It’s mid-September in Los Angeles, but I’d be oblivious to the impending official end of summer if it weren’t for the sky that darkens just a little earlier each day and the Facebook posts from everyone back home about the fall-like weather (and subsequent pumpkin spice lattes). Usually by this time of year, my tan has already faded, and I’m wishing for just a few extra weeks of a sweaty Maryland summer. I always did have just a touch of seasonal depression, no matter how much I enjoyed football, beef stew, and fall fashion.
But this September, I’m not putting away the sundresses. I’m as tan as I would be if I spent a solid week at the beach. And even being very much in back-to-school mode, I don’t have the same blues I’ve always associated with it. It truly feels like the Endless Summer.
That’s not to say that life is perfect in Los Angeles. Every day has its own struggles. Being away from family isn’t easy, but at least I got to watch my sister open presents on her 12th birthday via FaceTime. The continuous search for employment can be a serious source of anxiety at times, but I know we’ll find work eventually; in the meantime, I’m just happy to be spending so much time with John. Whenever petty worries about cars, phones, or bills arise, some tragic news story pops up and gives us a heavy dose of perspective. By comparison, we’re living the dream. And in a lot of ways, we really are.
The following playlist is a culmination of memories and feelings associated with this summer of anticipation, exploration, and arrival. Most of these songs played through the car speakers more than once as we leisurely made our way across the country, and they’ll forever be ingrained in my mind as the soundtrack of an epic, endless summer.
So here’s to bathing suits, gas money, sunglasses, water jugs, pit stops, motel sheets, coffee shops, photo ops, Google maps, guitar pics, campfires, bike rides, time zones, calls home, L.A. traffic, and living to tell the tale. And wherever you are, may your summer be as endless as mine.
Tracklist: John Mancini Band – Shangri-la | Allah Las – Busman’s Holiday | The Band – Don’t Do It |Charles Bradley – Why Is It So Hard | Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl | Sam Phillips – Signal | White Denim – Burnished | Dire Straits – Wild West End