My summer of 2009 got off to a smashing start this weekend. The sky was full of sunshine, my condo on the corner at the shore was filled with people I care about, and my first summer barbecue was a rousing success with hot coals and well-cooked burgers. (Thanks to my daughter’s boyfriend A, the barbecue chef…he came through this year. Unlike last summer 2008, this year, we left the lighter fluid in the container and used self-igniting Matchlight coals instead.)

I listened to the radio as I drove home from work on Friday. One of my favorite radio stations was playing the top songs of summers’ past. I turned up the volume to high as ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun,’ a popular ’80s summer tune came on and I sang along with Cindy Lauper (a fellow boomer girl). Yes, I thought to myself, at 50+, I still do want to have fun. Isn’t that what summer is all about – having fun!

So, what FUN things did I do this first summer weekend of 2009, besides having a successful barbecue?

I laid out on the beach and soaked in some sunny rays. Unlike my daughter A and her boyfriend A who ended up with red hot bodies, I was smart and sprayed my 50+ body head to toe with 40+ SPF suntan lotion. (However, the awning on my super-duper sand chair that I bought a year ago was very uncooperative. It kept flipping back behind my head with each gust of wind and I almost thought I might end up doing a somersault on the beach – which would have been really, really FUNNY.)

I took my bicycle out for my first summer ride around the shore. I tried to find the beautiful house a few blocks away from my condo on the corner that was for sale last year to see if it was still for sale. (It was a dreamy house with sparkly blue granite kitchen countertops. I remember the fun time I had when I toured the open house during one of my summer 2008 bicycle rides.) I was curious to see if my dreamy house was still for sale, but 50+ year old brain could not remember which street it was on. Glad I have many more fun summer weekends left to ride around the island and find it.

I went out to dinner with my daughter A and her boyfriend A and my son D and his girlfriend L. We went to Budakkan in Atlantic City for D’s belated 19th birthday celebration. It was definitely a flavorful FUN eating experience. We ordered the special banquet menu for a party of five. It felt like our flavorful FUN eating experience was going to go on forever as the dishes kept arriving on our table. First, came four different appetizers (the Edamame Ravioli was great), next the selection of entrees (the Steak with Wasabi Sweet Potatoes was even better), and then the bounty of delectable desserts (ooh-aah, ooh-aah, the light cream-filled mini donuts with dark chocolate sauce were the best, best, best.) All of our tummies were definitely stuffed full by the end of the evening.

I went for a long walk on the beach with my new 50+ guy friend L. We buried our flip-flops in the sand dunes, so we wouldn’t have to carry them with us on our walk. Luckily, he left a stick in the sand at the burial site, or I think we would have lost our flip-flops. (Can you imagine a summer without flip-flops? That would not be a FUN summer.)

There were a few clouds in the sky this weekend, however the rain held off during the day. It was FUN to look at the cloud formations – it was as though someone had painted white cotton balls in the blue sky. The clouds reminded me of the words that Maya Angelou had spoken a few weeks ago at a women’s conference that I attended. Her words touched my heart…and my soul:

Maya said to ‘always look for ‘rainbows in the clouds.’(It was FUN to look for the rainbows as I kicked off the summer of ’09 this weekend. There were quite a few more rainbows than last year and definitely more rainbows than the summer of ’07.)

Maya said ‘to be the woman you really are you need to develop courage.’ (I’ve been working on developing courage since I turned 50 and since I’ve become a widow…and I’ve been making good progress this past year.)

Maya said to ‘like yourself.’ (I’ve been working on ‘liking my whole 50+ self’ too and I’ve also made good progress in this area.)

Maya said to ‘stop whining.’ Maya said that ‘whining let’s a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.’ (Okay, Maya, I’m trying to do better with my whining too. I only whined once during this first weekend of summer ’09. I whined because I was upset that a wasp decided to build a nest in the corner of my house near my garage door. Now I am going to have to develop the courage that you said I need to knock down the nest…or I can be a wimp and let my exterminator knock it down. We’ll see, we’ll see.)

Maya said to ‘laugh.’ Maya said that ‘each of us needs humor in our lives.’ (I had quite a few good laughs this weekend, especially when I got confused and walked off the beach on the wrong exit. For a few moments, I lost my bearing and could not decide which way to walk back to my condo on the corner. I laughed, just like Maya said. And then I had FUN looking at all the pretty houses on the new blocks that I had never seen before. In fact, I think I will likely have many more good laughs before summer ’09 is done.)

So, my first summer weekend of ’09 is just about over. Now I have to go to sleep. Wish the weekend could last just one more day…but that isn’t possible. I’ll just have to wait until next weekend, when I will hopefully add to my summer ’09 fun meter.


P.S. – What ways do you have summer fun? Join the conversation. Leave a comment and share your suggestions with fellow boomer women.