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Ann Cannon: Harvesting summertime lessons

Published August 18, 2014 5:47 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I looked at my calendar today (I do that occasionally) and realized that summer is almost over, which means it's time to make up my list of 35 things I learned and relearned over the past three months.

1. It's hard to believe all those tiny seeds and seedlings you planted in the spring can turn into corn and tomatoes and melons.

2. Speaking of which, it's a whole lot more satisfying to plant a garden than it is to weed one.

3. Also, farmers markets are awesome. But seriously — why do people take their dogs? Do dogs really enjoy shopping for produce?

4. When the corn is on, you should eat it three times a day. Same goes for peaches. Tomatoes, too.

5. Running barefoot on grass makes you feel like a kid again.

6. So does riding a bike. Especially downhill.

7. You should sleep underneath the stars at least once every summer.

8. Yeah, it's hot here in July. But I now know from direct personal experience that it's hotter in Houston.

9. Here's something else I learned while visiting my son and his family in Houston — the Blue Bell ice-cream factory relies on the milk of 60,000 cows DAILY to produce its ice cream.

10. Dude. That's a lot of cows.

11. Summer is the best time to acquire and housetrain a brand new puppy. Keep up the good work, Sophie and Jake!

12. Summer evenings in Salt Lake City would be perfect if I could only hear an ocean outside my window.

13. Although the sound of crickets in the evening is pleasant night music, too.

14. It's a sweet, sweet experience to participate in the weddings of children you watched grow up.

15. Let it also be said that other people's weddings are always more fun than yours was.

16. Does it make me sound as old as Homer Simpson's father when I say that I miss my programs ("Person of Interest," "The Good Wife," "Brooklyn 99") during the summer months?

17. Thank heaven for the Broadway Theater during the summer — and all year round.

18. The sad part about finishing a truly great book — besides finishing it — is that the next book (no matter how good it is) is bound to disappoint you.

19. Everybody should drive to Wyoming with my mother, aka "the Rodeo Queen," and listen to her talk about growing up in Big Piney.

20. Eating ice cream is mandatory.

21. Whenever your adult sons get together for family reunions, they all act as if they're 12 years old again.

22. Even in restaurants.

23. Apparently Halloween is the new Christmas — stores are already breaking out the jack-o'-lanterns.

24. Thanks to my friend Cynthia, I have now relinquished the title of "The Last Person Standing Who Has Not Seen 'Wicked.' " And she was right. "Wicked" is lots of fun.

25. Watching hummingbirds flit around your backyard never gets old.

26. On the other hand, I wouldn't be sad if I never saw another raccoon skulking around my property again. JUST GO AWAY, RACCOONS!

27. Bad potato salad is a tragedy. A very unnecessary tragedy.

28. You'd love your 3-year-old granddaughter on Memorial Day, too, if you heard her refer to cemeteries as "gardens where people die."

29. The hardest thing in the world is to watch the people you love suffer.

30. A spouse who doesn't like cats can still surprise you after 37 years of marriage — especially when he advises a son to get a cat.

31. Even though my husband always tells people I have no attention span (and he's right), I learned I could sit through a three-hour movie if that movie is "Boyhood." See? I'm full of surprises, too!

32. The world won't end if I don't get around to making raspberry freezer jam.

33. On the other hand, the world will definitely be a bleaker place in January when I go to the freezer and the freezer is bare.

34. Best thing of all? To have a child come home.

35. Summer is never long enough.

At least not for me.

Ann Cannon can be reached at acannon@sltrib.com.