Recharge Your Battery with Simple (Summer) Pleasures

Summertime is about celebrating the simple pleasures in life. When I was a kid, summertime seemed to last forever. Our long days were filled with running through sprinklers, building backyard forts and climbing crab apple trees — all the while keeping one ear finely tuned for the beckoning call of the Ice Cream Truck.

We didn’t have to go far to have fun in the sun, but when we got antsy we all piled into the wood-paneled Ford station wagon and drove until we found an adventure of some sort. Sometimes it was a festival, sometimes a roadside stand of perfectly ripe tomatoes and sometimes we just drove until we felt it was far enough and turned around and came back. The eight-track tape player and an occasional sibling spat entertained us all. Luckily for all of us kids, an ice cream shop of any sort was considered an official “rest stop” to my dad. If I was really lucky, I’d be treated to a soft serve cone dipped in chocolate cherry sauce that hardened just enough to make my cone last just a little longer. No matter what the destination, these little family excursions always brought our motley crew closer together.

I hope you are inspired to recharge your own battery right here on the Emerald Coast with a summer event from our Happenings section, or a day on the beach with one of our recommended “beach reads.” I hope you get your whole family into the act and head to Baker, Fla., to pick a peck of fresh fruit. No matter which farm you choose from our feature story, we’re sure you’ll bring home memories by the bushel.

Many of my childhood memories are revived with this issue, which is chock full of family adventures, Father’s Day gifts, travel tips, ice cream facts and summertime recipes everyone in the family can enjoy.

Summer is tricky for adults with kids out of school on vacation. But kids are great at keeping things simple. It’s we adults that usually end up complicating things. Whether it’s building a toy with your child, reading a good book on the beach or trying your hand at making homemade ice cream, this summer I hope you channel your inner kid and have fun setting your imagination free.

Remember, there are no instructions necessary to being a kid at heart, and for best results, batteries should NOT be included.