Thursday 13: Summer Dreams

Miss Rio

As much as I complain about the summer weather in Texas, there are certain parts of summer I love. As a kid, my summers were spent at the Jersey Shore; now I pretty much live in my pool from mid-May through mid-September. In any case, I haven’t done a Thursday-13 in ages, and since I’ve refreshed the blog, it seems appropriate to visit favorite memes.

Here, then, are 13 Things I Love About Summer (Then and Now):

  1. Sand: In my hair, between my toes, and stuck in the folds of damp bathing suits. I was with my Mother in Mexico in June, and my beach bag still has traces of sand in it.
  2. Sea & Ski: I’m pretty sure they don’t make it any more, but those funky green and brown bottles were ubiquitous when I was little. Not only did that sunscreen stay on in water, but it had this indefinable “beachy” smell that I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to recapture with aquatic perfumes for decades.
  3. Noxema: Yes, in previous incarnations of this blog I’ve written whole posts about Noxema, but I love it. I still use it.
  4. Tan Lines: Okay, look, I know you’re not supposed to sun-bathe, and I don’t, I swear. I even remember to use sunscreen (most of the time) but the tan lines I get are from swimming for a couple of hours every day, not from lying around imitating broiling meat.
  5. White Cotton T-shirts: While these are hardly restricted to summer, there’s something about a simple white t-shirt that is instantly soothing. They’re soft enough for sun-burned skin, make tan skin look tanner, and go with shorts, skirts, jeans, or just over a bathing suit. As a kid, my favorite summer “pajamas” were my grandfather’s cast-off t-shirts.
  6. Natural Highlights: Okay, we all know this mermaid hasn’t seen her natural hair color for more than 1/4 of an inch at a time since she was fifteen, but the blonde color being sported this summer is naturally enhanced by the sun. (And I had strawberry blonde/golden brown hair when I was young, I swear!)
  7. Swimming: I am my most creative self when I get to splash around in water every day. I love having my own pool, and in summer, I’m in it for hours every day. On heavy writing days, I do my own version of “interval training” where I write for thirty minutes and swim for thirty minutes all day.
  8. Going Bare: Bare feet and bare faced, that is. I love shoes, but I love being barefoot even more, and this summer, I’m so sun-kissed that I haven’t worn make-up since mid-June, except for a little gloss and mascara. (I do, however, moisturize. Religiously.)
  9. Beach Reading: I don’t generally read at beaches, but I love reading beachy books. Anne Rivers Siddons, Dorothy Benton Frank, Wendy Wax, Nancy Thayer, Elin Hilderbrand – these authors (and others) keep me entertained all summer, in between the books I read for review.
  10. Shark Week: This year is the 25th edition of The Discovery Channel’s salute to all things sharky, and while I have never, ever missed a year, I’m giddy with delight that Shark Week spans my birthday this year.
  11. Summer Produce: Last month, I wrote about watermelon over at All Things Girl but I also love peaches and plums and avocados and fresh tomatoes and berries of every ilk.
  12. Late Sunsets: While I believe Daylight Saving Time has outlived it’s usefulness now that we live in a 24/7 society, I still enjoy long summer evenings. There’s nothing like floating on your back in the pool and watching the first stars come out. (I could do without the mosquitoes, though.)
  13. My Birthday: As a kid, I hated that my birthday was in August – August 17th, to be specific – because my friends were all off on last vacations with their families before school started. Now, though, I revel in my August birthday, because there’s NO COMPETITION. No holidays (well, sometimes Ramadan, but that doesn’t affect very many of my friends), not many other birthdays (September, however, is glutted with them) – it’s MY MONTH. (I share with others, but…only a select few). You’d think that since I’m turning 42 next week, I’d be upset about my birthday, but that’s not true at all. I love celebrations. I love having a cake with my name on it. I take the day off work and celebrate myself. Birthdays are AWESOME!

So that’s my list…what are your favorite things about summer? I really want to know!

Thursday 13: 0710.03

Thirteen Things about MISS MELISS
Things that Begin with U

  1. UFO: I don’t really believe that there are aliens who borrow people for experiments, but I have to admit that I often stare up at the skies and wonder. Don’t we all?
  2. UHF: I grew up before remote controls were ubiquitous, and before cable television was widespread (in fact, because my parents were anti-television, we really didn’t have cable until I was in high school, and even then, it was only basic). The first television I remember had two channel selection dials, and there were often really interesting things on the UHF channels.
  3. Ulalume: One of my favorite of Poe’s offerings, and appropriate for this month.

    The skies they were ashen and sober;
    The leaves they were crisped and sere-
    The leaves they were withering and sere;
    It was night in the lonesome October
    Of my most immemorial year;
    It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
    In the misty mid region of Weir-
    It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
    In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

  4. Umber: I like the word, it reminds me of the deepest notes of a cello. I like the richness of the colors this clay-y pigment produces: Raw Umber and Burnt Umber. I like the autumnal feel of both those color names, as well.
  5. Umbra: The darkest part of a shadow, where the source of light is blocked completely. It’s such a mysterious and romantic word, even if it is dark.
  6. Umbrellas: I’ve had favorite umbrellas – black ones that opened automatically and a clear bubble-style one leftover from the early seventies, with yellow trim and a white handle that just screamed for Go-Go boots to go with it. I also like the use of umbrellas in movies and novels – Gene Kelly’s dance in “Singin’ in the Rain,” Julie Andrews using one as “Mary Poppins,” and the scene in Little Women where Friedrich and Jo finally admit their feelings, under the umbrella, in the rain.
  7. Undertow: I always thought the undertow was a sort of deep sea monster, and I never quite believed in its power until I was caught in one at Half Moon Bay when I was thirteen. Wet denim, in case you were unaware, is one of the most uncomfortable fabrics on Earth. Being rolled in white water is scary, but coming out of it, figuring out which way is up again, and making it to shore alive – that’s just exhilarating.
  8. Underwear: I like pretty underwear. True, no one sees it except me, and maybe Fuzzy, but it makes me happy. Also, it has to coordinate with my outfit. This is important. I blame my mother for this fetish.
  9. Undine:

    In Teutonic folklore, undines are female water-spirits who like to associate with humans. They often join villagers in their dances and merry-making. An undine was created without a soul, but by marrying a mortal and bearing him a child she obtained a soul and with it all the pains and penalties of the human race.

    Undines, like all mythological water-beings, have always fascinated me.

  10. Undulate: This word is visual onomatopoeia. It just sounds like a writhing, sensual dance with swaying hips and bare feet and sweat and spice and firelight.
  11. Unicorn: I went through the requisite unicorn phase at the end of elementary school and beginning of junior high school – about the same time that those shirts with a rainbow arcing from sleeve to sleeve across the chest were popular. In a dish on my dresser I have a pair of sterling silver unicorn earrings that I just can’t toss, even though I’ve no intention of ever wearing them again.
  12. Unicycles: I’ve never ridden one, I’ve always wanted to. Like juggling, riding a unicycle is one of my unvoiced circus trick dreams.
  13. Unique: I would rather be unique than boring, any day. I have moments where I am only interesting inside my head, but I hope I’m never average.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!