Monday, August 25, 2008

Whistle Stop Summer: Seattle Edition

I don’t really love Seattle any less because of it, but this has not been a particularly summery sort of summer. We’ve had a couple of delicious hot spells, but, really, I think that there should be enough hot days in the summer to get sick of hot weather, and to start looking forward to turning on the stove again and braising, and feeling the yen to eat food that doesn’t taste best sun-warmed, but instead baked, brothed, buttered, battered or breaded. Toasty foods.

However, it looks like we’re going to have those foods before we tire of tomatoes (which I didn’t even bother planting this year; June was so stubbornly chilly that July and August would have had to be consistently hot to end up with a crop of anything but green tomatoes). School starts in a little over a week, and I am suddenly realizing that I am not even a little bit ready. There are loads of summer foods I want to try, tons of things I still want to do with the kids around town… and Labor Day weekend is upon us.

Now, one could argue that summer doesn’t have to end when school starts. I felt more that way before the kids were in full-day school; we could still idle away warm afternoons at the beach, emptied of the school-aged hordes, the sunlight autumnally honey-tinted, but still warm enough for sandals and shorts. But now, we’re part of the school-aged hordes, and there are soccer practices to attend and run, coaching clinics to attend, soccer games to get to, fall camp-outs to attend, hockey to play, and, of course, the annual Battle Of The Halloween Costumes. My boy has stated his initial Halloween idea as a Manchu horse archer (no. I’m not kidding). I’m hoping that this is an initial gambit so that I’ll buy him a Darth Vader costume, because I would, in a second. I would happily, happily pony up money for a ready-made costume to avoid him getting on his secret batline to Heidi Klum for challenging Project Runway: The Home Version costume ideas.
This was across the street from Full Tilt Ice Cream. Keep reading; it might make sense.

Once again, I’ve digressed.

The long and the short is that with not a great deal of summer left, I am not very wisely attempting to cram everything we haven’t done together around town into a few short days.

Blackberry picking? Check.

Paddle boating on Green Lake (cheesy, but fun, and if you want to feel a little less dorky, you could rent a kayak)? Check.

Swimming in the phenomenal 50 meter pool in West Seattle, enjoying the slide and the view of the Olympics, and the sight of the Vashon ferry plying its way back and forth? Check.
Checking out Full Tilt ice cream (hey, if the weather's going to turn, we may as well cram as much ice cream and cold stuff down our gullets as is humanly possible)? Done. Also, noticing the adult store (seriously, "Stan's Adult Super Store?") across the street? The kids were too juiced by the idea of an ice cream store that was also full of pinball machines and vintage arcade games (Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man) to notice the c-c-classy awning across the street. And on the way out, they were too busy trying to get their father to share his Mexican chocolate ice cream (with cinnamon). Which is just as well. I'm hoping to pass the buck on explaining porn, adult "lotions" and sex games. That just seems like a conversation full of awkward. Anyway, despite the long digression: check.

Feeding the carp and turtles in the Japanese garden and watching the heron stalking about?

And on deck, if the weather doesn't take too far a turn for the worse: mini golfing (hey, they're kids), checking out the new gelato cart, maybe trying to go swimming at the West Seattle pool again, bakery touring, and heading out to the coast for a little more bracingly chilly beauty. I can see that if I overdo this and just keep adding activities, it will be The Death March of Fun. Which doesn't sound like fun. I understand that there is no scorekeeper, checking to see if I let the kids have enough fun this summer. Except for me. And the score I'm keeping is more about the dwindling number of summers that they live under the same roof as Stumpy and I.

Anyway, instead-a getting all maudlin about precious moments and fleeting time, we'll enjoy what we've got while we've got it, and a pain au chocolat from Cafe Besalu while we're at it.


Krysta said...

i know how you feel. my kids started school july 29. how do you cram everything in when summer vacation is only for a month. it doesn't feel like summer anymore even though it's one hundred degrees.

Meg said...

Krysta- a MONTH? Agh. What a rip-off. Do you at least get longer winter and spring breaks?