“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.”

It’s a line from a song in the musical, Porgy and Bess, and it was also the theme of both our Toastmasters meeting this week, and the Table Topics portion of the meeting. During Table Topics, one person will ask a question or make a comment, and then call on another member to respond. That person has to talk on the subject for 1-2 minutes. Table Topics gives us all a chance to practice thinking on our feet, and organizing our thoughts quickly when responding to a question or comment, which is the kind of talking most of us do, most of the time.

Our Table Topics session included questions such as, “What, for you, is the very best part of summer?” “What would you consider to be “easy livin’ in the summertime?” And, “What do you do to escape the summer heat?”

Since I was the Table Topics Master at the meeting – the one asking the questions – I didn’t have to answer any. But I enjoyed hearing what others had to say about summer. And, as I often do, I later thought about what my answers to the questions might have been.

Right now is the time of year when many students have gone back to school, others are getting ready to, and people have started deciding on their plans for the Labor Day weekend. Labor Day is considered by many to be the unofficial end of summer, even though summer isn’t really over until September 21 or 22. And, depending on where you live, summer weather can last even longer. Georgia, where I live now, is one of those places – much more so than Minnesota, where I used to live. But the weather is likely to stay pretty warm for a while there, too.

Still, many people shorten the season somewhat by looking ahead to fall and winter – to projects they’ll tend to when the weather gets cooler, and to the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holidays. I’d rather extend the “summer vacation” feeling by lingering over thoughts of my favorite parts of summer, of “easy living,” and of ways to stay cool during the worst of the summer’s heat. Air conditioning is good for that, but so is an ice cream treat or a cool glass of lemonade or a frosty mug of beer. Easy living would be having plenty of unstructured time – enough to sleep in in the morning without feeling guilty, and to stay up late watching for shooting stars during a meteor shower. My favorite part of summer – although this goes for the rest of the year, too – is time spent with family and friends. Going places and doing things, but also just sitting around, laughing, sharing stories and memories, and enjoying each other’s company.

What is your favorite part of summer? What, to you, says “the livin’ is easy?” And what do you do to cool off when things get too hot, literally or figuratively? Whatever your answers present to you, I hope there’s still much more of it to come. During the rest of the summer, and the rest of your life!

August 17, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018

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