My colleague Sarah has a great blog that – like More to Come… – covers her range of interests outside of work. So I was thrilled when I saw her recent post on top ten things to do this summer at the top of the “best blogs” on Word Press earlier today.
Sarah took the idea from The Daily Post. Her plans looked like such fun that I decided to try my hand at making a list that had an equal smile-inducing factor. You can be the judge in determining if the DJB list for the summer of 2011 passes the test.
1. Play more music with friends. I’ve found a group of guys that I enjoy playing roots music with, but we tend to let it slide over the summer. I get such joy out of playing with them that I’m going to work on getting everyone together between songwriting and guitar camps. (Yes, these guys are good!)
2. Summer in New England. I’m cheating on this on as I was just in Portland, Maine, this past week; however, it was for work. But seriously, we had such a wonderful time in the northeast last year, I’ve added it to my 2011 list. Candice and I bought a week on Nantucket at a recent church auction for a great price, so we just have to ensure we cash it in!
3. Savor the last year of summer swim team. Andrew and Claire have been Franklin Knolls Gators for more years than I can remember. This is their last year of the summer swim team before they head off to college. Rather than resent those 6:30 Saturday morning meet-ups at the pool, I want to savor all the friendships, sunny days, and hamburgers on the grill.
4. Take at least three friends to a wooden-bat baseball game. We’re lucky to have a strong wooden bat league in the metro Washington area, with both the Silver Spring Thunderbolts and Bethesda Big Train nearby. Wooden bat league baseball is where college players learn how to hit with – yes – a wooden bat! It is small town baseball in a big city setting, and I love it.
5. Reread The Last Best League and watch Bull Durham. This item is connected to #4. The Last Best League is one of the best baseball books ever written – and it is all about the Cape Cod wooden bat league. Bull Durham is THE best baseball movie ever. (Don’t give me any back talk about The Natural.) Summer isn’t complete unless I watch Bull Durham for about the 30th time. (For the record, I don’t believe in saddling yourself with lots of heavy reading over the summer…there are nine other months for the tough stuff.)
6. Ride my bike. There was a time when I rode my bicycle every day…but that’s been a while. However, we just bought Candice a new bicycle for her birthday, and that’s just the reason to jump in the saddle. I hope we can get into a weekly routine. I love the feel of being on a bike in the summer.
7. Balance, balance, balance. This promises to be a very busy summer at work. To balance that I want to eat more meals outside in the evening. Savor the glass of wine with family or friends. Watch less Sports Center on TV and listen to more baseball on the radio. Laugh.
8. Connect with a friend every day. Use the slower pace of summer to connect to people in places outside of work. Reach out to those who can make me smile, and to those who might smile if they hear from me.
9. Learn how to play an alternating bass pattern on guitar. I’ve never been very good at the “Travis” or country blues style of fingerpicking. (Too much James Taylor growing up, I suppose.) But I received a Homespun Tapes video on the topic for Christmas, and I want to use the summer to work on combining that bass and melody line so I can impress my friend Oakley when I see him at Thanksgiving!
10. Try not to cry when we drop Claire and Andrew off at college. I’m not going to be able to do this, but I’ll put it out there as a goal nonetheless. At best, I’ll try to avoid embarrassing the kids and myself.
So that’s it: the DJB list for summer of 2011. Feel free to add items from your list in the comments section and check back after Labor Day to see how I fared. But most of all, enjoy the summer.
More to come…