By Scott Graves

Pilot staff writer

It's been raining the last few days and cold and flu season is taking its toll on the community, but that hasn't stopped my wife and 4-year-old daughter from thinking summer thoughts.

I came home the other day to find a list on the refrigerator door. It wasn't a grocery list. The two had written down all the family fun things they plan to do this summer (many of which we've done in summers past).

Not only did the list leave me anticipating summer more than usual this time of year, it reminded me of all the cool things to do and places to visit in our area.

Here's some examples from their list:

?Camping trips


?River days

?Treasure hunt on the beach

?Visit the wild animal park (near Bandon)

?Friends visit our house

?Swimming at the Brookings public pool

?Scooter and bike riding


?Playing on the Slip 'n Slide

?Tree climbing

?Beach days - swimming in the ocean

?Visit Portland

?Stay at a vacation house (Newport, Yachats or Rockaway Beach)

?Plant a garden


? Go on an animal photo safari (In Curry and Del Norte counties, not Africa)

?Hiking the trails at Cape Ferrelo

?Summer parties, and more summer parties!

?KidTown hunt - visit as many KidTowns as we can

?Sleepovers with friends and grama and grandan.

?Tickle fights

?Pillow fights with friends

?Tree singing.

Tree singing? Yes. Tree singing is when my daughter climbs one of our backyard trees and sings her little heart out from up high. One has to see it, and hear it, to fully appreciate it - I'm sure the neighbors do.

The list of summer activities goes on and on, but there are a few things my wife and daughter missed, and which I'm adding:

?Jet boat trip on the Rogue river

?Spend a night at Snow Camp Lookout in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.

?Discover a new swimming hole on the Chetco River

?Backyard barbecues!

?Fly kites

?Build sandcastles

?Sleeping in the backyard hammock (flying kites and building sandcastles is hard work!)

The best thing about living on the Southern Oregon Coast is we don't have to wait until summer is officially here to do many of these things.

Our year-round temperate climate and periods of nice weather between spring storms allows us plenty of opportunities to go on picnics, beach walks and hikes, fly kites, make sandcastles and, yes, sing from trees.

And the hammock is already set up in the backyard.

What's on your list?