It is, I realize, July and it is already summer. I tend to post my Annual Summer Wish List a good bit earlier, sometime in June. Better late than never, people!


In general, I end up with a dizzying list that includes many things I may or may not ever do (that summer). Thing is, summer has so many incredible events and fruits and a holiday or two and frozen treats… it’s a super nice time to imagine all the possibilities.


The last few months I’ve begun to make a list each day (pretty much) on a quite small post-it note. I write the date and the day, how I want to feel, and I list the top few items I hope to focus upon that very day. Ideal might be three things, and if I am honest with you (and me) the truth is my daily list tends toward six. I am kind of a doer. I write a weekly goal, too, generally one thing or maybe two. My calendar is inspired by the Bullet Journal method and since I’m writing about this, I will highly recommend it. I love it. But why, you might ask, am I writing about to-do lists and intentions when this post is supposed to be about a summer wish list?


I am wishing for less this year. That’s the truth.


My hope is that less feels like more, as in more clear about what I am doing and why, more focused, more satisfying and more connected to and for the people around me. About all of that, I will, I guess, decide at summer’s end whether this strategy worked for me. For now, it means a shorter than usual list so here’s a link to last year’s, which is longer and includes more fun stuff to do, especially locally. I mean, a dinner on the bridge of flowers in Shelburne Falls or some festival for tomatoes or garlic, that still sounds awesome and I say to go for it.


Anyhow, here’s a short list—and the obvious truth is I will do more, and less, than what’s up here. For example, I will not list laundry, yet I will do so very much of it over the course of the coming weeks. I will list jamming, because jamming is a summer pleasure even though it takes place in my very own kitchen not far from where I fold all that laundry.


So, about jamming: it’s meditative so long as I avoid “stress jamming,” which is anything but meditative. By accident I did some “stress jamming” recently and I do not recommend it. Mood and anxieties aside, last summer, I made some of my jams including both juice and zest from limes (you heard that right). I have already done so again with some of the strawberry jam. I highly recommend it. I wanted very much to pick strawberries and somehow that didn’t happen, so I am hoping to commune with blueberries or raspberries or something like that, maybe peaches. I think the one place I am determined to visit is Apex Orchards.


An annual visit to each of the very local swim clubs is fun, and social and I will invite myself to crash by pools during a steamy stretch.


Yes, I will see every show Paintbox Theatre presents. If you want to know what they are, here’s the list: The Three Little Pigs, Puss in Boots (which will be presented again over Labor Day weekend at the Eric Carle Museum) and Treasure Island.


I plan to dart over to some things at New Century Theatre, as well. Specifically, I am sure to see Luna Gale and Junie B. Jones (New Century Theatre Kids).


I’ve been to two movies (a record right there) this summer and loved both. I saw Inside Out (and hope to see it again; if you go, be prepared to cry unless you are seven or under) and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (and would see it again; if you go be prepared to cry through the entire movie). Now that I’ve seen previews, I have movies I want to see, from Minions to Meryl Streep as an aging rocker coming to terms with her colossal absences from her now-grown children. I hope I see at least those two, and maybe more than that.


While on pop culture, I am plowing through Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. My guilty pleasure for this summer is Odd Mom Out. The first is true adore, the second, just silly fun. On my wish list is simply to watch more television (like laundry that’s year-round, honestly).


The Farmers Market I most want to visit is Brattleboro; it’s been on my wish list for a while and I haven’t gotten around to it, but maybe this is my summer. Curious about Great Barrington and totally enjoy Lenox, too—so maybe an hour’s drive for some market fun is a good idea.


The other thing I absolutely did not make happen last summer but hope to this year is a visit to the Trampoline Park in Hartford. I mean that’s good fun on a very hot or very rainy day, yes? I have a van; I can bring the party there so to speak. And I have one ski-trick aspiring skateboarder and a gymnast, so we’re set.


If on some adventures already, we can seek out some delicious frozen delights from places we’ve never tried. Absolutely, I’m curious about people’s favorites. And absolutely for me the locals win, by which I mean Goberry and Herrells. Facts are facts, and winners are winners. And we are regulars.


Last summer after many years without a show right in the Valley, Circus Smirkus returned. As I remembered, it was totally awesome (and I really emphasize the awe part). Circus Smirkus returns July 28th and 29th. We are so there. Plus, again this is a benefit for the wonderful North Star Academy. The shows sold out so if you are interested, buy your tickets (after I get mine).


I read the wonderful El Deafo by Cece Bell (and so did two of my kids). My goal was to learn to read a graphic novel. Now, onto more, including Fun Home! In the meantime, I realized that if I can’t get Saskia to let me read a book aloud and if my next up isn’t so eager to read, our reading the same books makes all kinds of sense. For example, at the moment I am in the midst of Anne Ursu’s mesmerizing The Real Boy.


Two things that are ongoing are to write (you know, cause I’m a writer) and to continue to get “stuff” out of the house more quickly than “stuff” comes into the house. Neither of these endeavors is all that easy, especially in the summertime when routine slips away.


Embrace when routine slips away.


Hang out, with my family and friends. It’s kind of part two of “embrace when routine slips away.” As in, when routine slips away, rather than DO more, hang out instead and enjoy your peeps.IMG_1997