J. Dawg Journeys

Enjoying My Dawg Days of Summer

“The Dog Days of Summer are the sultry part of the summer.  They occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11. 2. a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.”  Web Definition

The dog days of summer are a time when I like to avoid major travel.  Summer is the busy travel season when roads, campgrounds, and scenic places are mobbed with vacationers.  For this Dawg, it’s a time when I like avoid the crowds, stay relatively close to home, and just do some favorite summery things.  Things like going to the beach, going to music festivals, riding my motorcycle, eating fresh sweet corn, and visiting with family.  These are familiar things.  Things that work for me.  And things I enjoy doing each year.

I live in central New England and it’s an enjoyable place to be during the summer months. Other than some time sitting on a beach, my Dawg Days are not a period of idle time or indolence.  There’s little time spent sitting on the porch sipping mint juleps.  I’m pretty active with outside activities and the RV gets used for several short trips.

This year’s Dawg Days were pretty much a repeat of last years.

Music Festivals

Perhaps my favorite Dawg Days activity is going to music festivals.  There’s two that I’ve been going to for the past 16 summers – The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and the Rhythm and Roots Festival.  I’ve written blog posts about both of these.  I enjoy immersing myself into music over a multi-day event.  It’s great to see numerous live performances of the music I like.

Grey Fox Bluegrass

J. Dawg at this year’s Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

The Rhythm and Roots Music a& Dance Festival showcases music from Louisiana and dancing is a big part of that music.  I enjoy dancing.  I especially like dancing to Cajun and Zydeco music.  Here’s a short video that shows what the dancing is like at this festival.

I don’t get to go dancing that often but at this festival I’ll get three solid days in with my wife and several good friends.  By the end of three days, my legs, hips, and feet with be sore, but I’ll have had a great time.  It’s one of the main reasons I keep coming back – to reconnect with the music and to reconnect with my friends.

Dance Tent

Dance Tent

Dance Partner Vicki

Friend and dance partner Vicki trying on the Dawg’s cowboy hat.

Dancing with Annie

Dancing with my Annie

Click on the link below to see more pictures of this years Rhythm and Roots Festival – 

Family Gatherings

Another favorite Dawg Days activity is visiting with and getting together with family.  I attended two family gatherings this summer – one with my side of the family and one with my wife’s side. These gatherings typically happen in the Dawg Days when family members can get together during their vacation times.

On my side of the family, I’m one of five children that my parents had.  We’re somewhat scattered these days and typically only get together once a year.  This years gathering was held at my sister’s home in Maine.  The attendees included my brother and sisters, my Mom, one ex-husband, and ten nieces, nephews, grand kids.  A total of twenty people.  Missing but there in spirit were the departed (my Dad, my sister, and a niece) and one no-show nephew.  It was nice to see everyone together especially all the grand kids.

Nephews and Nieces

Nephews, Nieces, and Grand Kids

In mid August, most of my wife’s family gathers in the home town of her parents to attend the annual Phillips Old Home Days.  This is a multi day celebration that I wrote about last year in this post – A Wicked Fun Time in a Little Ol’ Place.  On one of the evenings, my wife’s family got together for a cook out at her Mom’s house.  This gathering included me, my wife, our sons, my wife’s grand kids, my wife’s brother and his wife, one of their daughters, and their five grand kids.  At total of 19 people.  It’s another large tribe that enjoy being part of.

Family Gathering

Cook out at Nona D’s in Phillips, Maine.

Many many years ago when I was a youngster, I was one of the nephews and grand kids at these types of gatherings.  These get togethers typically included my parents, grand parents, and several aunts and uncles.  Fifty years later, all but my Mom have passed away and I’ve matriculated to Uncle status.  It’s pretty much the same with my wife. She’s now an Aunt as well as a great grand Mom.

And as an Uncle, I marvel at all the progeny that has sprouted from a couple of marriages.  The current total is 46 people created from the two unions of our parents.  It’s quite a creation of humanity.  I’m proud to be part of this and to have witnessed much of this growth.

Five Generations

Five Generations

It’s one of the reasons I like going to these gatherings each year.  Not only are they a chance to reconnect with family members.  It’s a chance to admire the growth and change in the family.  A chance to remind myself that I’m part of a special group of super fine people.

Beach Time

In my last post, I wrote about how I like to get in some beach time during my Dawg Days.  This year I made four trips to the New England coast.  Two of those trips were to southern Maine where several of my family members live.  I took the RV up each time and camped near Old Orchard Beach.  Summer is a very busy time along this area of the southern Maine coast.  The beaches are full as are most campground so I try to do a couple short stays in the middle of the week.

These short stays of 2-3 days are just enough for me to get in some favorite things.  Things like biking to the beach, driving on some scenic roads, going for a boat ride, taking in a ball game, and enjoying some of my favorite summer time foods.  These foods include lobster (any way), fried clams, Italian sandwiches, and Maine whoopie pies.

Fried Clams

Maine Fried Clams

Eating Lobster

J. Dawg enjoying a lobster roll on the beach

In addition to tasting great, favorite foods trigger so many good memories.  I get in a quick fix of these things during my Dawg Days and that’s enough to hold me for another year.

Another Summer Ends

I’m a creature of habit.  Once I find something that I enjoy then I keep doing it.  That behavior typifies my Dawg Days of summer.  And it’s one of the aspects that I like about my sometime RV lifestyle.  Enjoyment and fulfillment doesn’t have to come from constant travel and going to new places.  It can come from doing familiar things that are close by and enjoying time with friends and family.

Sunset at the Breachway

Sunset at the Charlestown Breachway

Labor day has just come signaling the end of summer and the start of another period.  I’ve enjoyed my Dawg Days this summer.  I got to do most all of my favorite things.  The summer weather was just about perfect.  And, I had no calamities other than a hasty late night trip to the ER and the OR but that’s a story for another time and place.

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