Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Mixtape: 5 art selections celebrating the liturgy of family vacations

Each week, usually on Monday, I compile a metaphorical mixtape, a few "tracks" of art I can't wait to share with you.  It might help you to know that tracks are loosely related by theme and very much influenced by whim.

Summer celebration season launches Father's Day weekend in the Murphy house with back-to-back celebrations for Brian.  Father's Day and his birthday share the same weekend (sometimes the same day).  The kids are done with school, schedules go out the window and we begin counting down the days for vacation.  

This week I've curated for you a collection representing our summer vacation liturgy.  A small, unapologetic disclaimer about the weekly mixtape:  fine art, concept art, pop art, food art, design art is all game in this weekly review.  I say this because our family trends decidedly pop art in the summertime.  Not sure why exactly, but it might have something to do with our penchant for cut-offs, tank tops, flip flops and cold beer.  Pop art just fits the ambiance, know what I'm saying?  

I offer you this week's mixtape. Won't you take off your shoes, grab a cold one and stay awhile?

track 1:  Stephanie Calabrese Roberts (photography)

This image sums up all forty-one summertimes in my life. We know well the gift of waterfronts: lakes, ponds, rivers, oceans, creekbeds and swimming pools. I love the way Ms. Roberts captures the marriage of tranquility and motion with this shot.

(Here's a non-sappy short essay I wrote reflecting on thirty-eight family vacations, July 2009)

track 2: Bryan Adams, Summer of '69  (music nostalgia)

Brian has been creating an 80's Megamix for our thirty-hour drive to New York next week.  He's very proud of it, sampling tracks during his birthday weekend.  Truthfully, I'm pretty fond of the genre and still consider myself smitten with Huey Lewis.  I found an 80's compilation on YouTube and embedded it here to share with you, but I just couldn't let the hair band screen shot mess with the overall aesthetic going on in this mixtape.  Thus, the Bryan Adams video for his iconic 80's hit Summer of '69 stands in for a decade of angsty rock.  Turn up the volume and enjoy!

(Here's a  birthday letter I wrote to my husband on this blog in 2008)

track 3:  Old Bay Seasoning Shrimp Boil (art of feasting)

One of the liturgies of family vacation (that is the annual piling in together of my parents, five siblings, their spouses and all of our children for a week somewhere near water in the Northeast) is the nightly dinner each family takes turns preparing and hosting.  Someday soon I plan to make a photo/recipe book of what's probably about 50 meals all combined at this point.  Two summers ago, my sister and brother-in-law served this Old Bay Seasoning Shrimp Boil -- complete with newspaper tablecloths and lots of iced tea.  

Cousins enjoying the shrimp boil in the Pocono mountains, 2010
Between this menu suggestion and the Chicken Ceasar Sandwiches I posted last week, can you tell how much feasting has to do with our summer liturgy?

track 4: Love Letter to Coney Island (creative places & spaces)

Sadly, we've never actually been to Coney Island, but we love boardwalks anywhere we can get them:  Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Ocean City, Maryland & New Jersey, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to name a few.

What amusement park or beach boardwalk does your family love?

track 5: Footloose re-make line dance (vacation dance parties)

The last piece of Summer Vacation liturgy I'll share with you today is the annual dance party.  Most of the dance party is all 20 of us jumping around, sweating and laughing to a dance playlist that someone's spent hours mixing for us. 

The highlight, though, is the song that a select group ( the real dancers of the family) have learned via some tutorial they've found online.  This year we're going to attempt the line dance scene from the re-release of the classic Footloose.  A line dance I might be able to handle.  We'll see about that.  (don't count on me sharing any video with you!)

Hey, want to join us this year?  I've embedded the tutorial so we can all learn together.  You've got to promise to share at least a photo, if not a video of your family's attempt.  Extra bonus points, if your photo/video includes real Texan cowboy boots. 

 bonus track:  Thriller dance at Ryan & Macia's wedding

The year to beat all years is still 2009's Thriller that's was recently re-incarnated and my brother's wedding.

“Vacation is what you take when you can't take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer.”  ~Unkown

Before I go, I should tell you that I love to hear what poems, pictures, songs and reasonable words you are enjoying.  Please do stop by the comment box and share a bit with me.  

Hoping that  you find your common days aflame
 with good books, pictures, poems, songs, words and ideas!

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