Sheltered Islander: The Great Summer To-Do List

Beach weather is Christmas tree dumping weather!
Beach weather is Christmas tree dumping weather! Photo: Jay Morgan/123RF

It’s June! Summer has begun. Time to finish the projects left over from winter and spring, and spruce up all the summer gear. Here’s a very handy to-do list to keep you on track.

1. Finish Winter Tasks: Put away all holiday decorations. Decide which cards to keep. Throw out broken lights. Clean the wax out of menorahs and kinaras. Pull out the furniture and vacuum up the last of the tree needles, etc.

2. Finish Spring Cleaning: If you want your kids to stop playing video games and go outside, announce you need their help cleaning the house and they’ll disappear like a politician’s promise. And let’s face it, as much as you could use the help, you know they’ll do a poor job, with plenty of complaining and attitude, until you break and shout, “That’s it! Everybody out! I’ll do it myself!” Just what they’ve been waiting to hear. Content yourself with the knowledge that, one day, they might have children and spouses who will drive them crazy in much the same way.

As far as all the other things you were going to do in spring, like make a wreath of seashells around the bathroom mirror, re-cover the couch cushions, or anything else—too late! Summer is upon us!

3. Find All Bathing Suits and Figure Out Who Can Wear What: Assume your teenage daughter will want a new suit that costs a lot and covers a little. Boys don’t care what they wear until they’re teenagers, then the “cool” factor matters and that can be expensive. Men will wear the same swim trunks until the seams fall apart in the washer. Women want anything that can lift and hold in to help their bodies look the way they did pre-pregnancy.

4. Buy New Plastic Food Containers: We start every summer with a nice new set, and end with three lids and five bowls, none of which match, by September.

5. Beach Towels: However many you have at the beginning of summer, they’ll be somewhere else on the Island by fall. One year I ended up with three gorgeous beach towels vis-à-vis my daughter’s many sleepovers. Dear Friend of My Daughter, if you owned the towel with the red seahorses, I thank you.

6. Mentally Redecorate: Freshen up a room by bringing home paint samples and holding them against the wall while you imagine it painted in that color. If you’d wanted your fella to paint that room, you should’ve asked him two months ago. Men need to let requests age before they act on them. My best advice here: Hire one of your guy’s pals to paint the room for $100 plus beer. As soon as the friend shows up to paint, your man’s macho will kick in and testosterone will do the rest. It’s a highly manipulative move on your part, but impending houseguests call for desperate measures.

7. Gotta Get a Grill: Either clean up the old one, or deny your child that Playstation and buy a new grill—or at least a hibachi. You cannot not have a place to grill chicken, melt butter and steam clams.

8. Sand Management: There’s nothing that says “Summer’s here!” like bare legs on a driver’s seat covered in sand. You don’t always see it, but the backs of your thighs can count every grain. Even more fun is being at the beach and biting into the gritty goodness of a sandwich you didn’t know you’d rolled around in sand, somehow.

The East End is wonderful in summer. Enjoy every minute of it that you can!

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