It is May 10th - do you know where your summer is?
Thanks to our diluvian spring which dumped 5 feet of rain on us every Saturday with highs in the 40's we were robbed of Spring. No gentle bird chirping, no sense of a warm breeze that blew in one day to remind us that winter is leaving. No, the dial went from winter to summer to Seattle to now which is something like spring but no one has vegetable gardens started.
All this to say that summer is coming. And I don't mean like, "yay! summer is coming" I mean you better get serious about your first job as a person who takes their life seriously.
You need to have a plan for summer vacation.
If you are a dad, you need to plan at least one family vacation and one getaway with each of your kids individually. I know, for some of you this could mean 5 vacations . . . but in this case it looks like this: 1 week of family vacation and then a Friday night to Saturday night with the youngest in June, a Friday to Sunday morning with the middle one in July and maybe a Saturday to Sunday night with the oldest in August. Get creative. Go on roadtrips - just literally leave your development and ask your kid "right or left" for the next couple of hours and see where it takes you. Bring a tent (make it a little less expensive on yourself). Trust me, they will remember the mini-mart dinners and the pizza you ate for breakfast.
If you are a teen, you need to exploit this time in your life - young and cash-strapped. Grab a couple of your friends, bum some camping equipment from parents and friends of parents and spend a weekend hiking the Appalachian Trail. The closest access is up in Lebanon - google it. If your boss tells you that you can't because you have to work - get perspective. If you are going to spend the rest of your life serving tables at Masonic Village, then you better worry. Otherwise, give your boss plenty of notice and get camping. If that really ticks the boss off and he fires you, don't worry - you only needed money so you could get gas so you could work so you could get money so you could get gas so you could get to work . . . you get the point: you have the rest of your life to work. Be young and poor.
If you are a mom with kids - make the small things fun - proclaim every Friday night pizza and movie night. Make homemade pizza and grab a movie at redbox. Or on a very hot night, wake the kids up at 10:00pm and take them to the backyard where you have tiki lights, a sprinkler under the trampoline and sparklers going. Mess with their heads. They'll think you have gone nuts. Exactly.
The point is that summer comes up on us so quickly that it becomes August before you know it and you wished that you had done something out-of-routine. You have to clear your schedule tonight. Sit down at the kitchen table with paper and pencils and brainstorm some great things to do this summer. Here are a few:
1. Pull truck-tire tubes from the recycling bin at a tire place - take them to a big creek and float.
2. Camp in your backyard with your kids
3. Go to Hawk Mountain for a day of hiking.
4. A Day at Ocean City New Jersey (Luray Manor is a nice, simple beach Inn owned by the Vanderpools on 7th Street. Lodging is between $63-$93 per night peak season 609-399-5260).
5. A Day in New York City (drive to Staten Island and park for a fee, but then ride the S.I. Ferry across to Battery Park in NYC for free - it goes past the Statue of Liberty - very cool).
6. Rickett's Glen State Park - 22 waterfalls, the longest one is 94 feet - super park! http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/rickettsglen.aspx
7. Take a bunch of friends to Philly for the Day and explore South Street and then go to a Phillies Game.
8. Long's Park for an evening of Ultimate Frisbee and then Ritas. Repeat every Friday night.
9. Rent a boat at Raystown Lake.
10. Take a day trip to Roundtop - they have a ball you can climb inside and roll down a hill.
But you can come up with better ones. Remember: Think MEMORIES - not price tag or inconvenience. Work within a budget, but have fun with the people you love! If you plan it tonight and get on it - you will breathe a sigh of relief come August . . . because this summer . . . you lived!