Summer for us is actually our off season for camping, which may surprise some because we live in San Diego, which has many great, nearby camping spots and where people come from places such as Arizona to cool off and enjoy our beaches. That is precisely why we stay at home during the summer. It is now too hot for us to camp in our favorite mountain and desert places without full hook-ups and air conditioning. As mentioned in my “Desert heat” article, the 100-degree desert heat while we were camping in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park last May motivated us to turn our trailer into a cave and enjoy the air conditioning while reading, doing projects or just napping. We don’t need to go to the desert to enjoy air conditioning that we have at home. Our nearby state beach campgrounds are now booked for the summer and we prefer to do most of our camping in quiet peaceful settings. So we step into summer by staying home.
We enjoy stepping into the tropical garden oasis in our own backyard with its pond and plants (flourishing due to Larry’s TLC)…
And of course we enjoy stepping onto the patio and barbecuing chicken and rib eye steaks.
I also enjoy stepping into the world of reading books and I have them stockpiled for summer reading. I’ll have time to read each time I step out of the courtroom of Superior Court – County of San Diego during my current jury duty, which is expected to last two to three more weeks.
My latest addition to my library is Miles Gone By – A Literary Autobiography, William F. Buckley Jr., Regnery Publishing Inc., 2004. Years ago I was fascinated by his debating style and sense of humor, and my interest in him was rekindled after watching his son Christopher’s interview on Book on C-SPAN2. (He also has an interesting blog on The Daily Beast and new book out, Losing Mum and Pup – A Memoir, Twelve, 2009.)
Another literary addition to my summer reading is Reading Lolita in Tehran – A Memoir in Books, Azar Nafisi, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2008. I first heard about this author while listening to the NPR program, Azar Nafisi Discusses ‘Things I’ve Been Silent About‘, February 10, 2009.
My favorite author became Ernest Hemingway after I read his first African safari book, Green Hills of Africa, Scribner, 1935, 1963.
Summer is also a good time to savor good radio programs outside or while getting ready to begin the day. Just before stepping out the door last Wednesday morning on my way to jury duty, I was listening to Morning Edition on National Pubic Radio (NPR), on our local public broadcasting station. My ears perked up as I heard the sound of diesel power and I delighted in their story, “Diesel Cars Attempt Comeback with Clean Diesel“, by Chris Arnold (NPR, Morning Edition, July 1, 2009).
So in these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, I might even dust off the ukulele and start strumming…
Addendum: In memory of just some of the many notables who have sadly stepped out of this world this summer, including Ed McMahon, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Mays, Robert McNamara, and Walter Cronkite:
“Never dreamed you’d leave in summer“, performed by Stevie Wonder…
And as ‘Uncle Walter’ would say, “And that’s the way it is.”