Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
8 Aug

32 “Slow Living” Inspired Ways to Savor Summer

beachtimeAs we round out the last few weeks of summer, I’ve been thinking about all the potential left in the season. Although there’s admittedly less pressure to grab hold of every last warm day in my current locale, I remember savoring those final weeks of summer in Northern New England. Time was truly of the essence, and we didn’t waste a day with both fall and school on the horizon again. No matter where we live, I think summer inspires a leisure we more readily forgo in other months when routine often has greater hold of our days. In the spirit of Primal play – and last week’s Slow Living post – here are a few (dozen) ideas for savoring the upcoming weeks. Enjoy, everyone!

  1. Have a Primal picnic. Surprise someone you love, or gather a rowdy group for a Primal inspired picnic. Throw in some Ultimate or beach volleyball, and you’ve got a party.
  2. Go for a walk in the summer rain. Grab you wellies or – even better – go barefoot. Taste the rain. Puddle stomp. Let your mind daydream in the upside reflections of the sky.
  3. Listen to the nighttime wildlife (e.g. the cicada, frogs, crickets, coyotes, etc.)
  4. For the remaining weeks of summer and early fall, pick 1-2 veggies a week that are at the peak of their harvest and go to town experimenting with recipes. Bonus: buy a slew of them at the farmer’s market while they’re cheap, and freeze or can them for later in the year.
  5. Camp.
  6. Sit around the fire at night – fire pit, campfire, bonfire, whatever you have.
  7. Host an impromptu dinner party or summer cocktail hour (al fresco of course). Gather some flowers from your garden for the table. Grill some shrimp in the shell and make a salad. String up some lights, set out some tiki torches, and let the party go well into the night.
  8. Use it as an excuse to whip up your favorite Primal-friendly/-adapted summer drinks like sangria, bloody Mary, gin and tonic, vodka lemonade, or kicked up old fashioned sun tea.
  9. Nap in a hammock.
  10. Attend an outdoor concert or play.
  11. Sleep as close to nature as you can. Even if you can’t camp on a given weekend, pitch a tent in the backyard, or sleep on the porch for a night.
  12. Have some slow style “quality time” with your partner – whenever and wherever the mood strikes (don’t get caught!).
  13. Create a piece of art – whatever you feel like doing in the moment. Don’t stifle the experience with imposed standards. Just see where your mind goes and follow it.
  14. Visit a new park in your area every weekend. Hit all the stops from wilderness areas to botanical gardens, nature centers to arboretums.
  15. Build toad or fairy houses with the kids.
  16. Mud fight!
  17. Spend a whole day (or at least an afternoon) on the water. Go surfing, rafting, water skiing, river tubing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, or any combination of the above.
  18. Have a late summer vacation? Take a day (if not the whole time) without any agenda whatsoever. Wander, poke around, park yourself somewhere and see what happens around you. Get as far away from the tourist hustle and bustle as possible and see where the locals go. Seek out the seemingly mundane, nondescript corners of the place. You might just find yourself swept up in something that will become the best memory of the whole trip.
  19. Take a vineyard tour.
  20. Have an outdoor family movie night – with old family videos. (Public libraries or other facilities sometimes rent out equipment.) Pass on some family history and personal memories. Share funny and meaningful stories late into the night.
  21. Plant something. Sure, it’s a leap of faith at this point in the season. Still, think bumper crop potential. Get in a row of lettuce, herbs, or some hearty root veggies.
  22. Meet the dawn one morning – with a hike, a yoga practice, or a early morning fishing expedition.
  23. Break out the water balloons.
  24. Sit on the beach (ocean or lake shore) with nothing but a cool drink and an indulgent novel.
  25. Spend the day among rocks. Skip stones, climb boulders, or go geode hunting.
  26. Fly a kite.
  27. Splurge on a few huge flower bouquets at the farmer’s market and decorate the house (and your office).
  28. Hang your laundry out to dry. Remember (or discover) what laundry used to smell like before dryers and dryer sheets.
  29. Build a fort (indoor or outdoor) with the kids – or for yourself.
  30. Reclaim the art of the backyard game. I’m talking the likes of croquet, frisbee golf, flag football, volleyball, horseshoes, Kubb (Viking chess), badminton, lawn darts, or outdoor bowling.
  31. Grill an entire four course meal, something totally new and challenging (pig roast, anyone?), or do a traditional New England clam bake.
  32. Spend an evening stargazing. On that note, don’t forget the upcoming Perseid meteor shower this weekend! If you’re a city dweller, get out of Dodge and see the sky the way Grok did.

Thanks for reading today, everybody. Enjoy your day – and your final weeks of summer. Be sure to leave your own ideas for making the most of the time.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Nothing beats swimming in a natural river or stream with a reasonably good current. They are cold, musical, rocky, clear, with natural pools. You can see the pebbles and rocks on the bottom and the fish, turtles, crayfish, etc. The current is a massage, there’s no chlorine, no sharks. Remember the children’s book, “Wind in the Willows”? Like that.

