UNITED STATES—I’m not sure what it is about the month of May that seems to open so many horizons for the summer months. Could it be the fact that we’re mere weeks away from the kiddies from being out of school? Could it be that prom season is upon us? Could it be that graduation and wedding season has arrived? Perhaps it’s the opportunity for us to get outdoors and truly enjoy all that nature has to provide to us?

I would say all of the above. Memorial Day weekend is that official kick-off to summer, because most of us know that May is coming to an end and summer is literally mere weeks away. Something about the holiday just makes you want to get outdoors that much more. I’m already inching with the possibility of lighting the grill and cooking burgers, hotdogs, ribs, and plenty of other dishes that only seem relevant during the summer months.

Summer also opens the door to longer amounts of sunshine. Nowadays darkness doesn’t come around till 9 or 10 p.m. In a few more weeks, it will be even later than that. That is great news for kids to play outdoors, but also for families hosting those backyard barbeques or festivities. I will admit the one thing that I hate about summer is the rise in gas prices. The argument that people drive more in the summer than any other time of the year just baffles me slightly. It’s not like everyone locks themselves in their homes when winter arrives. I mean if that were the case how the hell are people paying their bills? Not everyone works from home you know.

The great thing about summer might be the kickoff to vacation season. I will admit very rarely do I take vacations during the fall, winter or spring, but when summer kicks into gear traveling is at the top of my priority list. It’s not always somewhere warm; sometimes it’s to places that I have never seen. I’m particularly a fan of the month of July. While I love summer, the heat in some parts of the country can be downright intolerable.

We make it an annual tradition in our family to travel to Cedar Point at least once a year, usually in the summer. I must admit I’m a die hard fanatic, who loves a good adrenaline rush, so riding 15-16 coasters in a day is an amazing treat. I might get laughed at for saying this, but the one thing I love about summer the most is the fact that fruit and vegetables are in full-force. Yes, you can eat them anytime during the year, but it’s during the summer months that the crunch of watermelon or a festive pasta salad tastes so much better than any other season.

When it comes to fruits, cherries, raspberries, mangoes, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and any berry that you can think of, mature with such ripeness the taste is unbelievable. I tell this to people all the time, I’ll share anything I have, but cherries might be the one exception to the rule. It’s a costly fruit, not to mention the fact that during the summer months they reach their ripeness. I mean I could eat a whole boatload of cherries for an entire week if given the chance: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Other perks of summer is getting the opportunity to tantalize over the smell of fresh cut grass. It’s not like I want to eat grass, but when you have a fresh cut on the lawn words can only describe the look and the smell that emits. Bike riding, jogging and swimming are all perks of the summer heat, not to mention the ability to really get things in order at your house. Rather its doing as they call it spring cleaning (if you clean throughout the year, rarely will you have to do this), or just tidying things up slightly, the house seems a bit more inviting during the heat wave from June-August.

I must admit, I wasn’t always a fan of summer, but as I get older I appreciate this precious time that we get only 3 months during the year. The doors of opportunity are so vast at times I forget it.