In general, I’m not a fan of to-do lists.
I’m the kind of person who, when making a list, adds a few already-completed items just so I can check them off. It’s kind of sad.
However, there is one annual to-do list that my children and I relish: our summer bucket list.
Every year on the last day of school – or a couple days later, now that they’re teenagers, because their first order of business is sleeping several hours – we brainstorm some things we want to accomplish during those glorious weeks between locker clean-out and school-supply shopping.
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Over the years we’ve learned that we never accomplish everything on our list. But that’s OK. We make another one, adding last year’s leftovers. Here’s the way this year’s is shaping up:
▪ Ride go-carts.
▪ Make salsa verde. Can we find one that tastes like the green salsa at Abuelo’s? If so, that one.
▪ Have a Whole Foods treasure hunt. My friend Debbi came up with this idea back when the Whole Foods Market opened in Wichita last fall, and it’s genius:
Go with a group of friends to the store, give each person $5 or $10, then split up. Each person buys whatever strikes his or her fancy – sheepsmilk cheese, a beautiful baguette, kombucha tea, some weird fruit or vegetable, quinoa patties, even a French-milled organic soap or tube of moisturizer. The more unusual the better. After everybody makes their purchases, gather back at someone’s home, spread out the goods and try a little of everything.
▪ Catch a triple-feature at the Starlite Drive-in. Share a funnel cake from the snack bar.
▪ Catch at least one or two of the flicks at the Wichita Orpheum’s “Summer of Spielberg.”
▪ Drive to Salina for a bag of burgers from The Cozy Inn.
▪ Pack a picnic and enjoy the Art For Your Ears series at WSU’s Ulrich Museum. This year’s concerts are July 9, Aug. 6 and Sept. 1.
▪ Be part of the Wichita Chalk Art Festival, a fundraiser for Youthville. This year’s event, I’m told, is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 1 in Old Town Square.
▪ Swing by Nifty Nut House. Just over the past week, co-workers have forced me to taste several new (to me) products, including lemon creme almonds, tiramisu caramels and dark chocolate burnt caramel almonds. All have been amazing.
▪ Play racquetball. (Especially necessary after previous item.)
▪ Rediscover the happiness of happy hour. The Eagle’s Denise Neil offered a comprehensive list of local happy-hour deals in our recent Perfect Summer special edition.
▪ See “Jurassic World.” See “Inside Out.” See “Minions.” See “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” (Yeah, we’re a little behind.)
▪ Lie in a hammock.
▪ Read the new Harper Lee novel.
▪ Read other books. Lots of them.
Perhaps you have more suggestions? Summer is always shorter and busier than I think, but I’d love to know what’s on your family’s summer to-do list. Zap me an e-mail, let me know, and maybe I’ll add it to ours.