My favorite things about summer. A list. (Kind of.)

1. When the earth bakes and becomes hard and smooth. I remember being a kid, running down the worn footpath down the length of our yard all through the spring, getting my feet muddy. And then the summer would come and slowly bake it into a smooth, perfect tread way for my bare feet. That is still one of my favorite feelings in the world — my bare feet on a worn, smooth, dry summer path.

2. Blackberries. Blackberries in the yard, on my runs, in cobblers, in syrups on my pancakes, in my smoothies. Give me all the blackberries and I will enjoy every last one.


3. Ice cream.

4. Exploring. in back yards, parks, cities, wherever.


5. Waking up early for things like travel, camping, events, runs, adventures. I like those cool, soft-bright hours of the leafy summer days.


6. Summer evenings when the breeze blows and the sun sets and the mosquitos bite and the burgers taste just right when you’re outside.

7. Boats. Lakes. Rivers. Pools. Oceans. Sand. Tossled hair that has no business being in public but it’s ok because it’s summer. The smell of sunscreen. The taste of salty chips and pretzels when you’ve been out in the sun for a long time.

8. Swim suits. On my body at some point most days.


9. Seeing families out together doing things like getting fro yo in the evenings.

10. Picnics.

11. Slurpees. I don’t think I will ever outgrow them.

12. Sleeping well with the windows open and the breeze blowing in.

13. Farmers markets. Fresh produce. Vendors. Busy-ness. Milling about with lots of others enjoying the outdoors, and the fact that we have so many good fresh food options available to us right beside all of the prepared deliciousness of Ethiopian, gyros, and more.

14. Farmers market flowers. A bunch of incredibly beautiful sunflowers for $5? Don’t mind if I do.


15. Avocados.

16. Reading books that feel a little too “light” reading for other times of the year.

17. Sunsets. Gorgeous Sunsets.


18. Walks. I walk all through the year,  but I love when it’s light so late that I have the time to run or walk for long periods of time even after work if I want to. Other people are also more likely to join me on walks in the summer, I’ve found.

19. Shorts. Tank tops. Dresses. Sandals (or better yet, bare feet). I was made for this.

20. My birthday! I’ve always LOVED having a summer birthday. Because usually I try to incorporate as many of the above items into my celebrating as possible. My favorite things on my day.


Joanna O’Hanlon is an adventurer and storyteller. She tries to be honest about the ugly and hard parts of life, and the beautiful parts too. This blog is one of the places she shares her thoughts and stories.

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