What's Your Summer Pastime?

From the desk of romance author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy…..


            We create our own little world.  In this vast and diverse United States what’s popular varies from one city to another, from one region to the next.  Since I live somewhere close to smack dab in the middle of the nation, in what some jaded souls from the coasts have dubbed “the flyover zone”, my amusements and entertainments are often different than those of family and friends in other locations.  There are many constants.  I think about all Americans enjoy a movie on occasion and readers love a good story no matter what the format, traditional print or electronic.  Whether we like our big network shows or some of the variety found on the host of channels available these days, a lot of people turn to television but often in various ways.  Music is universal although the types we prefer to plug into tend to vary with each individual.  Even in my own household with a husband, two teens, a pre-teen, and a dog, our musical preferences are all over the charts.  We don’t all watch, read, or listen to the same things but there are, fortunately for family harmony, some common favorites.

Courtesy of Oklahoma Tourism
            Some of the summer pursuits I enjoy which may seem exotic, very different, or incomprehensible to people in other regions of America include powwows.  I enjoy powwows very much and with a bit of Native American blood, it’s more than just a show or sport to me. The rhythm of the drum becomes like a heartbeat and it can be (and often is for me) a somehow profound and religious experience.

            County fairs are big in my part of the country and I’ve been to many.  In the days when I worked in broadcasting, I often served my shift live on air at the radio station’s booth.  County fairs offer a rustic appeal and showcase the kind of Americana some folks may think extinct.  If you ignore the traveling carnivals which often set up in tandem with the fairs, you can find homegrown vegetables, homemade cakes, cookies and bread, animals youth have raised since birth, and much more.  There’s usually a commercial exhibit area and it’s a good time to pick up old-fashioned paper fans, refrigerator magnets, assorted freebies and sign up for chances to win prizes.  Most of the time you’ll find cotton candy, popcorn, roasted nuts, funnel cakes, and lemonade sold on the grounds too.  I’ll admit fairs aren’t high on my list of things I enjoy in the summer but it’s an experience everyone should have at least once. 

            Rodeos are another all American event.  I haven’t been to one in years but there’s something exciting about watching people of all ages as they pit their skills, man against animal.  It can be a thrill and in my single days, I’ll confess I found some of those cowboys damn handsome, sexy right down to their boots.  

            Other summer activities found in the Ozarks where I now live include swimming in the clear, cold streams and lakes, fishing (with pole or by hand which is called ‘noodling’), float trips, canoe rides, and camping out in the wilds beside running water.  There are usually a lot of farmer’s markets which offer a good chance to buy locally grown produce at a cheap price.  Music is big too with informal concerts and events.

Since the weather turned hot, I’ve been enjoying a lot of movies, favorite movies in the cool comfort of my home.  Summer is a good season to just chill out and enjoy so I’ve watched some favs in recent weeks including Australia, Kate and Leopold (okay so I like Hugh Jackman!),Gladiator, The Others, and The Patriot.  I’ve done my share of reading too, usually the last thing I do at night when the house is quiet and my night owl blood isn’t ready to retire. 

What are your favorite popular things to do in the good ol’ summertime?

When I’m not writing, you can find me here:

Twitter: leeannwriter

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