Brain Waves with Debra Rose

Shaking Up Summer

We all hear about cliché seasonal activities; fall harvest, spring cleaning, winter hibernating.  Summer is usually the free-for-all, especially if you live in a region where warmer weather is only a few months of the year.  Preparation for the adventures of summer is also anticipation of well-known events associated with this short season.  Frequenting farmers markets, outdoor concerts, dining under the stars, enjoying the beach every chance you can.  Rather than focusing on renewal, summer tends to be all about embracing a range of opportunities to relax the routines and rules.

Perhaps there are a few things you have wanted to do each year and miss the chance, so for the activities you have not tried, seen, or experienced, the time is now.  We casually solicited ideas around town to find out some of the things to plan this summer, easily within reach:

Horseback Riding: Literally in Montauk’s backyard is a chance to ride horses through a scenic landscape to the highest points in town.  If it is a new experience, you will have taken a step to learn how to horseback ride, and spend time with majestic, gentle animals.

Trip to Block Island: A disproportionate number of visitors AND locals have not taken a trip to Block.  Known as a ‘modest’ version of Nantucket, it’s a nice escape to bring your bike and cycle around the island, visiting local restaurants, nature preserves and checking out the surf.  The boat ride is spectacular, so choose calm waters when you try it.

Planting an Herb Garden: ‘Gardening’ is a rewarding yet often intimidating activity if you do not know where to begin, but herb gardens are simple and forgiving.  Easy to have these plants close by, you may have tremendous satisfaction from picking your own ingredients, grown by you, to add to your dishes, cocktails, and garnishes.  It could be the gateway activity to growing your own vegetables in the future.

Physical Activities: Mention ‘Pickleball’ and you will hear enthusiasm for it, or at least endless conversation about its growing popularity.  Trying a new activity, even just a lesson is a boost to your brain by learning a new skill, and a benefit to your fitness by straying from your routine.  Take that tennis lesson, go golfing, check out pickleball, maybe go paddling or windsurfing.  Summer is the opportunity to try something new that may become part of your warm-weather repertoire.

Explore a new Restaurant! We all have our favorites, and with consistent changes around Montauk there will always be a chance to sample something new.  There are a handful of places visitors ask about and you have never been.  Find a day this summer to explore a new environment for your palate, eyes, and well-being.  The more we shake up our routines, even the route we travel daily, our brains benefit from novel experiences that stave of complacency.  And chances are you will find something new you never knew you enjoyed!