The Norman Transcript

June 14, 2013

Make memories this summer

By Hannah Cruz
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Move over February! In my heart, June is the most romantic month of all.

June, the king of summer, marks the beginning of the most royal season: The sun beats hotter, days stretch longer and hemlines get shorter as summer romances begin budding, children’s backyard adventures take flight and family vacations begin. June is the stuff school daydreams are made of — freedom, spontaneity and all things beautiful and nostalgic.

As a baby born on the summer solstice, frequently falling on June 21, I’ve long considered myself the Queen of Summer. I was in love with June and all things seasonal. Starry nights, warm breezes, cool pools, sandy beaches, baseball games, ice cream treats — it all felt like the royal court’s gift to me.

I reveled in the gifts of summer, greedily bottling my experiences in snapshots of warmth and laughter to cherish in the depths of coming winter.

Among them, trips to my grandparents’ house. After playing in their garden, elbow deep in dirt with a pile of fresh carrots to show for it, I’d run inside to witness my grandfather snapping his arthritis-ridden fingers to the sounds of jazz. The silky music slipped out of the sound system as Grandad’s body swayed, his head leaning backwards, eyes shut, lips curved in a satisfied smile as he soaked in the sweet melody. Often his hand would extend as he invited me to a dance around the living room.

Other memories find me in Disneyland on a sunny day: My father is at the helm of a teacup, pulling on the gear as fast as he can to make our portion of the ride spin more quickly. Colors begin to blur together, my stomach flipping with each turn we take. I throw my head back in laughter only to discover the cup’s centrifugal force won’t allow me to bring my head back in. I spent the rest of the ride laughing and laughing, listening to the sounds of my own father’s glee and Alice in Wonderland music echoing in the background.

Birthday candles of Junes past glimmer in my memory as mementos of well wishes and slumber parties. Most distinct though, is the frequency with which I shared a cake with my mother, whose birthday is just two days before mine. Now, I have a third person to share a cake with — my husband’s birthday follows just two days after my own.

And as a June bride, I can’t forget the sense of giddy anticipation a hot, windy Sacramento June morning brought me three years ago as I donned my wedding gown.

With summer now blooming in Norman, the city is flush with opportunities of memories just waiting to be made. Get a start this month by walking tonight’s 2nd Friday Circuit of Art and enjoying the plethora of arts Norman has to offer. Other options this month include Jazz in June, Performing Arts Studio’s Summer Breeze, several performances at Sooner Theatre or the University of Oklahoma and various art exhibits throughout town.

No matter your interest, your age or what your favorite month might be, the coming summer beckons each of us to enjoy experiences that will linger in our minds as eternal summers.

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Have any suggestions for us? Comments? Praises? Give me a shout out at hcruz@normantranscript.com. I’d love to hear from you.