Saturday, September 24, 2011

Summer and the City

I'd be a lying sack of crap if I said I was going to miss summer.

I hate summer. I don't like being hot. I don't like to sweat. I don't like the beach (unless I can see the bottom of whatever body of water it's touching). I don't like the bright sunlight in my eyes. I don't like bugs. I don't like planning every meal of the day for the family because school isn't in session. I don't like school not being in session. I don't like heat indexes and sunburns. I don't like high pollen counts. I don't like the neighbor kids traipsing through our yard from sun-up to sun-down (and beyond).

I'm a cool-weather baby. Give me crisp leaves that crunch when I walk through them. Give me warm tones of gold, orange, red and brown in the trees. Give me the scent of apples and cinnamon mingling together in their intoxicating aroma. Give me hot chocolate and mittens at a football game when you can see your breath at the end of the third quarter. Give me the window cracked juuuuuust a bit to allow the brisk fresh air to settle into freshly laundered sheets.

That being said, when I went with my husband to Kansas City for the day today, sitting outside in the sun was exactly what I did. And it was the perfect ending to my summer. He had a meeting with some clients in the area, so he dropped me off at Country Club Plaza at the 4-level Barnes and Noble, aka Utopia.

It's rare that I'm in a bookstore by myself with time to kill. Usually I've got a purchase in mind or someone with me and because I know how long I can spend browsing, I am usually overly self-conscious about not wasting time when I've got someone with me. Today, however, I wandered aimlessly, perusing shelf after shelf of books I added to my fall reading list. I found some great gift ideas for myself (my family is always asking me "What do you want for Christmas?") and came up with some ideas for friends and family, too. I've always been able to spend days in a bookstore. Honestly, I could've walked out of there today with a good $200 or more in books to read. But I didn't. I picked up the latest Candace Bushnell I'd had on my list since spring, made some small talk with a fellow writer who worked there and left two hours after Hubs dropped me off. It was fantastic.

I'm not much of a shopper, especially when I don't have much money to spend, so I stayed on the straight and narrow, not allowing myself to become distracted by the great shops the Plaza has to offer (I'm so sorry I neglected you today, Anthropologie. Next time, sweetheart. I promise). Well, I almost made it through, that is. I did stop and pick up a cupcake at a little shop off Wyandotte before making my way to JC Nichols Parkway to sit fountain-side and enjoy my newest indulgence.

As I sat in the sun, eating my cupcake, I caught up on Twitter messages, chatted with a friend who called and enjoyed the solitude. In trying to become a better writer, I'm trying to focus on things that can't be seen. So I sat there surrounded by people who'd also sought salvation in the park with my eyes closed.

I breathed.

I listened.

I absorbed it all.

I'm an autumn girl, but as far as I'm concerned, today was the perfect day for summer and the city.

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