Arugula, America, and Other Summer Loves

I Love Summer…

Where the patio is always open and the screen door is closed (those pesky flies!). When the grill is hot, the shady oak is cool, the Chardonnay is chilled, and the ice cream is cold. Where a long afternoon nap is welcome, and “peaches gone bad” are forbidden. When the bikinis are itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny, and our collective joie de vivre is GINORMOUS!Summer is where the sounds of “Born in the USA” and The Beach Boys, the smell of Coppertone and freshly mown grass reign supreme. “Deck the Halls” and the smell of pine? Not so much. It’s where the chaise lounge is invitingly soft, and the thought of a 5-day workweek is oh-so-hard. It’s the time of year when the mercury goes up, and when it’s a must to let your hair hang down. And relax…

100 degree Sacramento heat? Bring it!

Another great summer love? Glad you asked.  Arugula! If you haven’t had it, you must. It’s delicious, nutritious, leafy, peppery, low-to-no-calories, crisp, refreshing, pretty, light, aromatic… okay, I’m running out of adjectives. Nothing screams summer much louder (to me anyway) than and Arugula salad! Well, and corn-on-the-cob, cherry tomatoes and strawberry shortcake! And of course watermelon. Oh, and S’mores

But the icon, the hallmark, the very centerpiece of summer is, undeniably, The 4th of July…

Where the American flag proudly waves, and our patriotism never wavers.


When we celebrate the glory, beauty and freedom of our USA by gathering together, parading, barbecuing, singing and enjoying the magnificence of fireworks!


Ahhh…the sweet memories of 4th of July’s gone by:

Circa 1973 ~ Jamison Stadium (home of the Porterville High Panthers football team), Porterville, California. My BFF Becky and I would show up at dusk, armed with Mom’s chocolate chip cookies, all atwitter, awaiting in anticipation of the “bombs bursting in air.” Well, and hoping to catch a gander of DK or SW (worst case scenario); or better yet, actually sitting with DK or SW; or the ultimate-of-ultimate, some serious hand-holding. (Sadly, none of the above ever occurred.)

Life was good in 1973. So simple. So innocent. So much in store.

Circa 1983 ~Corona del Mar, California. Living the single life! Driving with friends to Newport Harbor to see the “Old Glory Boat Parade,” with the boats all prettied-up in their patriotic red-white-and-blue best! Music to my eyes. Truly.

Life was good in 1983. So darn fun. So many life’s lessons learned.

Circa 1993 ~ Gold River, California. My Cassidy is 5. My Julia is 2. Chuck and I are kinda stressed. (Weren’t you, too, when your kids were that age?)

8:00 a.m. parade around the neighborhood with decorated bikes, wagons, strollers, dogs and even cats! Some people showing off their fancy-shmancy boats and sports cars! (We weren’t one of those people, btw.) The evening meant a barbecue/potluck in the court, families everywhere, music on the boombox, chasing the kids, changing diapers, refereeing toddler spats, inhaling the fumes and sulphur from our Piccolo Petes, and me downing my third glass of Chard. (No driving necessary.)

Life was good in 1993. So darn hectic. So meaningful. But the best of times.

This year ~ 9 of 11 kids have moved on and out of the court. So… Empty-Nesters unite! We’re dragging out the barbecues. And we’ll show off our salads (mine will be Arugula, of course), mellowly sip on our Chard, talk about our kids (some more incessantly than others), play some classic rock ‘n’ roll, wave our beloved flags and, hopefully, if all goes well, be fast asleep by 10:00.

Life is good in 2012. And why shouldn’t it be?

We are honored and blessed to live in America.

And it’s summertime. And the livin’ is easy.





















5 Responses to Arugula, America, and Other Summer Loves
  1. Claudia Scott
    July 2, 2012 | 2:08 pm

    When was the last time you had ice cream or short cake, little Sistah? Love the remembrances of past stages of life!

  2. Lois Galloway
    July 3, 2012 | 12:13 pm

    Words become pictures in my head as I hear or read them. I see everything you write about in living, vivid color! That’s why I love your blog. So well written that it provides me with a plethora of great mind scenes. Thanks for bringing summer and the 4th of July to life for me.

  3. Julie Baker-Law
    July 3, 2012 | 5:34 pm

    Jodie, Great writing and oh so visual for us all. You are making me want to travel memory lane and recall my favorite 4th of July festivities….

  4. Therese Fowler-Bailey
    July 5, 2012 | 11:33 pm

    Jodie! Love this and All Comments Above! Visual scenes from past Cuatro de Julios …celebrated from Wash D.C. at the Capital Mall to Seattle WA on a Ferry to Bainbridge Island…BUT honestly the most FUN was Crowded street as kids…sparklers and homemade Ice good old Porterville, CA. So Enjoy YouR Words~ Thanks!

  5. Krista
    July 13, 2012 | 10:29 am

    I love the memories this one sparked in my mind. My “dear ol dad” used to be the announcer at Porterville Jamison Stadium fireworks. It was such a special time for the Cotta family, listening to dad tell the stories over the sight and sound of the fireworks. Now, its as you say….enjoying the day with close friends. Theresa and Katy came to share the festivities with us in the beauty of Camp Nelson just loved having them and the many laughs we had.
    God Bless America!!!!

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About Me

It's true! Despite playing defense virtually all my life against the onslaught of this sometimes-ugly aging process, it...has...arrived! I naively thought I would escape cellulite (the Cottage Cheese) and crow's feet (the Crepe Paper). But I didn't! And why didn't anyone tell me about this emotional roller-coaster that comes with being an Empty-Nester?! My name is Jodie Barringer Myers. I'm a 54-year-old Friday/chardonnay/ hydrangea-loving wife/mom/court reporter living in Sacramento (Gold River!), California. Writing is cathartic for me. And because I look to find humor and humility among the rubble that is my now very peri-menopausal self, I'm hopeful that you will laugh, cry, learn, enjoy and, most of all, relate to what I have to say. After all, we're all in this together, right?

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