July is my favorite month.
Growing up, we'd go to Pampa in July, because July is a brilliant month to go to Texas. We'd drive for 8 hours while Tara and I pushed each other's elbows of the arm rest, or when we were younger and Chris was with us, we spent our time trying to not let our six sticky thicks touch in the sweaty backseat. In Pampa there was Braum's ice cream and Dyer's barbecue and mosquitoes and night walks to the park and playing on the hammock in the backyard and spades with the cousins.
July in Colorado was sparklers and slip and slide. Sunbathing with the family in the backyard with a root beer, hoping you weren't the one dad asked to put Coppertone 4 on his back. It was my Uncle Stan's pool in Parker, 10-feet wide, which when you're 10 counts for 50. It was laying on a wool blanket on their front lawn at night, watching for shooting stars.
It was skipping stones on Lake Dillon and playing in the amphitheater. It was Cheetos and Chips A'hoy for a picnic lunch on that same old puce-colored tablecloth my parents still tote with them wherever they go.
Now July is the mountains with Mike, sticking our noses in corners of valleys. It's a bike ride through the pines to work, with the morning cool on my legs. It's hummingbirds darting at dusk on my back porch. It's a bowlful of cherries on the patio.
We celebrated the 4th in the store this year. I stepped out into the rain and dark to see the fireworks exploding over Manitou, while Mike mopped gelato off the floor.