In the last week, I have dunked myself in the Harpeth River, taken a jon boat out on the lake at Montgomery Bell state park, and swum at the faux beach on the park’s lake.
A few nights ago, my daughter stripped off all her clothes and danced in a torrent of cool summer rain. (One more reason it’s good to live in the Boonies with no close neighbors: Naked drive-way dancing.)
Today, we are going creek stomping and barn dancing in the country, about an hour into the green pastures that surround Nashville.
I love summer in Tennessee.
The water. The open fields. The country roads. Turtles, turkeys, deer, woodpeckers.
All just outside my door.
As I sprayed my tuna-white body with SPF 50 sunscreen this week, I had a deep longing for the days of coconut and piña colada-scented SPF-nada suntan oil summers of my past. My Miami Beach and Jersey Shore years. Ah, remember those carefree, screw-skin-cancer summers? The sand, the ocean, the hot guidos y papi chulos?
And then the moment kind of passed.
I slipped into the warm lake and splashed around with my husband and daughter, listened to the birds call in the trees and felt total love and joy for the right. here.right.now.
I love the beach with red-hot passion, but I love the lazy river, lazy lake days we enjoy.
A year ago as my community was recovering from the flood, we couldn’t access the river as easily, we didn’t have time to just splash around in a lake.
What a difference a year makes. Though, if you look closely at the photo above, you will see trees knocked over. It doesn’t totally look normal yet along the river.
But, we’re gratefully back to enjoying all of what a Tennessee summer offers.
Deep sigh. Big smile.
Before I go spray myself with more noxious SPF, a couple of links:
I wrote an essay over at fellow Nashvillian Jamie Reeves’ site, Blonde Mom Blog. The topic: Why I didn’t sign Maria up for a bunch of camps this summer.
And because making paletas and ice cream is such a part of our summer this year, here’s a Tiki Tiki round-up of fabulous tropical fruit paleta and ice cream recipes. You will thank me.
Frida likes pineapple paletas.