An Overdue Summer Play Date

With apologies to those cultures for whom summer ended on September 1, and those who live in the southern hemisphere, this week we’re going to have a little summertime fun.


Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I am a moderator for one of the many Facebook Groups I’m a part of. Here’s the image you’ll see on the right sidebar (and down a bit).



Sharing, Inspiring, Promoting Bloggers is such a long name; we use SIPB for short.

Last month, another moderator, Peabody Amelia (her blog is You Can Always Start Now) –- not really her name, she just loves those books — came up with a cute idea for us to get to know one another and our members better; she dubbed it SIBP Summer Tag. She and the other Mods came up with questions related to summer and asked our members to answer them on their own blogs, linking back to SIPB. We’d read them and, yes, get to know each other a bit better. And SIPB might grow a bit in the wake. Great plan.

Party pooper that I can be, and neither into Tags nor having any open blog dates through the end of August, I passed. Politics was on my mind this summer, as was returning to work, and more politics. Serious stuff. But, self-care being what it is, a break is in order. SIPB Summer Tag to the rescue.

Isn’t play what summer is about, anyway?  The days go a little slower (the heat has something to do with that). Clothing is, if not optional, certainly more casual. Food is different. Thunderstorms, garden harvests, butterflies, stargazing. Fireflies! Campfires. I could go on.

Without further ado, here are the 10 questions in this 2018 SIPB Summer Tag and my answers.


  1. What is your favorite Summer holiday destination?

What’s a summer holiday? I live on a farm.


  1. What is your favorite childhood memory of Summer?

That has to be my solo treks from the city to Camp Dawson every week day from ages 9 to 12. But that story will wait for next week when we’ll look at the era before parents turned into helicopters.


  1. Which do you prefer: ice-cream or frozen yogurt?

Depends which one is the darker chocolate.


  1. What is your go-to dinner on a hot Summer evening?

If I’m cooking, it’s my summertime no-cook Puttanesca sauce.  Here’s a post from 2013 on that one, with pictures.


Thanks to for the image

But usually Woody cooks so I don’t really have to think about it much.


  1. What is your favorite BBQ food?

Is there anything other than ribs? Actually, I have a slow-cooker beef round roast recipe that after eight hours gets mixed with a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. Easy and simple, just as I like it.


  1. Share a song that takes you back to an amazing Summer.

There is no ONE song that takes me back any particular summer.  Instead, there are dozens that take me back to lots of places and times.

The summer I graduated high school, Jefferson Airplane’s Don’t You Want Somebody to Love and The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Summer in The City, came out.  I remember those songs, of course; but I have no specific memory of hearing them.

Instead, the Beatles; the Byrds; Chicago; Credence Clearwater; Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; the Dead; the Doors; Simon and Garfunkel; Sly and the Family Stone; the Stones; Three Dog Night; the Who; and Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, Janice Joplin, Tom Lehrer, Otis Redding — Sitting on the Dock — blur together and form one great big summer night dance party in my head.

Let’s dance.


  1. How do you beat the heat in the Summer?

I jump in my pond and float around for a bit.


  1. Do you prefer swimming in the ocean or a pool?

Real swimming?  I swim laps three times a week at the local pool. That’s very hard to do in the ocean; I’ve tried.  But for sheer pleasure, I love floating in the ocean, on my back, arms folded under my head.

This is actually a spiritual experience for me. It’s my way of reminding myself what it feels like to truly let go and let the waves (i.e., life) take me where they will.

But then I get curious and lift up my head and the metaphor collapses.


  1. Do you prefer to travel with family, friends or solo?

It depends. Who’s paying?


  1. Flip-flops or barefoot?

It used to be barefoot, for sure. Even in the city. Today it’s my Teva sandals as often as I can.


Here I am, before the wildflowers bloomed.


How about you? How might you answer these? If you are a blogger why not come join us at SIBP? Yup, that’s the link. Three quick questions and you’re in.

Then you can post your own answers on your own blog one of these days and link back to SIPB.  After all, it’s always summertime somewhere in the world. Nearly.


