Summer in the City.

It may not have felt like summer for the past few days. In fact, it's felt quite the opposite. Winds paired with cold temperatures and rain. Sounds like the perfect start to summer, no? No matter how badly we Chicagoans want summer to come, Mother Nature always has a way to toying with our emotions and making us hold out, even if only for a while longer.

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Growing up, while in grade school, even high school and college for that matter, summers were an expectation. School was over. No more class. No more quizzes, papers or presentations. Summer was the time for us to let loose and enjoy the warm weather. Some of us were forced to take summer classes by our parents while others played at the park or pool with friends. But no matter what the summers entailed, we enjoyed that. Now that I am going on 28 (2 months away...wow), I still wish that I had my summers off. After all, it's a God-given right! Why shouldn't we have the summer months off? It's just cruel to make people work during the most wonderful time of the year. However, life goes on and we grow up and become adults. We are faced with responsibilities - jobs, bills, rent, doctors payments and groceries. Three months off in the middle of the year is simply a luxury that most cannot afford.

That doesn't mean we can't enjoy our summer in the city. So, as I've ridden the train home the past few evenings in the cool gloomy Chicago weather, I've had my fair share of time to think of what I want to do this year. Tommy Engstrom is not going to sit idly and let summer drift by. Instead, I have come up with a Summer 2015 Bucket List. Some of these items of small and trivial, others are a little more strenuous or daring. So, without further adieu, Tommy's Summer Bucket List:

  1. Read 1 book a month.
  2. Find Chicago's best margarita.
  3. Make new friends.
  4. Go to Big Star (embarrassed to admit that I have never been).
  5. Skydive.
  6. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour every day to devote to writing something other than content for Smak.
  7. Hang out with friends at the beach at least every other weekend.
  8. Catch up with high school friends that I never see, even though we live within miles of each other.
  9. Start every Sunday morning with a walk around my neighborhood.
  10. Go to the farmers market every weekend, even if just to walk around and enjoy the company of friends and loved ones.

That's it for me. What about you all? What is on the docket for your summer? If you live in Chicago and want to help me tackle any of these Bucket List items, reach out to me. Happy Hump Day!

Tommy.