Thursday, July 14, 2011

the best part about summer

Sometime last week or the week before that, we had a few people over. There were lots of kids fighting over our one swing, and they stayed fairly merry while the grownups ate meat on the back porch, but at one point in the early evening, Sadie lost it.

 She had made some cookies for the get together, some meringues that she and her auntie who was in for a visit had teamed up on. She was proud of those cookies, and rightly so. But Rosie was mad that she didn't participate in their making, and so when she had her turn on the swing and all the other kids were standing around her, watching and waiting for their coveted moments on the swing, she announced that she thought Sadie's cookies were not really all that special.

 Sadie couldn't take it. She was tired and sunned and full of sugar, but in the end it was the sister that put her over the edge.  She ran around the side of the house to where we were sitting, stomping and crying and unable to even get the story out.  I thought up an excuse for a car ride, and before she even let out an answer, she had sprinted to the car and buckled herself into her booster. Then, for ten glorious minutes, we drove.

The best part about summer is 6:00 pm, in the car, windows down, music loud.  I have thought so since I was very little, and in the depths of February it is this moment that I crave. It is the blue light, the endless green on the side of the road, the smell of cut grass and grill smoke and trees in their full foliage. It is the smell of marigolds and lilies and of bathing suits after a day at the lake.  I remember being in the back seat as a kid, rolling my window all the way down, and soaking it in. There was the first summer I knew how to drive, when I could turn up the music as loud as I could. The summer I had a boyfriend with a convertible, and we would drive in the summer nights with the music all the way up and the heat on to balance the cold night air all around us.  And with every different car, and every different summer, and every different album, it is always as wonderful to have the windows down, music loud.

That's what I told Sadie as we got into the car and pulled out of the driveway. And those ten minutes were so good. We came back, barely missed, and snuck back into the little party. She was a whole new girl. 

This is what we were listening to, a special mix that Joey made for July 4. It's longer than the kitchen mixes, because it is, after all a car mix, but it will probably do fine in the kitchen, too.  Be warned- it's a big file, but I hope you'll find it worth every bit of space... download here. Then tomorrow, 6:00, in the car, windows down, music loud.  I'll keep an eye out for you. 

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