What makes summer summer? Yes, there's the astronomical explanation, which involves the whole Earth-tilted-on-its-axis-and-rotating-around-the-sun thing. That, of course, means that there's more sunshine, which leads to the whole it's-a-lot-hotter-than-the-rest-of-the-year thing. Those are reasons that the season happens when it does, the way it does, but not what makes summer what it is in comparison to the other four seasons here in the Land of Pleasant Living.
Give up? Being outside. And after long, dark months of being stuck indoors or wishing we were stuck back indoors instead of facing another gust of chilly wind, at last we're back to long, hot days and short, sweet nights. We're back to lounging on steps, stoops, porches, decks, park benches, grassy lawns, and concrete pool sides and sandy beaches. Nature spreads her arms wide open, inviting you to walk, run, swim, paddle, or pedal on through. You can see and be seen by friends and neighbors you forgot had bodies below the neck, not to mention the occasional intriguing, lightly clad stranger. You can eat outside, sleep outside, spend 24 hours a day outside. And since you can, why wouldn't you?
OK, so it's also hot as hell and sticky and gross for a lot of the summer, and nothing is as comforting on those days as a dim, air-conditioned room, unless it's a cold beer in a dim, air-conditioned bar. But you can sit inside any old day of the year. Hot or not, you've only got a few months of summer to burn. Make the most of it.