Today at lunch, I told my host mom that I was missing being home during the summer. As education volunteers, our summers are quite a bit less productive than during the school year, and I think many of us are struggling with finding enough to do (and people to do it with). Last summer, we were completing our pre-service training and beyond wishing there were more fans (and perhaps AC) in Moldova, I was too busy to miss summer back home. This year, however, things are more laid back, and so I thought I’d share the things I’ve been missing about summer in small town upstate New York.
I miss the smell of freshly cut grass. I miss kayaking down the river. I miss walks through the cemetery with my parents and our dog, sometimes my brother or sister. I miss sitting out on the porch eating my breakfast. I miss yogurt parfaits with fresh blueberries. I miss picking buckets of blueberries. I miss visiting with my grandparents. I miss bonfires and s’mores. I miss hamburgers grilled outside, as well as chicken or steak or potatoes wrapped in tin foil. I miss zucchini fried in garlic powder. I miss nightly dinners eaten on our front porch. Most of all, though, I miss the lazy afternoons and nights laughing and spending time with my family and friends.
Shortly after lunch, my host mom came to my bedroom door with a large bowl and told me to go pick the raspberries in the garden. She must have known it was what I needed just then. I spent the next hour or so digging through thorny raspberry bushes and filling the bowl with delicious, ripe raspberries, while birds chirped in the nearby fruit tree. After, my feet were dirty (a sure sign of a good summer day), my arms and legs a bit scratched up, my forehead a bit sweaty, and my belly full. A pretty perfect summer afternoon, if you ask me.