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Positively Beautiful: My summer bucket list

Summer is never long enough here in the North Country, but we sincerely appreciate it after our hard winter.

Long-time Fargoans (like me) know that summer is something to be treated with the utmost respect – you’ve got to savor every sweet moment, before it’s gone.

That’s why – as soon as the winter snow melts away and those gorgeous spring flowers burst into full bloom – I start making a new Summer Bucket List.

I rarely complete everything on my list and still haven’t done the photography lessons I’d wanted. I’ve made peace with that. But it’s a fun way to get the wheels turning and sketch out some new plans. At least a few of them become reality, and I think I’d have less of a summer without my bucket list.

In honor of summer, here’s my list for 2014:

1. Yard games My son Grant seems to acquire a new Frisbee-like toy at any children’s gathering, so we’ve been outdoors tossing them around.

I’ve gotten into yard games, such as Blongo ball and bean bag tosses. I’m loving a Pinterest board filled with outdoor game inspiration, like water balloon pinatas.

I have a feeling my 6-year-old would get pretty excited about this glow-in-the-dark lawn bowling idea!

2. Puppies Grant has been begging for a dog pretty much since he could say the word “dog.”

We’ve decided that he needs to wait until he’s 8. In the meantime, we’ll be teaching him about pet care by volunteering at the Humane Society. We get to start with the cats.

If you like the idea of temporarily taking care of somebody else’s pup in your own home, register as a dog sitter on

3. Block parties I have such happy memories of block parties from my childhood – descending into the street for a friendly barbecue with the neighbors, with packs of kids running through the backyards. We haven’t had a block parties in my neighborhood in the 10 years I’ve lived in this house, and I’m determined to change that!

Don’t forget to obtain a permit from your local city officials if you really want to stop traffic.

4. Road trips I’m constantly reminding myself (and others) that travel is good medicine. There’s nothing like a trip out of town to see new sites and recharge the soul.

Duluth was Grant’s favorite last year, not for the beautiful view of Lake Superior, but for Adventure Zone, a warehouse filled with bouncy houses, mini-golf and arcade games.

5. Everything else Fruit-infused water, a la Jamie Oliver (I checked this one off when we hosted Prairie Roots Food Co-op at Catalyst last week). Cucumber-lime-mint popsicles. New music. Great books (I highly recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things”). Gardening. (Another check – big pots of tomatoes and basil are on the patio, and Grant has his own special pot for Luke the Cuke.) Dinner parties with friends. As many “unplugged” days as possible.

So, that’s the List – so far. I’m always willing to add a few more dreams.

What’s on yours?