The Fifth of July


Melissa Stagnaro

Here we are, back to the grind, images of Fourth of July fireworks still burned into our retinas and the remains of the weekends many barbecues still digesting in the furthest reaches of our digestive tracts.

There is nothing quite so depressing as returning to work following a holiday weekend. Even more so when the holiday in question is Independence Day. After three days celebrating our nation’s freedom with camp outs, cook outs, parades and fireworks, it’s hard to resign oneself to  something as freedom-less as work. Particularly when that work keeps you inside on a perfectly gorgeous day like today.

It isn’t just that the memories of this Fourth of July have already begun to fade into the collective conscience of holiday weekend’s past that’s getting me down. It’s the fact that the first blush of summer is gone. The next long weekend we have to look forward to is Labor Day, which basically means winter is on its way.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to hang up my golf clubs for skis just yet.

So, I’m starting a new tradition: Summer Resolutions. Which, as the name implies, are not dissimilar to the New Year’s variety. It’s all about living a happier, healthier existence. Only in this case, the focus is more on in-the-moment summertime fun than positive lifestyle change.

Here are 15 things which I have decided I absolutely must do before the end of summer:

1. Golf. I hereby pledge to golf at least once a week between now and when the first snow flies. And no, put-put is not an acceptable substitute.

2. Make use of the golf lessons my mom was kind enough to give me last year. (Yes, I realize she was trying to tell me something.)

3. Tennis, anyone? This year, I intend to dust off my tennis racket and play at least 5 times between now and Labor Day. Be forewarned.

4. Hit the beach. Any beach.

5. Step 1: Find my bathing suit. Step 2: Put it on. Step 3: Go swimming. (Can be combined with item #4.)

6. Frequent the Unadilla Drive In at least twice.

7. Reacquaint myself with my watercolors. Preferably on a deliriously sunny afternoon, ensconced on a blanket in the middle of a newly-mowed field.

8. Hike a portion of the Finger Lakes Trail.

9. Go wine tasting. (I’m all ready to check this one off the list. Already have a trip planned in August with Lizzy!)

10. Go camping. Even if it’s in my own back yard.

11. Plan a weekend trip to visit friends or family at least 100 miles from home.

12. Plan a weekend trip under 100 miles from home.

13. Take my mom, the ultimate baseball fan, to at least 2 more Binghamton Mets games this summer.

14. Host a backyard barbecue.

15. Have a picnic.

I think that’s enough to get me started. But I’m definitely open to other suggestions. What’s on your summer to-do list?

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.