Has it struck you, too, that finally days seem to be light longer? Though, in fact they are shorter! Because the dark gray of the past six months has finally started lifting and lets us enjoy a few sunbeams in the late afternoons. Which also means that it finally gets warmer. A little. Yes, summer seems to be making it, finally!
I remember only one drearier spring, and that was in 2010 – which was also my very first spring over here. In Germany, we had had a very cozy, warm May already. We were all dressed accordingly. Thanks to the internet, I knew what I was in for when traveling here, and so I was dressed as if arriving in very early spring. And boy, was I freezing during these first weeks in humid Western Washington! Even the Fourth of July was nasty and cold that year; so, I missed out on the parade that I had originally planned to watch.
Hopefully, this year’s July will perk up even more than it already has. There is a load of fun open-air events coming up in the area that we all want to enjoy, after all. I’m not just talking farmers markets. Steilacoom’s popular Salmon Bake, hosted by the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association, who are already selling tickets, is scheduled for Sunday, July 31. The Lakewood Summerfest returns to Fort Steilacoom Park on Saturday, July 23. And the Gig Harbor Summer Art Fest will take place again on July 16 and 17 near the waterfront with lots of booths presenting artwork of all kinds and literature … Yes, indeed, I’ll be there as well, finally meeting a crowd of old author friends in person again. And, of course, it will be so much more fun if it’s warm.
Indeed, there are a lot of more festivals all around – just check the event calendars. Or make your own events happen. My husband and I went out on a still very chilly and wet July 3 to catch crabs in the Sound – we were so lucky and had so much fun. I think, I never enjoyed a crab better than after coming home wet to the bones and dirty, then showering and sitting down to enjoy our catch. I always think that foraging and/or producing part of your own food is something extremely special. Maybe, even our overly wet gardens will bear fruit yet. Or veggies, as is. Some seeds can still be planted.
Also, with clearer skies and longer nights, we might be lucky to catch a view of planets again. I have missed that these past months. Whenever something special was happening in the sky – a moon eclipse, comets, special alignments – the Western Washington clouds made sure that we couldn’t even catch a single glimpse. Maybe that’s why I’m so fond of later summer nights (and even more so of fall nights) when you can sit outside because it’s (still) warm enough, and just look up.
And then, it’s also finally hiking season again. When the paths are dry and you can get vistas instead of a gray cloud blanket, it’s double fun to explore one or the other trail we haven’t explored yet. The hiking book with over 100 walks on the east side of Puget Sound that I bought before coming over here still exists, looking a bit worse for the wear. And we still haven’t seen all the places it suggests. There are some pretty cool trails out there, some for the avid hiker, some that are perfect just for picnics.
I’m sure you have an agenda of your own. And that you are also quite happy that summer has finally come around the bend …