Jun 6, 201311:49 PM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

Time for Summertime

Summer thunderstorms are the best!

I have had a real job – an actual 9-to-5, have to wear real pants, capital J job – for so long now that I don’t even bother to get wistful when I flip the calendar to… June. June, July and August have long ceased to be synonymous with “endless laziness punctuated with ice cream and stained with snowballs” for me. I still love summer – tomato sandwiches, thunderstorms, late humid twilight, ripe peaches, sweaty outdoor parties, seersucker, iced tea, thick morning air, sandals – but it’s now just my favorite season and no longer a way of life.

 

I do feel kind of bad for Ruby, though, because her school adheres to an extended year calendar. I know logically that this is a good thing. It helps to ensure that kids who might otherwise fall through the cracks in the summertime stay engaged for longer; the school also provides breakfast, lunch and something called a “dinner pack” for students who need it, which is a crucial resource for a lot of families. I am not struggling so much that I rely on that to feed my family, but money is tight enough that I am relieved at not having that many weeks of day camp to pay for. But I do feel kind of bad that she only gets six weeks off. After this week, she still has two more to go, and she goes back to school the first week of August, whereas my stepson, who attends private school, has been off since May 24 and doesn’t go back until mid-August. Right now, Ruby takes it in stride because she really doesn’t know any different, but I am betting I only have one or two more years, max, before she starts complaining about the injustice of it all.

 

I guess the upside of it is that when she gets to the real world, the notion of no summer at all won’t seem quite so harsh, although she probably still will have been spoiled by blissfully long college breaks. And in the meantime, I am trying to make sure that even if she doesn’t get to sleep in and do nothing all day quite yet, we are not missing a moment of summer-as-a-season. So far, we have made popsicles, eaten ice cream, played in the sprinkler, picked a tomato from our backyard garden, gone swimming and stood on the front porch to watch a thunderstorm roll in. I am hoping that one weekend soon, we can go to Bay St. Louis for a night and drive to the Northshore to pick berries, two activities I remember fondly from my childhood.

 

What are you looking forward to doing this summer?

Reader Comments:
Jun 10, 2013 12:21 pm
 Posted by  wht

College classes are often so difficult to schedule these days that more and more students keep going to school in the summer, gaining additional units to free up time and scheduling for required classes they couldn't otherwise get into for their major during the other semesters/quarters. Some overbooked clases are repeated in the summer. Some students need to get out sooner than later while their scholarship holds out.

I'm afraid the "lazy days of summer" are fast fading into the humidity - which in air conditioned cubicles we know less and less about as the summer season becomes a moving train in the window, passing us by. And with it, the opportunities to acquire experiences and memories to last us for a lifetime, often shaping who we are, where we come from.

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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

about

Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.

She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.

Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.

Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."

She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.

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