www.herald-journal.com
Reaping summertime fun

May 24, 2010

by Jenni Sebora

With the sun and warm temperatures back again, so are shorts, sunglasses, and flip- flops.

It feels good to put the long sleeves away and put on some summer apparel. This time of year also brings out the nature bug in many of us.

I, along with many others, have been busy planting gardens of vegetables and flowers. It is such a wonderful activity to turn the soil, plant some seeds, add some water along the way, watch those little seeds grow into plants, and reap those fruits and vegetables that we all love.

Soon our family will have crops of delicious strawberries and raspberries. We have already had our first plentiful supply of rhubarb. My kids and their cousins have been munching away on rhubarb stalks dipped in sugar – the same thing I did as a child.

I always loved the sweet-and-sour taste that it provided my taste buds, so it makes me smile to watch my children partake in some of those same summer joys I had.

Just this last week, we enjoyed rhubarb tort, rhubarb custard pudding, and rhubarb cake – all from our Sebora garden and kitchen.

You can’t get much better than reaping the benefits from your own labors. And it feels awfully good to step outside without having to put a coat and a hat on.

One morning this past weekend, I enjoyed a cup of coffee on my front porch for the first time this spring. The kids were still sleeping; there were no flying creatures (bugs) that were invading my space, and it was a beautiful spring morning with the scent of lilacs and apple blossoms in the air.

As I was sitting on the porch, I was thinking about the “lazy” days of summer ahead. Caterpillars and butterflies, swimming pools, beaches and sprinklers, ball games and hide-and-seek, trips to the cabin, children’s camps and Dairy Queen, fishing, boating and tubing, sand castles and bubbles – all a part of the summer rituals. And I can’t wait.

Here are some summer twists to enjoy with your kids in the warm and delectable days ahead. Play a game of kickball, but replace the bases with small inflatable wading pools filled with water. Just make sure to round the bases a little more slowly, or slide into the base for an extra splash.

Play tag using water guns or, if you don’t like the notion of water guns, use spray bottles. Set up some empty pop cans or plastic bottles and try and knock down with water guns, or a hose with a sprinkler head on it.

Plant a butterfly garden with your children. Do some research with your children and plant some plants that attract butterflies. Most plants have little tags that tell about it and will note if it is attracted by butterflies.

Enjoy the warm weather ahead – the sunny skies and even the rainy weather. Oh, and chomp on some rhubarb and sugar, too.