    Ingrid wrote on August 8th, 2012
  2. Now is a great time to get into fall vegetables. Go to a gardening store and ask someone there to help give you advice on what fall/early winter harvest vegetables would be good to plant right now in your area. We just got our pumpkin seeds in for Halloween and our traditional Primal holiday soups, stews, pies, and of course, delicious roasted pumpkin seeds for snacking! :)

    Longtail wrote on August 8th, 2012
  3. Nothing beats swimming in a natural river or stream with a reasonably good current. They are cold, musical, rocky, clear, with natural pools. You can see the pebbles and rocks on the bottom and the fish, turtles, crayfish, etc. The current is a massage, there’s no chlorine, no sharks. Lie in the sun on a flat rock and listen to the water. Remember the children’s book, “Wind in the Willows”? Like that.

    Ingrid wrote on August 8th, 2012
  4. Great post and replies!

    Amy wrote on August 8th, 2012
  5. Great post Mark! Sometimes I just need to see it in writing or hear from someone for a jump start. I tend to have all these ideas in my head — “one day I’ll do that. . .” These were all simple and life-affirming things that don’t cost much and everyone can do.

    One thing we’ve done to slow down and get to know each other better is to put a couple of chairs and table on our patio and plant a garden. Even though we are in an apt, my wife and I now enjoy sunsets on the patio admiring our pathetic little crop of beets and cucumbers.:)

    Craig Valency wrote on August 8th, 2012
  6. These sound like some good suggestions, I live in Scotland we get some pretty wet days in summer and not a lot of sun. I’d love a walk in the rain but I have a broken leg at the moment, anyone got some good suggestions for making the best of it. Been working out with weights and things but all the suggestions online seem to be with the stuff I am bored with, mainly reading, gaming and watching films.

    Being cooped up on the sofa has made me frustrated and bored. I am able to move a bit but I unfortunately can’t go off and enjoy the summer as much.

    Haruko wrote on August 8th, 2012
  7. Love this article! Counted at least 13 accomplished in the last three weeks… Summertime in the mountains = the good life!

    Lisa wrote on August 8th, 2012
  8. Great ideas to enjoy the Maine summer that is rapidly evaporating. There is nothing like getting out on the ocean in a boat and feeling the wind in your face!

    RoseAnne wrote on August 8th, 2012
  9. Gosh! All those things on the list just made me cry as I sit in my office.

    Donna J. wrote on August 8th, 2012
    • Wow, this one describes me:

      “Sit on the beach (ocean or lake shore) with nothing but a cool drink and an indulgent novel.”

      Right now reading Julie Czerneda’s last novel of the Species (3 books) series

      WildGrok wrote on August 8th, 2012
  10. These are great ideas. I live in so cal and I have a six year old. I’m on maternity leave with the baby, so these are great ideas.

    Marcia wrote on August 8th, 2012
  11. I hate my tumble dryer with a vengeance so I rarely use it and (if I can) I ALWAYS hang my laundry outside on the garden line ;-)It does smell wonderful too …

    Lois wrote on August 8th, 2012
  12. WAAAAAAAAAAH
    Its winter in Australia! Can not wait for summer!!

    Jess wrote on August 8th, 2012
  13. Nice post, reminds me a project I have … will get some tiki torches and do a beach Aloha Party in Miami beach (where I live on the weekends); I hope many wahinies will come (ok even if they come with their haoles), will invite some friends, will share good Grok food and not so Grok beers and I will show my sledgehammer sand-hitting abilities!
    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

    WildGrok wrote on August 8th, 2012
  14. Could I be any more ready for summer right now?

    Bring it on Australia!

    Gem wrote on August 8th, 2012
  15. 88F/31C, 6:00pm…
    I am closing my laptop now and going outside.

    Bill C wrote on August 8th, 2012
  16. Mark, all of the above are great ideas. But for us here in the deeeeep south, New Orleans, summer is never over. We long for the few fleeting moments of fall and winter. Love the website, keep em comin

    Mike LeCompte wrote on August 8th, 2012
  17. I think fall is on its way here in SD. It was only 72 and a cool breeze today. No time for fall planting, if its not already in. But there is always the farmers markets.
    We have started back to school so time is limited to the weekends again.

    Debi wrote on August 8th, 2012
  18. I can do slow style quality time. If we do get caught, I’m not even going to blame you, Mark.

    Bodie wrote on August 8th, 2012
  19. My 9 year old daughter knows the word postprandial now. I say, after a big dinner… “It’s so lovely and light out.” “Yeah Mama, time for our postprandial walk.” We just mosey for a half hour.

    Tonight, a Paleo Living meetup group I’m part of had a wonderful potluck in one member’s back yard. We sat and told stories and laughed our heads off until we were sitting in the darkness.

    Joy Beer wrote on August 8th, 2012
  20. I think I have the mud fight one taken care of… running a Mudathlon 5k obstacle course this weekend ;-)

    Jennifer wrote on August 8th, 2012
  21. Pick berries at a local PYO farm.

    Molly wrote on August 8th, 2012
  22. Pick blackberries in the wild for free, in the UK blackberry season has started a bit early (sooo much rain!) so am starting to fill the freezer now. Perfect excuse to go out for a walk each evening too.

