Before summer slips away, make a list, then do it.

Before summer slips away, make a list, then do it.

Everywhere I look it’s “back to school.” I said to my wife today that it seems like I’m more aware this year than ever that school is about to start. And for some sad and unfortunate kids it already has. I think the awareness must be the fact that our kids are getting older. One of Jackson’s best friends is starting kindergarten this year.

All this back to school talk has left me feeling a little desperate. Like something is slipping away.


I’m traveling solo this week. I’m gone for three days on business. That’s three days I’m not able to enjoy the beach in Tahoe. Three days I’m not paddle boarding. Three days I’m not walking with my kids down to the Upper Truckee River and to laugh our heads off as the kids fight the current.

I get home and we have a week here. Then we’re going on a week-long camping trip to Klamath Lake, Crater Lake, and the Redwoods. While I’m obviously excited about that trip, we get home and it’s Labor Day. The air will start to get a little more cool. Sweatshirts will start to be seen at the beach. And then the snow. I’m not ready for summer to be over.

We love where we’re currently living in Lake Tahoe. We are surrounded by adventure. Our mainstay is Baldwin Beach–a beautiful sandy beach on Lake Tahoe with a great stream the kids love exploring. But there are so many alternatives to the lake.

Last week we packed a light load and headed to the Angora Lakes. You definitely want a light load–to access the lakes you have to go on about a mile hike, all uphill (you are in the mountains after all).

I had our 22 month old Emery in the backpack and three-year-old Jackson on my shoulders. It was a workout. But when you get there you realize how worth it is. It’s beautiful.

We waded out in the water and I looked back at the beach. So many families enjoying a beach day. People relaxing. Kids playing. Whenever I see a scene like this it reminds me of the painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. You know, the famous painting at the Chicago Art Institute that so captivates Cameron in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Behind me kids are riding a huge tree trunk that’s floating along in the water. Others are congregating on the rocks on one end of the beach and jumping in. First timers are renting paddle boards. I watch and wonder if I should give a few tips or let them fall in and figure it out on their own.

I get a few minutes to sit down and watch Emery take her bucket, fill it up with water, bring it up to the dry sand and dump it out….repeat, repeat, repeat…

Emery playing at Angora Lakes

The Angora Lakes are two small alpine lakes that together with Fallen Leaf Lake form a chain toward Lake Tahoe. There are eight cabins for rent. A little snack shop with great homemade lemon aid. Just getting there is an adventure. A little one lane mountain road–beautiful views. And then that hike.

It’s a Tuesday. The previous Friday we’d made our first trip of the year to Fallen Leaf Lake. I’m sensing summer slip away. And I turn to Monica and declare that we’re going to Fallen Leaf Lake again on Friday. And every Friday as long as it’s warm and we’re having fun. And I tell her I want to come back to the Angora Lakes before summer’s end.

Then I ask her, “what else?” What else do we need to do before summer slips away?

After spending the past 10 years in Santa Barbara where the weather is always perfect there’s no sense of urgency to do it now. The weather is perfect. It will be perfect next week and next month and in three months. But here the seasons bring such a flow to life. In the winter you want to enjoy every good day on the slopes. If there’s fresh powder, especially in the spring, there’s this urgency to enjoy it because soon summer will come and the snow will melt. In the summer you want to enjoy the lakes and the beaches because soon winter will come.


Yes, summer is slipping away. It’s good to remember that. Better to be aware and do something about it. So we made a list. We made a list of the things we wanted to make sure we do while the weather is still warm and proper attire is board shorts and water shoes.

So what do you want to do before summer slips away? Make a list. Then do it.

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