As we swelter in this heat, the memory of our lovely state holding the record of most consecutive days of rainfall in 122+ years has almost faded away. Or melted? I’m not sure which.
The sun has made its glorious appearance, and in typical Pacific Northwest style, continues to some days be shy, while for others shines in all of her glory. Nonetheless, the days are warmer and a plethora of activities and beautiful naturescapes await.
The kids are out of school, and for most families, that means either a complete melt down session at realizing they aren’t prepared, or the sly Cheshire cat’s smile of those who planned and are prepared to fill the days with outdoor fun activities.
Don’t panic if you’re one of those who were caught unprepared for summertime and the countless hours that you now have your children in your care. We live in the most beautiful and temperate climate of America during the summertime – people flock to our state in order to escape their own miserable temperatures and humidity.
Best bet? Send them outside without any electronics and tell them you don’t want to see them until 6pm for dinner. You may be surprised at what they come up with, or you can encourage them with some ideas of your own. There is a plethora of Pinterest boards that tout Summer-time Bucket Lists that you can print out and allow your kids to sift through if they need inspiration.
Open up the garage, make sure the bike tires are fully pumped up and the helmets are close at hand. Nets for chasing and catching bugs, roller skates and roller blades, skateboards, basketballs and soccer balls, pogo sticks and bubbles are just a few items we keep at the front of the garage for these days.
“Open the garage and go play”, is something I commonly retort when one of my kids mentions they ‘have nothing to do’. The alternative for them is to do chores that I have listed out on the refrigerator. More often than not they choose to go play outside.
Adults can take a healthy dose of teaching from this practice, and put down the phone, tablet, iPad or computer, and get outside and PLAY. Engage with kids, or get a group of friends together and go for a hike. Explore a local park or waterway that you’ve never visited before.
Farmers Markets, Festivals, Boat Races, and more absolutely blanket the calendar for the Lower Columbia region, so there’s no excuse for choosing the couch over grabbing a lawn chair, filling a cooler with some refreshments and hitting Lake Sacajawea for a summer concert. And that’s just one example of the free entertainment and outdoor fun that we are privileged enough to live around.
If you’re like me, you may have been feeling a bit down in the mouth with the weather and other personal mess that seems to cloud the sunshine away. Looking at what we have to choose from for fun makes it easy to turn that frown upside down, as my mom used to say. Changing your typical “every day” experience can insert the necessary energy that helps you see the world in a better light.
July offers us the chance to be thankful for our country – one that allows freedom. Freedom that was attained at the sacrifice of countless families that have served and are serving our nation, and help maintain our freedom.
Regardless of which side of the political aisle you lean, we can all celebrate this land of opportunity, where freedom sweetly rings.
God Bless America. Get out there and enjoy it.
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