    Tracy wrote on August 8th, 2012
  23. Grew up in Georgis, USA. Summer got so hot we didn’t want to move much. We read books. Summer reading was a big deal. Still is for me. A real book not an e-book. reading in a hammock often brings on a nap. Reading on a quilt on the grass under a shade tree may do the same thing.
    Often, my friends and I, would meet on the quilt with our sandwiches, drinks, and books. Eat, chat, read with friends. Summers were great.
    Still are!

    Gail wrote on August 9th, 2012
  24. Please don’t play lawn darts if you are indulging in your accasional glass or two of red wine though, that would not make for a pleasant ER trip :D

    Team Oberg wrote on August 9th, 2012
  25. Not many Coyotes in Brighton UK tho I did bump into a fox almost on my own doorstep yesterday. No crickets, frogs or cicadas either… perhaps I can get a recording

    Julia wrote on August 9th, 2012
  26. I love to stargaze. My boyfriend and I love to sit outside and stargaze and talk about whatever. This week will be difficult because the fires in N Utah are pretty severe. This morning driving to work, we could see the flames on the hills. I guess we could easily accomplish #6, sit around the fire.
    I am hoping for a bike ride on the road by the Great Salt Lake this Saturday morning, as long as the weather holds. It is getting cool in the mornings and the days are getting shorter.

    Patty wrote on August 9th, 2012
  27. Beautiful. Reading this while I sit on the deck in the dark (save the light emitted from this contraption!), listening to a chorus of nearby and far-off cicadas, feeling the wind shift to the north for some much appreciated cool air. Life (outside) is good. :)

    Nick wrote on August 9th, 2012
  28. I learned many years ago that I required and preferred a slower pace of life than most. I’m sure many people view my life as boring but oh we’ll. I love a slow, relaxed pace with a LOT of down time. I hike, work, hang out, and the weekends are reserved for fun and relaxation. No yard or house work allowed!

    Ara wrote on August 9th, 2012
  29. I’ve set upon a community garden in this city. (gimme a break, can’t really afford to buy the stuff all the time). Tomatoes galore! The cherry tomatoes are so delicious I almost want to type this obnoxiously in CAPS.

    Animanarchy wrote on August 11th, 2012
  30. Regarding sleeping close to nature:
    Last night I camped by a lakeside, low-lying clouds covered the sky and lightning repeatedly illuminated them from within and above, with no thunder.

    Animanarchy wrote on August 11th, 2012
  31. Was this one thought I just for me?

    Build toad or fairy houses with the kids.

    Primal Toad wrote on August 12th, 2012
    • I feel a bit guilty now, but when I was younger I used to dig holes in sand and catch a bunch of frogs and/or toads, then imprison them in the holes, usually with my brother. Often I’d stick little twigs and broken sticks in the sides to look like spikes in a dungeon wall. It was lots of fun. I kept the frogs in buckets too, then let them go when I got bored.. or at the worst, stood on the end of the dock and threw them as far as I could out into the lake to watch the disturbance in the water of a big fish gobbling them up, like National Geographic videos in real life. Suppose I may have had some issues.
      One time my brother and I caught a bunch of fish, filled a bucket with them so they could barely swim around. We forgot about them over lunch and when we went to check on them again there was a strong stench of dead fish as that’s what they then were.
      Maybe that’s why I keep getting arrested.. old karmic backlashes.

      Animanarchy wrote on August 15th, 2012
  32. Planting something would be great, but cropping is always an option. ;)
    Today I got a free big-ass salad: swiss chard, tomatoes, some baby beets and carrots, some sort of melon that was almost the size of my head, and eggplant, which I can’t remember having had before – I’ll try it out later. Library’s closing, I’m off to push my shopping cart of food a marathon distance under the night sky before I change my mind!

    Animanarchy wrote on August 13th, 2012
  33. The wife & I got to do some slow living this last weekend. Our friends run a small-scale organic pig farm, and they asked us to ‘pig sit’ while they took a vacation. We were up with the sunrise, feeding and playing with the pigs (pigs are hilarious, by the way), taking long walks through the valley, watching deer from the back porch, practicing archery, leatherworking, making supper out of what we picked from the garden, and counting shooting stars at night as they streaked across the milky way – how often can a city dweller see the milky way? We even got some bi-phasic sleep. No internet, no phones (no cell phone service!), no tv, no news, no olympics, and no stressing out. It was hard to come back, but we both felt the difference it made in our normal lives – like a re-set button had been pushed, and emotional toxins had been drained from our systems. Half the fun is watching people’s faces when they ask “What did you guys do for your anniversary?”, and we say “We went to work on a pig farm!” (it just happened to fall on that weekend)
    Sorry for the lengthy post, just wanted to brag about how lucky we are. Oh, everyone: read some Wendell Berry, if you haven’t yet.

    Erok wrote on August 15th, 2012
    • Oh, yeah – there were coyotes, too!

      Erok wrote on August 15th, 2012
  34. Nice tips! :)

    I hate doing the laundry, but I love when it has been outside and you can smell the sun, fresh air and flowers in the clothes.

    Hanne wrote on August 18th, 2013

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