Next Week: Perception of Risk and Our Children


16 Responses

  1. Marian Beaman
    | Reply

    I’m a member of SIPB, We Love Memoirs, and other sharing groups, but I can’t keep up, memoir-editing being the full-time job it is. Kudos to you for pushing these online groups forward.

    Cute answers and a pleasant reflection to start my day, Janet! I think (I’ll prop up my feet and take a photo too – haven’t done that yet this summer.)

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Kate Pill in Australia got me onto the propped up feet photos — via We Love Memoirs. I try to take one a year. Perhaps I should shoot for a retrospective? I look forward to seeing yours, Marian. Thanks for stopping by; I know this is a busy time.
      Janet Givens recently posted…An Overdue Summer Play DateMy Profile

  2. Merril Smith
    | Reply

    Good morning, Janet. I joined and read some of the SIPB posts, but I’ve never posted because I have enough to keep up with. This is a summery post that fits the heat wave we’re having here. I definitely agree with your answer to # 3. 🙂
    Merril Smith recently posted…Colors of the Morning: HaibunMy Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I’ve often wondered why you haven’t shared some of your posts on SIPB, Merril. It’s still young; still finding its way. Aren’t we all?
      Janet Givens recently posted…An Overdue Summer Play DateMy Profile

  3. krpooler
    | Reply

    Hi Janet, I think I’m a member of SIPB but , like Marian, I am in the throes of editing and haven’t had the time. However, you have sparked my interest with your Janet-esque answers! Love the photos, too.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thanks so much, Kathy. I don’t do any serious writing in the summer. Just too much else to do. Today we were in the woods most of the day, cutting out fir. Well, except for the bit of skinny dipping we treated ourselves to in the afternoon. 🙂
      Janet Givens recently posted…An Overdue Summer Play DateMy Profile

  4. Joan
    | Reply

    I love this. Right now I need to float on my back in the ocean with hands under my head. I’ll see you there!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      It’s the best feeling. I get a little of it in my pond, Joan, with a noodle under me; but there’s no real challenge to keep the faith as there is in the ocean. Call me; I’ll float on over. 🙂
      Janet Givens recently posted…An Overdue Summer Play DateMy Profile

  5. Laurie Buchanan
    | Reply

    Janet — Today is a blinders on, head down, full-on day of writing for me (I’m working against a deadline). But in my mind, I’ll take a page from your book and mentally float in the ocean with my arms folded under my head.

  6. Tim Fearnside
    | Reply

    “No One Is to Blame” by Howard Jones. ‘Not my favorite song, or (by a longshot) my favorite artist, but I’m not sure another song sounds quite so much like the summer of 1986, which was undoubtedly one of my best. Now, summer puts me in the mood for reggae, bluegrass, world music, and rock-n-roll. As the days get shorter, the nights cooler, and my birkenstock foot-tan begins to fade (sandals!), I’ll return to jazz, crooners, and celtic music, among others (music is definitely seasonal to me). Now, if I only had some ice cream (way better than frozen yogurt) . . . 😉

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I had to look up your song, Tim. I didn’t recognize the title, the artist, or any of the lyrics. Then I listened to it and memories of that year came back to me in a rush. Funny how memories can get locked away, but music holds the key. Have you read Musicophelia, another by Oliver Sachs ?
      Janet Givens recently posted…An Overdue Summer Play DateMy Profile

      • Tim Fearnside
        | Reply

        I haven’t, Janet, although it looks interesting. Music undoubtedly has that rare ability to take me back and shake the dust off old memories. It’s a lot like smell in that regard. I wonder if they’re connected?

  7. Amelia
    | Reply

    That was fun. There is something about floating in the ocean – it is also the sound for me. Your summer meal looks good. I can’t imagine how busy you are in the summer living on a farm. I’ve enjoyed reading these!
    Amelia recently posted…Weekly journaling – week 35My Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thanks Brenda (Peabody Amelia). I too love the sounds of the ocean. My constant wish as a child (all those birthday candles over the years) was to “live on a farm.” The work we do is always work we enjoy, believe it or not. It’s like a constant summer vacation. I’m very lucky indeed. Only wish my kids were here to help.

  8. […] An Overdue Summer Play Date […]

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