How To: A Summer Survival Guide

When is the last time any Duluthian remembers existing in this glorious of a summer? I, for one, love it. The warmth has been consistent, and the cloudy days- few and far between. For this past  two weeks, on eleven of the days, we reached over 80 degrees at my house. It’s almost unheard of in Duluth to have had what we are having- a real three month summer! (Oh man- knock on wood- really hope I didn’t just jinx August....)  I finally feel like we are getting what’s due to us- a much needed and deserved; heat wave! Because we northlanders are not used to this- I figured what could be better than to write my own- Duluth Summer Survival Guide.

Lesson #1- How to Cool Off
    So- it goes like this. I am known for being the mom that has the house that the other kids want to play at. I work hard at this. I own playstations, and Wii’s I have a karaoke machine and a disco ball. I buy snacks at Sam’s club in bulk. We have a trampoline the size of an island. I don’t do this because I have to be the cool mom. I don’t need the notoriety- I don’t need to stick this idea in my back pocket thinking “Yay Me!” I do it because I don’t trust my children, and I don’t trust your children. I want them all here because I’m border- line paranoid to the point of full time medication (I said border-line, I’m not there yet). I want to see them, I want to know what they are doing and what they talk about. I want them all here; safe and here. All of this was working to my benefit- all of the neighborhood kids came to my house and played happy as can be- until “they” bought a pool. The parents of my kids neighborhood best friends, went out and bought a pool. “But why??” I demanded to know...for what purpose is this necessary???  “We want to cool off” they explained to me. In a nut shell- the children stopped coming, including my own two. All anyone wanted to do was go to the neighbors house “to cool off” in the pool. Damn summer. I can’t stand it. I’m spending so much time spying on my own kids so they don’t drown across the street,  I’m letting pretty much everything else go to shit. No housework or laundry-simply not time enough to spy and be domestic. I mean come on I’m only one woman. My mission became clear- put a hole in neighbors pool or get my own. Since I do technically like these people, I was at times, leaning away from the vandalism- yet I didn’t exactly want to spend $300 on something that we could only use for a short time. However, the luck gods just sometimes have my back. I found a pool. The same pool “they” have, it was for sale on the side of Haines Road for $30 brand new.  The kids are back. So if you want to cool off- buy a pool. Or fill up your trash can with cold water. Either way- if you have a thing that holds water and people can dip into- you win, and you cool off.

Lesson #2- How to Tan
I’m a self proclaimed “lover” of tanning. I’m a Baja salon frequenter. I’m on a first name-what book are you reading and how are your kids- basis with the employees of Baja Tanning. I know this is frowned upon in the medical world. Tanning is dangerous and causes skin cancer and blah blah blah. I promise you- as most lessons are learned- I will eventually learn this one too, but for now, I’m not ready yet. I like my skin to be nice and golden brown, I love the feeling the rays give me, vitamin D is my best friend. But here’s the thing- since our summer has been so beautiful and sunny- I’ve been at Baja less often. In fact for once in my life I’m  incorporating rays of REAL sunshine into my actual tanning routine. I mean it works for my kids! Ok before you label me “tanning mom #2” let me explain- my babies are Italian and naturally a little dark. I slather them- suffocate them- in at least 50 SPF sunblock every moment they go out the door, yet the little stinkers are brown as can be. Nice and brown and not a hint of red sunburn. I basically decided- I can do that too. On a recent camping trip I made it real. If other people can tan in natural sunlight, I can too. In fact I spent an entire Saturday basically  building a beach with my husband- pulling weeds and moving sand- we made our own little “tanning salon” in the middle of the woods. I once again rubbed down my kids with their sunblock- but myself? I literally lubed myself so shiny with tanning oil I could probably have been spotted from the moon. Two days, three bottles of aloe, and enough facial blistering to kill me- later- it has become my policy to wear large amounts of sunblock outside and only ever EVER tan in a tanning bed. Don’t try to tan in the sun. Don’t use oil. Don’t do it. Never god damn do it.

Lesson #3: How to Fish
My husband loves to fish. I’m okay with fishing. I like it for awhile but then my adult ADHD kicks in. I can’t stop the idea running through my head that an activity that takes literal HOURS to accomplish, should result in more..well, results. This little difference has resulted in some minor arguments between hubby and I. Like “why don’t we spend more time together?” “Ohhhh I don’t know- maybe because I have better things to do with my life than stick a hook in the water and pray?” A few years ago we acquired a nice boat. A speed boat with room for eight and a good sized motor to propel us wherever we want to go. Since that time I have learned how to fish like a pro. It’s actually very simple. I pack up the truck with all the essentials, tackle, fishing poles, a couple comfy lawn chairs, a cooler packed to the brim with bud light and snacks. We head out to our favorite lake (of which I’m not disclosing the name because you can’t steal our spot.) Once the boat is in the water and all essential ingredients for fishing unpacked into the boat with us- we take off. On the way to honey hole of a fishing spot- I spot an island; sandy, sunny, perfection. We stop for a look around. At this point I offer the husband copious amounts of the bud light and demand a sand castle building contest.  This contest is won by drinking beer. Husband usually wins- the result of which is a few hours in lazy comfy lawn chair gazing at the sun (smothered in sunblock of course...) Great day of fishing.....

Happy Summer Reader Readers......