Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Favs

About three days before school let out -- when Tim was up to his eyeballs in chemistry and web design, when every morning demanded a permission slip, cash, and special equipment or clothing -- summer seemed a mirage, a hazy, unreal place slightly out of reach. About three days into vacation, I floated in the pool and remarked to a friend that school seemed two months ago.

It's been good to me so far.

We've had pesky little illnesses pop up, and a few squabbles, an "I'm bored" or two or twelve, but on balance it's been relaxing and enjoyable and not nearly as hot as it could be.

Two weeks in, I'm sharing a few of my favorites:

1. The Best Pool Bag Ever

Holds all the things. Mine's Lands End. L.L. Bean makes a great one as well. This looks the same as it did ten years ago.

2. Matt Maher

So we listen to this on the way to swim every morning, and it includes one of the loveliest litanies I've ever hear. Click here to listen to Matt's Litany.

John, it seems, doesn't quite get that this is a form of prayer.

"We listen to this every. single. day," he lamented this morning as I cranked it up.

"It's a litany of the saints," Ainsley informed him in her most self-righteousness voice ever.

(This from the girl who entertained the moms at the park belting out "Going off of the rails on the crazy train" this morning. Thank you, Megamind! Acid rock, Litany of Saints -- she's well rounded, my girl.)

Our litany began around the time I watched my children learn to dive in shallow water. Things can happen in a pool, and I'll take all the prayer coverage we can get.

Just one more element of Catholic prayer that I love, love, love, and I can get positively transported into the heavenly realms thinking about the Communion of saints and the beautiful link between the here and the hereafter and then Kolbe adopts a mock-baritone and starts singing, "Matt Maher, pray for us!"

And I just have to laugh.

3. Shoe Goop

Have you tossed perfectly good shoes that separated from the soles? You need never do it again. A squirt of Shoe Goo, a few  minutes with a clamp, and presto! Shoes restored to fine form. I bought this at Walmart and have seen it in Kroger as well. $4.

So now  you're wondering why I'd spend $4 saving these. They fit. They're comfy.

4. Solid Goggles

I would hate to calculate how much I have spent on various sorts of goggles through the years. I finally asked our swim coach for advice, and here it is: Buy a brand that is one solid piece across the bridge of the nose. A friend told me Costco offers a three pack of Speedo goggles for $15. You won''t find a better deal than that.

5. Sunscream

That's what Ainsley calls it. Call me paranoid, but I'll take the old-school greasy stuff over the spray any day of the week. If I'm not feeling slathered in slime just on the verge of breaking out, well, I can almost feel the sunburn spreading across my shoulders. Yes, this is from a fair-skinned Irish gal who's been tan once in her life. The kids, of course, love the spray. Thankfully, all but Ainsley have Dave's skin, so they're working with a whole lot more pigment than I have.

Good days. Very good days.

Head over to Hallie's to add your Five Favorites.


Christine Laennec said...

Almost all of your things have little or no relevance to a Scottish summer - except for sunscream, which is what we have been calling it for over a decade, as that was my daughter's pronunciation of it too!

Oh and prayer is very relevant here, of course.

So glad you're enjoying your summertime. You deserve some relaxation or at least a change of pace.

Kelly Dolin said...

Thanks, Christine! We have had plenty of relaxation and a definite change of pace.

Yes, sunscream is useful in cooler climates as well. The worst sunburn I've ever had was on a cool, windy day. Here at least we know we run the risk of scorching. No illusions.

Kris said...

We really are sisters in another life! I definitely agree about the goggles (as I've spent a million dollars on them over the years) - those solid ones are the best (until John gets REALLY good at swimming and wants racing goggles! :)) And the sunscreen - give me good old lotion any day for myself. The kids are too impatient, although I insist on an initial lotion application if we're at the beach. And I'm totally fair skinned and other than my oldest son, I have these brown skinned babies. My 15-year old looks like he's from Latin America in the summer!