Tales From A Hungry Life

July 8, 2015

Summer Loving

by Maria Schulz

Hot, hot, hot

Hot, hot, hot

There are few things in life that are as full of sensory delights as the summer. To say that I love the summer is an understatement of grand proportions. If summer was another kid when I was growing up, we would have been best friends forever and ever and ever, plus infinity.

Did I mention that I love summer?

Here are the sights, sounds, smells, textures, tastes, and memories of summer that are THE BOMB. They always make me feel like a kid again.

San Juan beach

  • Bright sunshine on a cloudless day
  • Pouring rain and indoor guests
  • Peppers and eggs on a crusty roll (thanks Aunt Mary, wherever you are)
  • Sea gulls squawking overhead
  • The crack of a softball bat and loud cheers
  • The squeal of a Roman candle on the 4th of July
  • Sand castles and wave avoidance with my husband and girls
  • The dazzle of sparklers on a dark, starry night
  • My mother’s magnetic smile, my grandmother’s and uncle’s laughter, and cousin Eleanor’s screams as her son threw her in the pool at family barbecues
  • Water in my lungs as cousin Bob tried to teach me to swim

    I will say the secret to a long life is lemon ice

    I will say the secret to a long life is lemon ice

  • Goosebumps when I held my husband’s hand for the first time
  • Watermelon’s sweet tang and syrupy goodness as it dribbles down your chin
  • My brother’s band turning the volume “up to 11” as we sang All the Young Dudes at outdoor fairs
  • The welcome rush of cold, cold air at the movie houses and the joy of summer blockbusters: Jaws, The Empire Strikes Back, and E.T.
  • Bike riding in the woods with my husband and girls
  • Walking hand in hand with my father as we slurped Italian ices
  • Suntan lotion, sea breezes, and an ocean of humanity at Jones Beach

    Better in color

    Better in color

  • The creeping sense that an old boyfriend was a moron for watching the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks show on a ten inch black and white TV
  • My girls giggling at clambakes and s’mores-making nights on Cape Cod
  • Swimming under a starlit sky with my little family
  • Driving and sweating in the back of our old green station wagon with my brothers
  • Sun burned skin, sand in your shorts, and the smell of Coppertone
  • The long, sweaty, smelly bus ride home from Jones Beach
  • Driving with my husband, convertible top down, hair flying, sunshine-kissed skin, in our little red car
  • The ding, ding, ding of the Ice Cream Man’s truck

    We all scream for ice cream

    We all scream for ice cream

  • The sound of lapping water against the Circle Line as the Statue of Liberty edges closer and closer
  • Standing on line at the Fresh Meadows Theater to see Grease for the very first time

    We'll always be together....

    We’ll always be together….

  • Standing on line at the Fresh Meadows Theater with my mother, sister-in-law, best friend, and niece at the 20th anniversary showing of Grease. We were born to hand jive, baby!
  • Watching Grease with my girls and singing every song at the top of my lungs (there are worse things I could do)
  • Impromptu fireworks—and the boom, boom, boom of cherry bombs bursting all around us
  • Tony and Kathie, Chris and John, Maureen and me at The Quartet’s opening night of Polyester, filmed in smell-o-rama (watch out for #9 on your odorama card! Whew)

    Scratch-n-Sniff goes to the movies

    Scratch-n-Sniff goes to the movies

  • Walking to Carvel’s with my big brother’s girlfriend, Cindy, hand pressed firmly into hers, to get a Cherry Bonnet

RECIPE: S’MORES, of course!


Graham crackers, chocolate squares, and toasted marshmallows. Press the chocolate squares and toasted marshmallows into two graham crackers and get ready for a taste explosion. Who needs a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and you?

Use dark chocolate if you want to make believe you’re healthy. It’s milk chocolate all the way for me! I’m living on the edge! If you want to use it too, your secret’s safe with me.

So, Hungry Lifers: what sights/sounds/smells/tastes/touches remind you of summer? Is this your favorite season? What’s your favorite summer recipe? Please leave a comment. Thanks!



  1. wow you captured it all, add catching fireflies and japenese beetles to the list, enjoyed your list, brought back lots of memories!!

    Comment by Diane Vitolo — July 8, 2015 @ 9:36 am | Reply

    • How did I forget fireflies! Great catch Diane. I also remember summer nights at the field with our dogs, Honey and the milk money, Reba and the ball, and Cokey chasing butterflies. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — July 8, 2015 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  2. The sweet aroma of fresh-mowed grass
    Watering the lawn in the small patch of backyard at my grandparents’ Brooklyn home
    Sitting on their stoop as cool dusk descends after a hot day
    Butterflies and fireflies, roller skates and bike rides, dozing off on a sandy blanket to the sound of the ocean…
    Two months of nun-free fun!
    Still decades later, I love summer. 🙂
    As always, a great post, Maria!

    Comment by wordimprovisor177 — July 8, 2015 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  3. Putting together our hardball team, we were pretty good. Bad thing, the schoolyard was empty during the hottest days and softball, basketball fast pitch and shooting craps were gone from July to after Labor day. That was bad. Going to an air conditioned movie. Sleeping late, if my mom let us. Of course from 13 and on we had jobs during the summer, that was a bad thing. BUT the money earned was a good thing and the nights were longer. So many things as I got older but taking Sarita to Rockaway, or The Port Washington beaches, Bar Beach, after work and letting the cool air over our hot bodies AND your mom was really HOT. My PR gal from Puerto Rico North, THE BRONX. Too much of everything to go on but there was always the fun of just feeling alive.

    Comment by Bglou — July 8, 2015 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  4. Maria, I loved fish fries in my grandparents backyard. They would fish all weekend and we all met up at their house on Sunday. You never knew who was going to show up. My favorite times were when it rained and they set everything up in the garage. It was in their garage in Flushing. Hmmm, maybe you guys could smell it from Bayside? That was every summer. As soon as it got cold it was back to the dining room table and spaghetti. Ok, now it’s starting to make sense. Fried fish and spaghetti…..

    Comment by Suzanne — July 8, 2015 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  5. Maria, summer is a great time of year, especially for those who work on a school schedule. The heat on your whole body as a soft breeze goes by, bright colors of trees, flowers and the sky, waking up at 6 in the morning and the sun shining as well as walking the neighborhood at 8 at night in full sunlight, not having to rush as much to do the chores of the week, the old barbeques at Manor Haven or Bar beaches, eating ice cream on walks, and going out with the clothes on your back without caring about how cold it is. Every thing when we were little had to be done outside because we did not have enough (or any) air conditioning to be comfortable in the house. As Archie and Edith would say, those were the days.

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — July 19, 2015 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

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