Suzanne Lindgren

It’s the season of front yard lemonade stands. Campfire s’mores and fireflies. My mom calls it “deep summer,” a name I love.

My mother herself heralded deep summer’s arrival last Saturday after seeing some entrepreneurial youth at one of the aforementioned lemonade establishments. So it’s officially here, folks. Enjoy it while it lasts.

I got together with some old friends this weekend and we mused about the paradox of summer plans. The possibilities for fun are seemingly endless: festivals, camping trips, boats and the beach, baseball games, family reunions and gatherings of friends. But you only have 12 weeks to do it all, so it feels a little like you’re at the starting gate: ready, set, RELAX!

I’m a pretty staunch supporter of keeping a little unstructured free time in one’s schedule. I love the rare day when I can sit and think or read, cook, maybe spend some time weeding the garden — whatever moves me in the moment. 

Still, I find myself trying to cram it in until keeping track of all the fun our family is about to have is enough to make my head spin. This year I reached new heights, throwing out my aversion for planning long enough to invite a group of friends out to the Lindgren farm. 

We’d spent a summer living in the old farmhouse in our early 20s. It was a season of adventure, of stargazing and talking about our dreams for the future, then fighting over who didn’t do their dishes. 

These days, as you might’ve guessed, we never see each other. I wanted to change that. Plus, I thought it would be fun for them to return to the house now that the avocado green carpet is gone from the living room. 

Making plans for a group, it turns out, is a lot like making your own plans. Just multiply the level of stress and communication by five. Setting a date alone seemed an exercise in futility. Still, we found a day when more than half of us could be there. We ate, we boated, we built a campfire and made s’mores.

And that’s the thing. Once you’re in the moment, be it the beach or roasting a marshmallow, the work it took to get there suddenly vanishes to the far reaches of your memory. You sink in and relax, then hear yourself say, “We should do this again next year.” 

And even though you’ll probably regret saying those words in 360 days, for now you really mean it.

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