Yesterday was the first day of summer, but Father's Day prevailed so I shall give summer better representation today. I had admired Denise Duhamel's earlier thoughts on recessionista fashion and thought I should make some like-minded suggestions for spending the endless days of summer during our "economic downturn" with
Ten recession-proof things to do this summer:
1.Stay home. Obviously. The closer you stay to home, the less you spend. Unless you're addicted to the shopping channel, then get out of the house, whatever it takes.
2.James Taylor has already named one of my favorite summertime recessionista solutions. It works well at home or in many places one might "go" this summer: rubber sandals, straw hat, cold beer-or-something-with-an-umbrella to drink. Add a book, a book of poetry because you are reading a poetry blog and that is what a poetry blog should suggest. Plus, there's got to be at least one collection you've been waiting to try?
3. Gardening. There's been a lively discussion of gardening here at BAP. This option is a two-fer. It plays off the thrifty aspects of staying home AND can allay household food costs provided you aren't one of those hobbyists whose interest chiefly concerns new tools and owning all the latest gadgets. What you will need is 1001 recipes for zucchini.
4.Tune up the tractor. This is closely related to #3. Sure, most of us don't own tractors and if you buy one for your new garden it might suggest you are one of the aforementioned tool-addicted hobbyists, but look how much fun can be had with a well-tuned tractor! You'd be able to entertain the neighbors for free, too.
5. Go to the park. The park is free. Benches are free. Wind in the leaves, free. People-watching ditto. Caveat: go soon, especially if you live in California where our fiscal incompetency has resulted in widespread projected park closings.
6. Visit your local County Social Services office. Here you will wait endlessly in a very cold waiting room with people looking for a safety net. In California, the safety net for a homeless person is food stamps and $147 a month, max. The people you sit with will generously give you what they have, advice on how to wait. You will leave with renewed appreciation for your comparative prosperity and "extra" cash.
7. Start a blog or join Facebook. Either one of these activities will take up all the time you have without costing a dime.
8. Wear sunscreen. Any mother worth her salt would tell you that. Also, see #2 above, "straw hat."
9. Create a CD mix for a road trip. Carefully craft your selections to allow for snarled city traffic and chasing wide open freeway. Have the mix reflect stages of your life by choosing songs with maximum memory significance and emotional impact. It should also record the evolution of your musical tastes and allow people to thereby judge your sensibility and human worth. The project should ideally take a month and likely involve several discs. You will not take the road trip this summer, however, with gas prices climbing steadily.
10. Go ahead and buy an airline ticket. Go someplace unforgettable. Worry about the wreckage when you return. The digital photos will cost you nothing. The memories, as some commercial points out, priceless. This tack has been taken by many underpaid teachers I know, myself included. Destinations are endless and include to date: Ireland, England, Spain, Romania, Italy, Czech Republic, and Colombia. You will already have the James Taylor summer essentials, plus sunscreen. Your new blog will give you a venue in which to report your travels. You will carry a heightened respect for the money you will spend, and you will have a gripping CD series for the long transoceanic flight. In 2 or 3 weeks you will return to a zucchini as big as a small child with which you can host a neighborhood potluck. If you're lucky, someone will have a well-tuned tractor and you will dance in the street until dawn. Go.
Summer comes only once a year.