So I remember a lot of the things from my childhood summers.
How do my summers as an adult differ?
Well, of course, the biggest thing is that I do work during the summers - I have, off and on, since high school. Early on, a lot of the work was volunteer work - tutoring, or working at the library, or (one summer) writing teacher's guides for "traveling boxes" for a museum. (They were mostly biology boxes...I think there was one about mollusks, and another about insects).
I found that after I had left behind childhood, I was happier having some kind of work during the summer. I still feel that way. Now, of course, I teach most summers. I did not teach last summer but had a couple of research students and we spent most of June out in the forests around home collecting data.
I will say that even though I'm working, summers are still more relaxed than the usual school year. Youth group is on hiatus for the summer, so I am off most Wednesday nights. AAUW and CWF don't meet. So I don't have the same evening meeting schedule as I do during the school year, and I have to admit that that is a relief. Also, we do not have faculty or committee meetings during the summer, so there is not that to consider fitting into my workday.
I do try to work some fun things in to the summers. This year, I am not going to any meetings (The Prairie Conference is this year, but it's in Winnepeg, and I have nothing really ready to present, so I cannot justify the expense and distance to travel to it - I'd have to fly, which I do only VERY reluctantly.) I do try to plan a trip to McKinney, and maybe one to Longview. I also have to admit that I think every year about taking a three-day weekend, or a couple days after classes end, and just going somewhere I've not been before...somewhere in Texas that has interesting historical stuff (there's lots of that in east Texas, which really isn't all that far). Or somewhere like Guthrie. Or that castle they are building in Arkansas.
I THINK about it, but I never really do. Part of it is the heat - it becomes less appealing to get in the car and drive for hours, even with air conditioning, when it's blazing out. And I do find that the heat wears me out more than it did when I was younger. (Then again, where I live now, it gets hotter for longer than it ever did when I was a kid in Ohio, or even a grad student in Illinois).
I suppose if I looked around more, and pushed more, I'd find festivals or "days" to go to - lots of the small towns have heritage days or days celebrating some agricultural product. But then again - I think of Muenster's German Fest - which I always consider going to - and I think of all the people who descend on the town for that day, and my dislike of crowds tends to kick in. (Really: the population of Muenster increases by something like tenfold on the days of the Germanfest, which suggests to me that even logistics that should be simple, like finding a public restroom, could be complicated). I suppose if I had someone to go with I'd be more inclined to go... it's not always fun doing something like that alone.
I do also spend a lot of time hiding out in my cool dark house. I tend to keep the blinds drawn in the summer to try to keep the heat out and also the bright sun. (I find I am sensitive to bright sun. Too much exposure to it makes me tired and sort of dysphoric. I'm a lot happier if we get some cloudy days mixed in with all the sun). I try to do things like bake bread (I know, that heats up the house...but it's nice to do when you have time) or work on my quilts. It's kind of like being snowed in in the winter in cold climates, only with hot. And yes, I do feel rather cabin feverish by the time the weather starts to cool. (Usually not until late September or early October where I live now.)