As August begins, I’m amazed at how quickly summer comes and goes. We wait and wait for it, it’s here and then one day, I hear the nearby high school marching band practicing, a sure sign that Fall is around the corner.

Summer is the most longed-for season, yet it’s a mere three months. Given that’s it’s so short, I want to find ways to make the most of it.

Here are five easy ways to savor the rest of your summer.

  1. Wash your car by hand. Whether the drive-through version at the gas station or the full-service option, car washes are ubiquitous these days. For years, I’ve used both kinds, but I don’t like them. The full-service option is expensive and too time-consuming for my impatient self. The gas station options are better than nothing, but the results are marginal. I’ve also heard they’re not good for the paint on your car. This summer, I’ve tried the old-fashioned approach: washing your car by hand!

I’ve been washing my ride in our driveway recently and it’s the way to go for a few reasons. First, you get to be outside with a hose and running water. If that doesn’t make you feel like a kid, I don’t know what will.  I tie the dog up in the front yard by attaching his leash to a shovel, so he can be a part of things too. Having company makes it more fun. The task from start to finish doesn’t take much time either.

Holmes is tied up to the shovel in our front yard.

Finally, washing my car has made me love my car. Before I started caring for it myself, I thought it was okay. But now my car feels like mine. I admire its beautiful navy paint that gleams in the sunlight.  I love it and have no interest in getting a new one.

  1. Buy some fresh, local vegetables. This time of year, locally-grown vegetables are hitting their peak. I’ve been buying organic carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, beets and tomatoes and oh-my-goodness, are they delicious.

Recently I shared some of our carrots with a friend and she repeatedly remarked about how good the carrots were. Even large grocery stores now stock local, organic produce. Now is the time. Find them, buy them and enjoy!

  1. Lose track of time. I discovered the power of this idea when I forgot to wear my watch on a run. I covered my usual route but felt freer without knowing exactly what time it was. 

For a change, try doing something and not knowing the time, even if it’s just for a little bit. Forget about the clock! It’s wonderful. This simple experience puts time back in its rightful place.

  1. Hang out in a park. I had some free time one Thursday morning and decided to drive to one of the most beautiful parks in Sioux Falls, McKennan Park, and scout it out with my dog.

I was surprised at the beehive of activity there. At one end, I saw several courts of women I knew playing tennis. As we continued our walk, we found the children’s playground and chatted with the darling kids who politely asked if they could pet Holmes. Their friendly moms seemed eager for adult conversation too. I saw a couple of friends on a power walk and then an acquaintance running. Finally, there was going to be an outdoor story time at the band shell and throngs of children were gathering. It was summer at its best!

Storyland at McKennan Park.

  1. Wear shorts and a tank top very early in the morning. I have a fair complexion and am at high risk of skin-cancer, therefore sun-protection has become my hobby. But very early, when the sun is coming up and it promises to be hot and humid, I can wear shorts and a tank top without risk of sunburn. I don’t have to be covered up. The gentle, warm morning air kisses my skin.  It feels like summer.

What tricks do you have to make the most of summer? I’d love to hear about them.

May the rest of your summer be idyllic and carefree.