When I was a kid, we always got out of school Memorial Day weekend, unlike all those poor kids from California who were rumored to be in school during June. So what if those kids all had tans and also Disneyland? We had something waaaaay better. We had freedom!
To this day, I still say hello to summer when I say goodbye to May. And every year I make up a list of the things I want to do to own the season. Here's the plan for 2012:
Take the UTA FrontRunner train to Ogden with my husband. Catch a movie and have dinner there. Restaurant suggestions greatly appreciated.
Finish 11/22/63 by Stephen King. (King is a swell writer, but even if he weren't, I'd still be impressed. Anybody who can write an 800-page novel is just an awesome force of nature.)
Figure out what Spanish class to take this fall at Salt Lake Community College.
Eat barbecue. Lots of it. Also sample tacos from taco carts around Salt Lake City. Visit the Chow Truck occasionally for a calamari taco, just to mix it up.
Watch the sun rise over the Avenues every morning. Take Zora the Newf on a walk shortly thereafter.
Grow heirloom tomatoes and heirloom cucumbers and remember grandparents who grew those plants before they were heirlooms.
Celebrate the Fourth and remember Becky, who didn't care for Christmas but who loved Independence Day.
Sit on a beach and feel salt air on my skin. Listen to surf pound sand.
Run barefoot across wet grass. And by "barefoot" I mean I won't be wearing those fancy toe gloves you buy at REI for $100.
Walk across England with my childhood friend Doni. And by "walk across England" I mean "walk across England," literally, while also not wearing those fancy toe gloves you buy at REI for $100. (More about the Big Walk later.)
Watch fireworks displays.
Go to Bees games and wish like crazy that wunderkind Angels outfielder Mike Trout were still tearing it up here in Salt Lake.
Make homemade ice cream on Sunday nights, sit on the front lawn and invite neighbors drifting by to join us.
Get my dad to teach me how to hit a golf ball. Again.
Go kayaking with college friend Susan.
Hit the farmers market in Murray on Fridays, especially when the peaches are on. Have peaches for breakfast, lunch and dinner while the peaches are on.
Take in a local rodeo. Suggestions greatly appreciated.
Take a bike ride with my youngest son on Antelope Island.
Track the phases of the moon each night from my front porch. Remember to bury my nose in the white night-fragrant nicotiana plants before heading back inside.
Sleep with the windows open. Listen for crickets.
Hike up to Cecret (this is NOT a typo) Lake when the wildflowers are in bloom. Suggestions for other local hikes greatly appreciated.
Play board games. Try to win a few more rounds of Trivial Pursuit before my memory goes permanently south.
Watch the final season of "The Closer."
Feed the ducks at Liberty Park with my granddaughter. Visit the owls at Tracy Aviary together. Come back home and turn on the sprinklers so she can run through them. Feed her Pace's frozen treats, especially the purple ones.
Take a road trip to Wyoming with my mom so we can visit our amazing relation Ava, who celebrated her 90th birthday by going to Wendover. Ask Ava to recommend her favorite romance novels. Drive over to Pinedale and stay the night.
Maybe I'll paint the staircase. But only if I get around to it.
Refuse to take the season for granted.
What's on your list?
Ann Cannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/columnistcannon.