Telltale Signs

There are a few things, all part of an everyday routine, that signify summer to me like nothing else. One of them is the beach. The other is pesto

I’m not talking about going down to the sand and wiggling your toes in the water beach, I’m talking frantically scanning the nearby water for jellyfish, wondering what creatures might be lurking in the dark shadowy water, letting salty hair dry out on a beach towel kind of beach. Yesterday morning, after a productive stint of errand running, I pulled in to 72nd street only to realize that I’d forgotten a most crucial ingredient for said “beach experience:” a towel.

Never fear, though, because *I* have local connections! Dialed up Rachael’s cell to find out that the eldest Wagner child was living the high life in the Hudson Valley, sightseeing and dining at the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America for the uninitiated). Alas, while I could not accompany her on such gastronomic adventures, she was able to assist me in my quest for a sandy chaise. Having been assured that there was no one present in the house to give me a bathing blanket, I got the low down that the garage wasn’t locked, so I pulled up the door and sure enough gained admittance to 7106 Oceanfront. Chatting all the while, I proceed through the laundry room, past the pantry and up the small flight of stairs that opens on the main hallway. As I chuckle at RAW’s exploits in the Hudson River Valley, I hear a voice shriek from the patio “Where’d you come from?!”

Uh oh. As it turns out, Theresa, the babysitter had been folding laundry and talking on her cell phone, thus hand not answered the house line. Perplexed, she hurriedly told her friend that she’d call back, while I attempt to explain to both Theresa (in person) and Rachael (on the phone) what’s going on. A short chat between the two of them (I relinquished my phone) solved all problems, and I even got a beach towel out of the whole ordeal. I reatreated back out through the garage, closing doors behind me, and then retreated further, out to the beach. Good times, good water, good sun.

Then, in a fit of verdant innovation, I decided that the basil out back needed to be harvested. When the pine nuts and olive oil hit the food processor, I knew it was summer. There are very few things that are as quintessentially summertime than fresh pesto, due to the seasonal availability of the ingredients, and the lackluster qualities of imitation pesto. Firing up the grill for roasted zucchini clinched the deal, and I had to admit to myself that even though it wasn’t Memorial Day yet, it was definitely summer.

It’s strange how these ordinary weekday events inspire thoughts of vacation and relaxation more than the surf-wear shopping extravaganza of this weekend, and it’s 100 degree + heat, but that’s just the way it goes in my crazy little head. The *only* downside, and I do mean only, is that schools are beginning to end, and that means that my quests for teaching observations are becoming ever that much more difficult. Well, I’ll do what I can do, and then there’s not much more I can do, right?

In the meantime, now that I’ve ordered my new camera (after much deliberation, and impressing the pants off the BestBuy salesclerk with my digital camera knowledge), I’m going to tackle the other half of my summer shopping project, and look for my teacher wardrobe. Off to Lynnhaven mall. Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll buy a beach towel while I’m at it.

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