As I write this, it’s 92 degrees in downtown Chicago, so this week we’ve decided to take a break from the heat and hear how the #GAINSGang is making the most of our summer.
Even if August 7 is the official midpoint of summer, the traditional middle of the summer season occurs on August 1, also known as “Lammas Day,” falling almost exactly six months after Groundhog Day, considered the traditional midpoint of Winter. The name Lammas Day is derived from Old English for “loaf-mass” because it was once a harvest festival traditionally celebrated by baking bread and enjoying a feast with friends and family. (We could get behind a bread feast…)
While most of us may not celebrate Lammas Day, many of us start to feel a slight panic beginning to set in as the summer is now half over. So, with the front half of summer behind us, we took a moment to sit down on the front porch with a cool glass of iced tea to talk with members of the #GAINSGang about their summers. Let’s see what advice they have for all of us packing the most into what’s left of summer before the chilly winter winds blow again.
So, let’s get to know the lighter side of some of our GAINS experts:
My favorite summer food is corn on the cob; it screams summer! You’ve got to use corn holders, though, I didn’t have them growing up, and I thought they were a recent invention, but my friends assured me they’d been around for a long time.
Some of my favorite memories of the summers of my youth are in high school. My group of friends and I were all getting our driver’s licenses; on warm summer nights, we’d all meet up at King’s, a local restaurant, and stay up late eating fries and gravy. These nights we sit outside around the fire pit after we take our dogs for a walk, drink a hard seltzer, and listen to the crickets.
I listen to a lot of 80’s music in the summer, particularly alternative 80s music like Depeche Mode. It’s amazing how certain songs, even songs I didn’t like, can transport you right back to the time and place you first heard them.
I advise not to take summer for granted; it goes so fast. So many people can’t wait for summer because there are things they want to do, and then before they know it, summer is over—plan dates for something you want to do so that you make it happen. Summer is essential when you live in these seasonal climates, as I do.
Gabi, Analyst, I recently moved from Southern California, where it’s pretty much always summer. So, moving to Chicago has given me a new appreciation for summer; I love the energy, there is so much to do, and everyone takes advantage of the nice weather. We have the city and the beach, so when the weather warms up, everyone is out on the weekend; I love it. All the restaurants open their patios and put tables out on the street.
My favorite thing to eat in the summer is watermelon. Watermelon everything, cocktails, candy, etc.! I have a watermelon margarita recipe. It is so good; I won’t tell you the recipe, but the secret ingredient is agave from Aldi. It’s a game changer. My “summer jam” is Good Life by Kanye. That song feels like summer; it reminds me of driving into the city on a warm sunny day.
One of my favorite memories of summer is the 4th of July growing up. My family would get in the back of my dad’s truck, drive to the highest point in Orange County, and watch the fireworks. From there, we would get a 360-degree view of fireworks from Disneyland, the beach, and all around us.
My advice for everyone this summer, with the days getting shorter, it’s essential to focus on your 5 pm-9 pm. Take advantage of the sun being out!
Sam, Product Management Coordinator Summer is easily my favorite season. I’ve lived in Maine and Illinois, two places where summer is a very drastic difference from the other 8 or 9 months of the year.
My favorite summer food would have to be a classic grilled American cheeseburger with all the fixings, although, to be fair, it’s my favorite all year round. My apartment doesn’t allow grills; otherwise, I’d fire one up, so it’s primarily take-out burgers and beer in the summer. I also like a good margarita or a mule as long as it’s cold and refreshing.
I have fond memories of summer. When I was a kid, I was outside all day from 8 am to 9 pm with all the other kids in the neighborhood riding bikes and playing wiffleball, a pretty idyllic scenario. When I was older, in high school or college, we would hang out at my friend’s house listening to “Out In The Street” by Springsteen after I got off my job working at the snack stand at the state park beach.
Now that I live in Chicago, I love the ambient sounds it brings in the summer. The birds and cicadas mixed with the sounds on the street from everyone eating and talking on the outdoor patios.
My advice for when you are in Chicago in the summer is to go on the architecture boat tour. I’ve taken it five times! I go on it whenever I have someone visiting and visit the Garfield Park Conservatory. It’s temperature controlled because they have to keep the plants alive, and it’s free. But if it’s sweltering, go to the movies. Although the AC was broken last time I did that, the theatre handed out freezer pops.
Don’t worry. There is still a lot of summer left, and we all hope that you have a chance to enjoy it even with all the curve balls (oops, didn’t anyone mention baseball, the ultimate summer pastime?) supply chains continue to throw our way.
There is still a lot to look forward to this year for GAINS, including our upcoming GAINS Summit 2022: Reconnect, and the rollout of GAINS X, our new user interface, but this heat has got us thinking about summer.