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  • Writer's pictureEmily Duke Hargan

Monday Update: It's Summertime!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend and that all the Dads enjoyed a few relaxing moments. I read this quote somewhere years ago, "Dads are the most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of songs." I'm not sure who said this but it reminds me of my own father—a teller of fantastic stories, a lover of great music, and a true hero and survivor. I am deeply blessed to have wonderful parents and a faithful, hardworking husband.

Summer officially began on Saturday, June 21. For me, summertime is the best time of the year. Here's why:

Longer Days. Don't tell my boss but longer days mean I can skip out of work early to take a long walk with the kids and the dog, catch up with the neighbors, make dinner, and then relax on the porch with a cocktail to watch the sun set.

  1. Sunshine. Who doesn't like sunshine? In fact, sunshine is good for you. It improves your mood and it's a great

natural source for Vitamin D which is a crucial ingredient for overall health. After being cooped up for the last few months, there is nothing better for our weary souls than long afternoons outside in the sun.

Fresh Fruit. Nothing evokes memories of childhood more than sitting at a family picnic eating a slice of watermelon. Summer also brings more fresh and juicy goodies like peaches, strawberries, cherries and raspberries. Perfect for fruit salads, pies and ice cream! Rarely do I like ice cream but I want to try this recipe from Southern Living for peach ice cream—reminds me of the ice cream my Grandad use to make every summer at his beach house.

The Beach. Hands down the beach is the best place on earth. And, summertime means that I can make a few weekend trips down to Virginia Beach to sit in the sun. Honestly, I can literally sit on the beach with a good book and my old Grateful Dead sun visor for 12 hours straight. Ok, maybe I'll also need a few Coronas and a bag of chips but still.

Vacation. Summertime is when my family takes the best vacations (typically to the beach). We stay up late, play lots of Scrabble and card games, let the kids wear bathing suits to bed, and eat lots of fried shrimp and hush puppies. It is heaven on earth.

What are your plans for the summer? Will you visit family, take a road trip, try a new home made ice cream recipe? It doesn't matter what you enjoy the most about this time of year or what you may have planned. I just encourage you to embrace the change in time, weather and season. Make plans to see those friends and families you haven't seen all Spring. Share and make new memories. These are the moments we have been longing for and the moments we most desperately need.

The Great American Photo Challenge: #greatamericanphotochallenge

If you have been following Bourbon and Politics on Facebook or Instagram, you may know that last week we began the Great American Photo Challenge. Every day for 10 days, I will be posting a photo of places in America that illuminate the shared American experience. Maybe these are places that I have visited and maybe they are places I hope to go. But, it is my hope that these images highlight what is iconic about the American landscape and who we are as a country.

Thus far:

Today's photo captures not only an iconic American place but the sheer joy of the experience of being in that place and being in that moment. Gosh, I love when place, time and moment come together to create this perfect memory. I am so grateful for the opportunities that we have and that we live in such an amazing country.

Bourbon and Politics encourages you to post a photo on social media of your favorite place or of something that reminds you of why you love America. Share your experiences with us.

Use the hashtag #greatamericanphotochallenge and tag us. We'll repost.

Have a great first week of summer!

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