick-up, the Tuesday Market afternoons and the wonder of everyone’s gardens.

69. Continue the yearlong odyssey of reclaiming the playroom for comfortable play.

70. De-clutter 2.0: more on counters, bedrooms, hallways and kitchen. Generally, the mission is clear; the road is endless.

71. Initiate a chore wheel. Stick to enforcing it, regardless of (inevitable) blowback.

72. Take feet to sandy beach. Walk.

73. Oh, corn—at the stand we call Our Lady of the Butter and Sugar. The corn is that good.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our daily newsletter!

You don't want to be left out, do you?

Sign up!

You have Successfully Subscribed!