A few days ago, my roommate Jenny wrote on our communal whiteboard: “Summer is finally here!” Being the overly-literal person that I am, I put down that aaactually, the summer solstice isn’t for nearly a month. But really, we all knew what she meant.
There are signs of summer everywhere these days. And if the signs of summer are the indicators that it arrived, it got here in March, when we popped open our first bottle of rosé. It wasn’t long before the Anderson Valley Brewing Company released this year’s batch of Summer Solstice (it’s beer! And cream soda! You either love it or hate it). And while Peter and I are likely to barbecue all times of the year, rain or shine, once summer kicks in, nearly all of our meals happen on the grill.
We spend a lot more time down at the river, too. First there was the eclipse a couple weeks back (the first one I can recall seeing, at least from start to finish). I’ve gone on the first river float/canoe as well. It’s a fun thing to do with a few friends, but I warn you: where most people put in (at the Alexander Valley Bridge), there’s no way to get out for fourteen miles.
Unless you’re us, of course. We live about five miles downriver. And five miles in a canoe with your significant other is plenty of time for the novelty of being in a canoe to wear off, and for some on-the-spot exercises in communication. It’s also enough time to capsize and lose your flip-flops and the second bottle of rosé the four of you were planning on enjoying on the riverbank upon your triumphant return. Such is life.
Summer’s wedding season, everywhere really, but here especially. And I’ve been to two weddings already, one a wine country wedding that Martha Stewart would have envied and the other a spontaneous Wednesday-night affair on a cliff by the river at my neighbors’ house.
And summer is the time for being outdoors in Alexander Valley. We’re lucky. It’s warm, but rarely is it ever that oppressive heat that dominates much of the country from June until October. And that means bike rides, either along our country roads on my way home, or four hours in Annadel State Park. Summer is baseball games in San Francisco and softball games at the high school across from my house. Summer is tequila instead of bourbon. Summer is everything in bloom, from flowers to grapes to fruit.
Jenny’s right. Summer is here.