*I can say with confidence that this has been the best July we've spent in Portland in the six years we've lived here. At the start of each new month, I've gotten into the habit of reading my blog posts from the same month in previous years. And looking back on the July posts from the past few years, I've definitely been anxious about summer not feeling like summer - about the summer months floating away before summer weather really arrived. But that's not been the case this year. We've had an amazing stretch of good weather and when this summer comes to a close, I'll definitely be able to say that we squeezed every last ounce of goodness out of it.
That being said, I don't know that I can say this has been the best July of my entire life. When I was little, there was a huge party every July 4th on the street on which I grew up. Fenwood Road was barricaded at both ends and neighbors mingled in the street. Families set up chairs on their lawns and hung out with each other all day long. There was a big pot-luck dinner with hamburgers on the grill. There were potato sack races with plastic trophy prizes. There was face painting. And kids were able to ride their bikes and roller skate down the middle of the street to their hearts' content. We caught fireflies at night and watched neighbors set off fireworks in their back yards. I couldn't think of anything more awesome when I was a kid. The street party was also the setting of my first venture into the jewelry business - one year I set up a stand and sold friendship bracelets there. So July on Fenwood Road might take the cake, but Portland 2013 is coming in at a close second.