One Humdinger of a Summer

Archived | June 13, 2015 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Been a while now that life has ramped up with both college and high school kids home, and two graduations have come and gone with more-than-adequate celebrations on rain-free days. Not that rain is a bad thing, mind you. I, for one, am a big fan of a good rainstorm, as you know. It rained most of today and it has been, if I may say, a lovely June day.

Along with our daughters’ commencements, we’ve celebrated my dear friend Angela’s graduation from a fine school in the city with a degree in social work. Add to that the birthdays of our daughters, a cousin’s wedding and — comin’ on up — a bridal shower, Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, Mr. S’s July birthday, graduation parties of the kids’ friends and cousins, and our daughter’s July wedding to top it off, and we’ve got ourselves One Humdinger of a Summer. Parties galore, and thank goodness I put my recipes in a cookbook because I can’t find a good number of ‘em for the life of me.

Oh, and — after the shower and before Father’s Day — there’s the two-day garage sale, comin’ up next week. Why would I add to the chaos, you may ask? Well, let me tell you. Of course the storage room piled up with clothes that don’t fit and played-out toys and twice-read books and such has a lot to do with it, and the fact that it’s a neighborhood garage sale makes it easier. Add to that the truths that I find lightening the load a source of calm, and that all I have to do for two days is sit there and take money and have conversations with pleasant strangers, well, there you have it.

And when your Humdinger of a Summer involves a degree of emotion and psychic energy, something like a garage sale is a bit like a time-out. It’s not about rites of passage or milestones in a life, nor does anything about it cause your chest to tighten and tears to well up in your eyes and all those thoughts to rise up: “Remember when she was four and that pink ballerina dress she wore while dancing in the living room” or “This is the last day, ever, that she’ll be 17” or “This is the last time we’ll all be together at the table for a while.”

Yep, a’bout the middle of next week, I’ll need that garage sale. In the meantime, everything will get done, one thing at a time. And, in the midst of it all, I raise my arms now and then, not in frustration or hopelessness, but in gratitude for all these things that make this one life, Life.

Here’s something to try for your next gathering, and you won’t regret it for a minute. Light and fresh, healthful and a bit spicy — perfect for a picnic or cookout, or for a snack while waiting for the next thing.

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
½ cup finely chopped seeded tomato
¼ cup chopped red onion
2 T minced fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4½ tsp minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
¼ cup light sour cream
1½ tsp lemon juice
1½ tsp lime juice
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp seasoned salt
Tortilla chips

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat.

Serve immediately with chips.