Forget calendar; season of fun in sun starts now

According to the calendar, summer officially begins three weeks from today. But I’m not waiting that long. As far as I’m concerned, June 1 is the beginning of summer, whether the solar calendar agrees with me or not.

Summer has always been my favorite season, as I prefer wearing T-shirts and sunscreen to running from the house to the car while hoping I don’t freeze solid halfway there.

But I can’t remember ever looking forward to a summer as much as I’m looking forward to this one. Much of my anticipation can be traced to the atrocious winter we endured this year.

A certain amount of cold temperatures and snow is to be expected in Indiana. Last winter, however, it seemed that Indiana had drifted north to become part of a new state called Minndiana or maybe Indakota.

Even this spring hasn’t been especially pleasant. We’ve had some nice days but also more than our usual share of below-average temps and cold, rainy days.

But hey, forget all that. Sunday is June 1, and it’s time for hot fun in the summertime. It’s time to forget you even own a snow shovel. Gloves? What are those?

It’s time to put away your coats and boots and dig out your shorts, sandals and, depending on the state of your self-esteem, maybe even your swimsuit. It’s time to make sun tea and ride your bicycle.

It’s time to dust off your Beach Boys records, shake the rust off your falsetto, climb aboard the Sloop John B and start asking Rhonda to help you get ’er out of your heart, bow, bow, bow, bow, bow, bow, bow — sorry, got a little carried away there.

And, as of June 1, it is officially time to start complaining that “it’s too hotttttt!”

It’s time for softball, baseball, golf and tennis. It’s time to take the kids to the pool. It’s time for 12-hour days at the amusement park, riding roller coasters until you can’t stand up anymore.

Summer means outdoor concerts and trips to Victory Field to watch the Indianapolis Indians play. Rinse out the cooler because summer means Fourth of July picnics and fireworks.

It’s time for hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and pitchers of ice cold lemonade. Summer means working in the yard until you’re one big sweaty mess and loving every minute of it.

While the above are all great examples of big-time summer fun, for me, it’s the little things that make summer so enjoyable.

For example, I love sipping a cup of coffee on the patio on a summer Saturday morning, with a light breeze blowing through the green leaves, carrying the wonderful aromas of flowers and freshly cut grass.

And I will never tire of introducing grandchildren to the joys of catching fireflies in their hands on a warm summer evening or watching them laugh like maniacs as they fling themselves into the backyard pool, then jump out again, then back in again, then out again, ad infinitum.

Nor will I ever tire of driving with the car windows down, the summer sun in my face and loud rock music playing, preferably a song that prompts the young people next to me at the stoplight to make their snarky “what a geezer!” faces.

As the light goes green, I will turn to face them, nod politely and scream “TRAMPS LIKE US … BABY WE WERE BORN TO RUNNNNNNNNNNNN!” as I drive off to the drugstore for more old people pills.