Summer is here in Portland. It’s a fantastic place to be as far as summers go. For the average Portlander, it is a coveted time year that you dream about in the doldrums of rainy winter days. It is the sole reason springs are bearable. One day the clouds slowly clear and they don’t come back until the end of September. You stop checking the weather forecast because you know that the week ahead lies sunshine and warmer temperatures. If you’re lucky, you find time to stop and take it all in, but this rarely happens. Since summers in Portland can be surprisingly short, they are the doped up version of what an average summer is. No matter if it’s a workday, people will squeeze the joy out of every last second of sunshine. We’ll stop to watch the sun set behind the hills concluding another fantastic day. We’ll wake up earlier than normal just to see the day fill with brightness an hour earlier. And all the hours in between are to be as absolutely filled with as many summer-themed activities as possible.
I find it curious how different times are from before. Back in the day, the sign of a tan meant you likely worked outdoors. Fair white skin meant you were of high class. Nowadays we toil in front of computers and excel spreadsheets, lucky if we can catch a few vitamin-D rich days. It is the people with the tan lines we are jealous of – those that have the daytimes to explore beneath the cloudless skies. Such is the way of life now and please don’t mistake these diatribes for complaining. I am nearly reflecting on how the color of one’s skin means something completely different nowadays.
So yes, summer is upon us. BBQs, hikes, camping excursions, sitting on porches with a glass of Cabernet. We are in the middle of Portland’s summer on crack. I know this because inevitably my toes are dirty at the end of each day, prompting a shower before I tuck myself into bed. Rather than the warmth of Wellingtons or Uggs, I go barefoot or in sandals and collect the essence of summer between my toes. It reminds me of being a kid again when we got heaps dirty playing capture the flag in grandpa’s backyard. We’d play until the parents called us into dinner and then giggled as they looked at us tromping inside. “Wash up” was a common demand before sitting at the dinner table. Yes, I do believe that the dirtier my feet are, the better the day has been.
This post brought to you by a 2010 Coppola Rosso, the Etta James Pandora station. I would like to give a shout out to my dirty toes for writing inspiration.