Summer officially begins today! In celebration of the start of the most relaxed and carefree season of my year, I’m once again compiling a mini-bucket list of fun activities to enjoy before the Fall, with all its structure and demands, rolls around again.
Summer Mini-Bucket List, 2017
- Try three new-to-me local restaurants. Top choices include the Belvedere Inn, Gibraltar, and Luca.
- Visit an Escape Room with my family before Julia and Mark leave for college. This looks like so much fun!
- Attend a lawn concert at Nissley Vineyards. A soft summer evening, homegrown wine, good friends, and live music for listening and dancing – a recipe for grown-up fun.
- Get to Central Market a few Friday mornings. A historical treasure and a feast for the senses.
- Churn out a new flavor of homemade ice cream. How about the Cookies and Cream Ice Cream recipe from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough? Yeah, I thought it sounded delicious, too.
- Read at least twelve books. (Just trying to reach my Goodreads Summer Reading Goal of 12 – 20 books). My summer reading choices swing between light and fluffy and suspenseful and thrilling (i.e, The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan and The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware).
- Go to a baseball game (the Phillies or Barnstormers). I do wish the Phils were playing better…
- Spend some quality time with my camera. The flowers alone provide endless possibilities for reviving my photography skills.
- Take an afternoon to bike an area Rail-to-Trail path. I’d prefer if the trail was a downhill ride both ways.
- Volunteer for or support a local non-profit organization. Clare House, Water Street Mission, and Schreiber Pediatric Center are a few I’m considering.
- Camp at a state park. World’s End State Park on the Loyalsock Creek near Williamsport is looking promising.
- Memorize Romans 8:31 -39. I need some sort of a challenge after all these mostly self-focused, feel good goals. 😉
I have very few other plans for the summer, actually. In a few short days we’ll be heading to Corolla in the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a week of glorious laziness. Other than that, I plan to hang around here, watching my son play baseball a few evenings a week and spending as much time as possible on my porch and patio. We’ll be grilling all the time and eating ice cream (homemade or not), buttery corn on the cob, sweet raspberries, and juicy peaches. My two oldest kiddos are heading to Lebanon Valley in the fall so I want to spend as much time as I can with them before they go. I’ll also be starting to teach my youngest son how to drive. His older siblings have broken me in pretty well so I’m not expecting too many “life passing before my eyes” experiences.
If I can accomplish all of this in the next few months, it will be a blessed summer indeed.
What are your plans and/or goals for the summer? Please share!
Previous Summer mini-bucket lists here and here.
One of my Summer Mini-Bucket List items is to read 12 books by the end of August. My intention is to mix books that satisfy the Popsugar Reading Challenge with a few faith-based books and what I consider lighter, fluffier choices. I’ve compiled a tentative list of the books I plan to devour in the next few months. I say tentative because, other than the Popsugar books which I have to read to meet the challenge, I’ll be letting my feelings dictate my selections. Right now the reading list is pretty fluffy because I just finished The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and am in need of some mindless (but well-executed) entertainment. That may or may not change as the summer progresses. In anticipation of my fickle feelings, I’ve added some alternative choices just in case nothing I’ve officially listed is tempting me.
Summer Reading List:
- The Girl With All the Gifts by Mike Carey (a book recommended by a stranger, audiobook)
- The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson (a book published in 2016)
- Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (a book and its prequel – this would be the prequel to Jane Eyre which I already read)
- The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (a book with a blue cover)
- Dune by Frank Herbert (a science fiction novel)
- Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart
- The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- A Dangerous Place by Jaqueline Winspear
- The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel
- Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst
Waiting in the wings (just in case): The Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan , The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Garielle Zevin, A Man Called Ove by Fredric Backman, Out of the the House of Bread by Preston Yancy, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Eric Larson.
I’m looking forward to settling in with these books and only wish I had time to read them all…
What books are you looking forward to reading this summer?
Ah, Summer! I love your long days, relaxed pace, and the opportunities you provide to do most of my living outdoors. With your arrival, my schedule loosens up, travel adventures commence, and I can reconnect with my family over campfires and hikes in the woods. You are the long-awaited, extended vacation of my overly-ordered, hectic year.
Each summer I make a list of fun goals I’d like to accomplish and activities I’d like to experience during the season. Having a bit of a plan protects me from waking up one morning in September, realizing that summer has slipped away and I missed its unique opportunities because I was too caught up in the minutiae of living. This summer, my bucket list touches on a few bigger, long term goals but is mostly light-hearted and fun. I can’t wait to get started.
Summer 2016 Mini-Bucket List
- Visit a historical site I’ve never been to before. Poplar Forest (Thomas Jefferson’s vacation home) and Fort Ticonderoga are possibilities based on vacation plans.
- Spend a day with each of my children doing whatever their hearts desire. I have a feeling there’s a lot of fishing in my future.
- Offer three different invites for dinner on the patio to friends we would like to get to know better. I’ve been convicted of my stinginess with my time and this is a small way for me to practice generosity and hospitality.
- Try a new homemade ice cream recipe. Strawberry, maybe? Or peach? Or salted caramel?
- Go to a major league baseball game. It’s been a few years and the Phillies are actually playing pretty well so far this season.
- Take a road trip. Is it cheating to put this on my list when I already have the road trips planned? My husband and I will be driving the Blue ridge Parkway at the end of June and in August the family will cruise to the Adirondacks.
- Enjoy some time in my kayak. My husband bought me a kayak two years ago and I have yet to use it. It’s about time I took the opportunity to enjoy a float down the Conestoga.
- Swim in a lake. I haven’t done this in years and I think the Adirondacks will be the perfect place to jump in.
- Participate in a service project with my family. I’m not sure what form this activity will take but it should be a great bonding experience for us that also benefits others.
- Read or listen to 12 books. That’s about 4 books a month. Piece of cake! I want to keeping plugging away at the Popsugar Reading Challenge and also read some books just for the fun of it. It is summer, after all, and summer reading should never be a chore.
- Walk 108 miles (3 miles, 3 times a week for 12 weeks). My health and well-being are worth this little bit of time investment. Besides, I often listen to books when I walk – more story time for me.
- Sit on the porch or patio late in the evening with Jay as many nights as possible, listening to nature’s music and talking over our little and big dreams.
Welcome, Summer! Stay as long as you like.
Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish this summer?