Rituals that make welcoming summer oh so fun
That word brings to mind hot bright sunshine, earlier mornings, longer days, lots of walking, plenty of cold drinks and crushed ice, lighter clothing, shopping more often, holiday trips, haircuts, the list is endless!
I consider myself really lucky to work from home, within easy reach of my refrigerator for something cold, and my kitchen to whip up a quick salad when those hunger pangs strike. It makes me smile to think of the fuss I make when we get closer to midday, when the tap water practically sterilizes everything that comes in its path.
When I travel down memory lane through a couple of decades, I marvel at the number of hours I spent out in the 48-degree-Celsius weather, happily going about my corporate job in sales and marketing. I absolutely loved it. In fact, my friends always had a good laugh at my appearance when we got together. Depending on the necklines and sleeve lengths I had worn the preceding week, my skin would show varying shades of tan. My feet were no exception. I loved a variety of footwear and went through pumps, strappy sandals and slip ons, and the striped tan on my feet told their own story.
Then, when I walk further back in time, I think of college days when the heat did not bother us at all. All that mattered was the company we kept. We roamed in the sun, much to the chagrin of our folks. My grandmother would actually ask, "Vidya, how come you are not outside? That sunshine is getting wasted, you know." And we'd laugh! I remember, if I happened to wear dark-colored clothing, I would return home with the fabric streaked with salt, which the heat had leached from my body with all that sweat.
Yet, I love the sun. I love summer. I've lived in hot and humid weather and I've lived in hot and dry, too. Today, even though we live in what is fondly referred to as the garden city, the good life has brought down my tolerance levels by several notches. The perks of working from home!
Over the years, I've created my own summer rituals and eagerly look forward to them.
My summer rituals
- Food first, naturally! I start planning menus and grocery lists, as we eat differently during this time. A lot of salads, juices, vegetables and yogurt are in the cards. I'd never cut down on my coffee though! I'll also sneak a couple of water bottles into the fridge where the others can’t find it. What is it about someone filling the bottles and going to look for a glass of cold water later, only to find an empty bottle? Sigh. Or a bottle with a sip of water on those lucky days.
- Clean the kitchen: I clean the kitchen out and make space for my pedestal fan. Makes a world of difference while doing the dishes with the cool air on my face. I put away all the extra utensils as salads will be the word of the day. Less washing up, too! I'll bring out those extra glasses, though!
- Spring clean my closets: Put away everything that is full-sleeved and everything that isn't light and pure cotton. All these go to the top shelf and the summery stuff comes out. That means shorts and capris, short tops and T-shirts.
- Air the beds and switch from quilts to light, summery printed sheets. Maybe I'll even shop for some new ones. I love to go visit our local market for lengths of fabric that can be easily made into bed sheets.
- Change the curtains into light ones that are easier to wash and also let the air in. Ah, I must get those lace curtains out!
- Go shopping. The best part is that I don't have to get scorched in the sun hunting for deals, thanks to online shopping. And if I shop via the apps, even better deals!
- Travel. After all, this is vacation time and even though my son has a tight schedule over the next three months, getting away for three or four days is a challenge we will easily overcome. I am already making my wish list.
- Reorganize my work space. I love this part! I remember yearning for summer vacations when I had a corporate job, but now, working from home is like one cool breeze. So I place my little work table in the exact spot where the cool air hits me and I am ready to go to work in shorts and T-shirts! Talk about flex time!
And my mind is always filled with visions of crushed ice and tall glasses of cold liquid.
Welcome, summer! I may not have been a Girl Scout but I am definitely prepared!