OPINION: The Summer-Lovin’ Guide to Celebrating the Hottest Season

Crystal Jackson

Photo byTamara Bellis on Unsplash

When I say that Summer is my least favorite season, you should understand first that I live in Georgia. Think Deep South. If you’re thinking peaches, pecans, deep-fried everything, and too many people still living in the Confederacy, you’re almost right. Think of a heat so oppressive that a simple walk to your car could leave you sweat-soaked, winded, and wilted.

So, no, Summer is not my favorite, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its charms. It has many, as does every season. Summer isn’t just our behinds sticking to leather seats, singeing off our skin. It’s also fun, carefree, and filled with adventure — if we choose to see the upside of summer.

Let’s talk a little about summer lovin’ — all the wonderful things we love about the hottest of seasons.

Ice cream in all its forms

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Gelato. Frozen yogurt. Home-made or store-bought. They make it for vegans, dogs, diets, and in nearly every flavor imaginable. It’s a delicious part of any hot day, and the sound of an ice cream truck coming can send even adults running out to the curb clutching sweaty dollars in anxious anticipation of that first cool taste of something sweet.

Water, water everywhere

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There’s little more delightful than a cool dip on a hot day. Whatever your feelings about bathing suits and summer crowds, the joy of cooling off and floating in the water can be divine. Whether you head to the beach, choose a local swimming pool, inflate a kiddie pool in your own space, have fun with a water sport, or simply have a water gun/balloon war, water is the key to keeping it cool when it’s too hot to be outdoors. Which, in Georgia, is any day from March to October.

Summer-inspired cocktails

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Whether your drink is regular old-fashioned lemonade, a mocktail, or a cocktail, a summer-inspired drink can certainly make the dog days of summer taste a little sweeter. This year, I tried out my version of a coconut martini. It came out tasting like a day at the beach, and I even added a little umbrella to give it that vacation feel. We don’t need a cruise to mix up (or order up) a pina colada or mojito, we just need to be inspired by the season to indulge in a little tropical beverage.

That sun-kissed look

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Sure, you can get that sun-kissed look from self-tanner, if prison-orange is your favorite. But there’s nothing that beats the actual sun for giving us some natural color. I’m not saying we need to throw out our sun-protecting SPF and go roast ourselves under the blazing sun. A little solid sun protection is always a good idea (all year ‘round), but regular exposure to the sun packs a punch of Vitamin D while also giving us that pretty sun-kissed glow that helps us look healthy and vibrant.


Photo byChen Mizrach on Unsplash

Whether we vacay or stay-cay, taking time off to enjoy the season is crucial for true summer lovin’. We weren’t meant to work all day and never enjoy our lives. Even if all we can manage is a lunch out with friends or a happy hour with the one we’re with, we need at least a mini-vacation to help remind us why we work so hard the rest of the year. To me, summer will always mean beach vacations, water sports, or relaxing with a fruity beverage (see: summer-inspired cocktails above).

Summer romance

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A summer romance can be particularly sensual. Think sundresses, bathing suits, and all that sizzling heat sparking between sun-kissed skin over summer-inspired drinks. Mmm…. sheets could be heating up as hot as any Georgia summer day. Rainy days could have just as much romance as any other with a walk in the warm summer rain. Summer romances certainly spice up this hottest of seasons.

Yes, I’m wilting in the heat, melting as dramatically as the Wicked Witch of the West — but with less chill. That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the summer. Do I prefer to do it from the air conditioning or out relaxing in or by the water? Of course!

Still, summer lovin’ will only last so long. Soon, we’ll be loving pumpkin spice and all things autumn. But right now, at this minute, summer is just what we need to remind us that life isn’t all work, work, work, pay bills, and die. It’s meant to be fun.

So get your SPF-protected self out into the sun, or at the very least open a window to let the sunlight in, and enjoy!

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Crystal Jackson is a former therapist turned writer. She is the author of the Heart of Madison series and a volume of poetry entitled My Words Are Whiskey. Her work has been featured on Medium, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, The Good Men Project, and Elephant Journal. When she's not writing, you can find her traveling, paddle boarding, cycling, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, or curled up with her nose in a book in Madison, Georgia, where she lives with one puppy and two wild and wonderful children. Crystal writes about relationships, mental health, parenting, social justice, and more. Never miss an update. Subscribe to emails: https://crystaljacksonwriter.substack.com/

Madison, GA

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