School starts back here in Charlotte in a week and a half, which means it is still officially summertime. And life is too short and too chock full of schedules and rules to let a week and a half of sweet summer just slip away, uncelebrated. It would be ungrateful, and that's simply not Southern. Don't get me wrong: fall is fantastic. We are all looking forward to a break in this unmerciful heat, and those of us with the impeccable taste to be Clemson Tigers are counting the days until college football season kicks off (only three Saturdays to go). But summer has its own fabulousness that shouldn't be forgotten as the calendar marches on; there are some very quintessential seasonal wonders that I have enjoyed to the fullest these last few months.
Particularly in the South, June, July and August mean sink sandwich season. Practically every Friday since Memorial Day weekend, Clint has stopped off at the farmer's market (we are city mice, after all) to buy farm fresh tomatoes for the weekend. Important note: do not, under an circumstance, attempt to make a sandwich with a grocery store tomato. No matter what the signs in the produce department promise (vine ripe, locally grown, local farm fresh), it is not a tomato fit for sink sandwich construction. I now return to my regularly scheduled program. Every Saturday thereafter, we have enjoyed delicious, juicy, run-down-your-chin-and-elbows tomato sandwiches. Slathered in Duke's mayonnaise and glistening with salt, there is nothing more tasty on a hot day than a sink sandwich--unless it's two sink sandwiches. It's happiness on a plate.
Another fantastic by-product of summer is watermelon. I don't even like fruit, y'all, but who can resist a ripe, delectable treat that is also low-calorie? That Diet Coke all chilled and ready beside the watermelon isn't a bad bonus, either. We have eaten at least a watermelon a week for the last few months, and I'm going to miss that treat terribly as the weather cools off. The only real decision to be made is to salt or not to salt...and naturally, since we are salt-shaker-aholics around here, we sprinkle ours just enough to give them a little extra oomph. I'm craving one now, just thinking about it.
I haven't gotten to dig my toes into the sand--yet--this season, but one of the few perks our apartment situation did afford us was access to a pool, which we frequently and thoroughly enjoyed. The most blissful moments were before the cast of characters who also live in this apartment complex joined us and assaulted the senses with all the people watching and conversation
Remember, it's not over yet. Spend these last few days barefoot, or tromping around in flip flops when shoes are absolutely required. Eat ice cream (last weekend, we visited my parents' house and my mom had a freezer stocked with Nutty Buddys--how summery can you get?). Savor the smell of chlorine and suntan lotion. Do a cannonball with abandon. Sleep late. I wish you afternoon naps out in the sunshine, days where a t-shirt is formal attire, dinner cooked on the grill, and sink sandwiches made with loaf bread so fresh it sticks to the roof of your mouth. That's what summer is all about, so soak it up just a precious bit longer. And in a couple of weeks, we can start reveling in all that is fall!