It’s around this time of year when I am disappointed my summer isn’t going as planned. I used to think it was because I hadn’t done more but I’m beginning to think it’s because I haven’t done less. Warm weather fools me into thinking that somehow I’ll have more time to hang out with close friends or just sit on my front porch but these moments are hard to come by these days and I miss them.
The house I grew up in didn’t have a big front porch and my mom, longing for one, decided to make a cozy space on our front stoop instead. She was way ahead of Pottery Barn putting an Oriental rug on the cement landing along with a wicker couch, big pillows and plenty of plants. It was her “fix” for the porch she longed for and a place where we all spent a lot of time hanging out each summer. When it was empty, which wasn’t often, I’d take a book or a Seventeen Magazine and stretch across that couch reading until someone came over or a sibling moved in.
At night, it became the gathering spot for the kids in the neighborhood. We’d meet there to decide if we were going to play Kick the Can or Hide & Seek in the dark. My older brothers and sisters used it a lot filling it with friends that would spill onto the steps and into our front hall. My oldest brother and his friends would play their guitars out there and to this day, the sound of live music being played outside transports me back to that porch.
When I was in grade school, by August, summer felt as if it would never end. We’d already played a million games of Statue Maker (spinning each other in circles and freezing into a frozen statue the designated “buyer” would purchase) and Blind Man (tying a blindfold on someone and leading them around the neighborhood… not a game I recommend playing near a busy street). We’d eaten countless bowls of ice cream, roller skated and biked thru the entire neighborhood and even my mother who loved having us home would run out of ideas.
“Go outside in the sunshine and enjoy the day,” she’d beg us, “soon you’ll be back in school and it will be too cold to do anything.”
When she said stuff like that, we’d sigh and mope our way outside wondering how we’d make it to Labor Day. That is until we’d think of another made-up game to get us thru the day and keep us running around the neighborhood till dinner.
When I got to high school, the long summer days were filled with bus rides to the beach and babysitting, leaving little time for me to sit on the porch. By senior year, they were filled with life guarding and waiting tables, a job that paid my way each summer thru four years of college.
Time fills up quickly and now my summers have gotten more and more congested. Work, meetings, children, their countless activities and all my self-inflicted chores fill my summer days and I find myself longing for those empty days of summer when I had nothing to do.
Each morning, I water the plants on my front porch and look at the big, comfy chairs waiting to be used. I imagine my mother proud and happy I’ve created a welcoming space for spending hot summer days and I wish I could abide and actually use my front porch the way we all did when I was growing up. Each Sunday, I vow to read the morning paper out there while I drink my coffee and watch robins fly by but the thought of laundry or my Monday work duties sneak into my brain and I find myself rushing away to get everything done before dinner.
So here we are, nearing the end of summer and I have yet to sit on my front porch. Soon I’ll be storing away the cushions, sweeping away the leaves and regretting I didn’t spend more than ten minutes all summer out there.
I have finally realized it isn’t the list of things I want to do before Labor Day rolls around that gets me down this time each summer. It’s the lack of time I have to spend just sitting, cloud watching and thinking up ways to fill long summer days.
I miss those days without cell phone interruptions, political noise and other present day distractions and I tell myself, “Just get out in the sunshine and enjoy the day.” Wise words we should all live by to ensure we get the most out of summer.
– Germaine Caprio, Designer & Company Owner
P.S. Our Qualcosa Tank has been one of our must-haves for long summer days. We pair it with our Restorative Jogger Pant, denim or a Picolli Short and grab a light layer like our Elina Hoodie or Maglione Sweater as a jacket for shady days, cool nights and air-conditioned rooms.