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Let the Sun Shine In

Movies, music, and books to help you kick those tired, winter blues

by Katy Littlejohn

photo by Jefferson Noguera, Spain, 2010.

Remember summer? I know it’s been a while, so let me remind you how it goes:

Warm breezes
The beach
Fruity beverages
For ladies, sundresses
For men, an excuse to wear sandals

Grease’s beloved song, “Summer Nights,” evokes the heart of summer, even in the cold days of February. Here we are in the dead of winter: it’s high time we got out of our slushy funk and started to anticipate that most wonderful time of the year. Here are a few ways OTD’s A&E is suggesting you rediscover your summer lovin’ in February, without having to drop everything for a week in Mexico.

photo by Amy Burton, California, 2009.

Watch movies.

Just like Christmas movies that help get us in the right frame of mind for the holidays, there are movies that make us feel ready for summer. Any blockbuster you saw in the summer is a great start to getting you back to those lazy days, so here are a few suggestions:

photo by Benjamin Earwicker, Idaho, 2008.

From Here to Eternity: if making out with a cutie on the beach while waves crash around you doesn’t make the temperature rise, what will?
Dirty Dancing: “It was the summer of 1963 when everyone called me Baby and it didn’t occur to me to care…” Relive that summer at Kellerman’s and have the time of your life!
Jaws: hey, at least there’s a beach and the weather is always warm and sunny.
On Golden Pond: an oldie about oldies; cottage life at its most (dramatically) charming.
Mamma Mia!: Greece, sunshine, and singing—perfect!

Listen to music.

Make a playlist composed completely of summery songs. Press play, don some shades, and pretend you’re on a summer drive in the sunshine, the radio playing your all-time favourites. Here are a few to get you started:

“Summer of ’69”–Bryan Adams
“The Boys of Summer”–Don Henley
“What a Wonderful World”–Louis Armstrong
“Hotel California” –The Eagles
“Young Turks” – Rod Stewart
“Summer Breeze”–Seals and Crofts
“California Girls” –The Beach Boys
“California Girl” – Chilliwack
“California Gurls” – Katy Perry
“Summertime”– Ella Fitzgerald or Janis Joplin
“Sunny Afternoon” – The Kinks
“In the Summertime”– Mungo Jerry
“Summer in the City” – The Lovin’ Spoonful
“Hot Stuff” – Donna Summer
“Night Moves” – Bob Seger
“Groovin’” – The Rascals

Photo by Sanja Gjenero, Croatia, 2009.

Read summer books.

Maybe you don’t have the luxury of the two-month summer you had in school anymore, but you can recreate it by making some time to read for pleasure. Think back to the childhood version of yourself: what is the one book you remember loving? Does it remind you of the way life was back when you first read it? It’s no coincidence that the best summer stories are tales about children.

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: nothing like spending your time off going through 3000+ pages of pure magic!
W. O. Mitchell’s How I Spent My Summer Holidays: A prairie summer story told through the eyes of a child by one of Canada’s favourite storytellers

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: an American classic about adventures in the sun
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez: any book that talks about forever is next door to the “summer that never ended” memories we have from our childhood.

photo by the Horton Group, Tennessee, 2009

Find time to read the classics, the titles you put on the back burner while you got busy with life, and the harmless guilty pleasure reads to recreate the easy living of summertime.

It may be cold outside, but you can create a warm day by reliving all things summer. Don’t let the mid-winter blues get to you: escape to that warm, sunny spot in your memory.

photo by the Horton Group, Tennessee, 2009.


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