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Summer is on its way!

the word summer written on the brown sand with blue sky and water in the background

We know it was a loooong, frigid winter for so many of you in the Midwest and East Coast. There were times it seemed that the freezing temps and endless mounds of snow would just never abate. Our world's climates are becoming more and more harsh as the years go by, it seems, a frightening fact that reveals a lot about how man has done some pretty serious damage to the environment.

But after every winter comes a warm-up...and thankfully, this year is no exception. The flowers are finally blooming and the temperatures have finally risen. And the mood just seems to shift when those things occur. There are so many joyful things that come with the summer time...freedom from the rigors of the traditional school calendar, the flexibility to take trips and explore local attractions, longer days which allow for fun early-evening picnic dinners at the park, the chance to see family and friends without the challenges of winter travel.

In the summer there are more festivals, art fairs, and block parties, as well as outdoor concerts and performances of all sorts. It's an opportunity to try new things, meet new people, and gather those you value close to you as you find more time to relax and "play." Summer is a throw-back to youth and the carefree nature that comes with the sun going down later and the air being warm and comforting.

Of course summer is also a time to be mindful of yourself and those around you, even as you live it up-- don't forget to lather on that extra sunscreen, hydrate yourself throughout the day, get enough sleep and exercise, take care of the natural environment around you, and keep up with your daily responsibilities.

But most of all, in this day and age when life moves so quickly and there are so many stressors around us, take a moment to enjoy yourself and your surroundings-- allow yourself to relax and rest, treat yourself to something beautiful, search for an eco friendly gift for someone special, test out some new recipes, spend time in your backyard reading under the shade of a tree, take a bike ride, host an outdoor dinner party, and most of all, be sure to live in the present.

There's nothing like summer on the beach!


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