This is the part of the summer we like best: the anticipation.
Don't get us wrong--we love the barbecues, the cool swims, the festivals, the booming car systems, and the snoballs. We love the dewy dawns and the long, soft twilights. We love the road trips, the ball games, and the exposed skin. Corny as it is, we love sitting on a picnic-table bench, picking crabs, gnawing on an ear of Silver Queen, and sipping a frosty beverage.
But there's something about looking forward to summer that can't be beat, especially once the other realities of the season set in: waves of heat shimmering up off the sidewalk, the sweat-soaked small of your back, the inescapable oppressiveness of an un-air-conditioned apartment on an 80-plus-degree night, the bugs, and going to work in the humid haze instead of getting to hang out by the pool all day every day.
With spring's nip still at our heels, we're starting to order iced coffee more often. The layers are coming off. And we've been working on Sizzlin' Summer, our annual comprehensive guide to seasonal anticipation for the Mid-Atlantic region, tallying up the concerts and events, plotting imaginary road trips up and down the local highways to hit attractions and curiosities, and setting down our ruminations on some of the people and activities that say "summer" to us.
We had a lot of fun putting it all together, but probably not as much fun as we're going to have trying to do it all. Or at least that's the way it seems right now.
The 2003 Sizzlin Summer calendar was lovingly researched and written by the girls of summer: Amy Bruce, Mary Anne Madeira, Dawn Mercurio, Amelia Morris, and Elissa Thomas. Wendy Ward, camp counselor and editor, wrangled and rode it in. Uli Loskot shot all the beautiful photographs of summery things.