I keep thinking about the things I am missing this summer. I always used to say that every New Englander lives for the summer. In the Boston area, where I live, winter is full-on. The chill starts in November. In maxes itself out in February and March. The snow keeps coming until May. For a city that is built on public transportation, walking around in heavy shoes because of dirty sloshy snow is a pain. So, summer is a thing.
5 Things I Am Missing This Summer
Summer is a glorious thing. That’s what makes this summer particularly disappointing. In the era of Coronavirus, summer has become a story about sacrifice. Even as days go into the 80s and beyond, I am indoors. Sure, there are people outside enjoying the summer. I am certain the beaches are filled with people and restaurants are opening up. For me, the moment still does not feel safe enough to abandon caution. I am left missing summer even as I use my air-conditioning every night.
Here are some of the things I am missing this summer:
Evening Boat Cruise:
Since 2017, I have done a boat cruise out of the Seaport area of Boston. This boat cruise is one of the highlights of summer because it is not a sight-seeing expedition. Instead, we all board the boat calmly. Then inside the boat, on the top deck, there is a dance party. One of the fun things about this party is that the DJ is an older gentleman. Having an old DJ does not mean less fun. He still plays some of the best sounds ranging from pop to R&B to hip-hop. We all get to dance, let lose a bit, and get cooled down by the gentle breeze off the water. This boat cruise is definitely one thing I am missing this summer.
Fried Fish on Wollaston Beach:
I used to live in Quincy until 2017. A lot of my summer habits are centered around that area. In particular, I love going to get fried fish at one of the shacks at Wollaston Beach. Yes, the fried fish shacks are open. The other day I drove through the area and I could see lines coming out of the shacks. People were buying food to go. For me, that defeats the purpose of the fried seafood place. There is nothing like getting a seafood platter with fish, shrimp, calamari, scallops, and chips that is hot. Then sitting down at one of the plastic chairs and tables outside to eat. I particularly love my hot chips dipped in mayo. I can’t get that feeling with take-away.
Events at Lawn on D:
Lawn on D is this uber-cool spot in the Boston that has swings from grown-ups. It also has games to play. Often, companies will throw events at Lawn on D. On there might be a food court set up with food trucks. I miss going to Lawn on D in the summer. I have done that the past 2 summers. This year, Lawn on D has been converted into outdoor sitting for a restaurant.
Godson’s Beach Birthday:
My godson’s birthday is at the end of July. Last year for his second birthday, his mom and I threw a party at Castle Island. I love going to Castle Island in the summer because it is in the middle of the city. I normally go on a weekday when everyone else is at work. It is a good place to park my car and go for a walk. Or to bring friends over for a get-together. The water is never too crazy and the beach is usually calm. Last year, my godson finally felt in love with the water. He spent the whole day playing around in water and sand. We had hoped to turn it into an annual tradition for him. Alas, this will be something that I will be missing this summer.
My Friend’s House:
If you know me, you know I don’t have a lot of friends. I am lucky that my two people are married to each other and they have my favorite babies. I am always at their house. It makes it easy for me to catch up with both of them and see the babies. This summer, there will be no such thing. I miss chasing my godson around. I miss crashing on their couch for a nap. These things seemed so little a year ago. Now, I am realizing those moments made my life full and gave me memories.
When I think about the things I am missing this summer, I get sad. But then, I remind myself that the only reason I am missing these is because I am being responsible. Life the past few months has been a roller coaster. I have had moment of hope because old normal did not work well for me. I am filled with despair because my nights are filled with numbers dead and new infection rates. It is a lot to constantly confront.
Through it all though, I am trying to do the right thing. Yes, the 5 things I am missing this summer mean a lot to me. But being healthy and giving myself a good chance of being here next summer means more. Until it is safe to go outside and interact with the world again, I’ll cherish my memories. I’ll create new ones within the confines of my safe space.