Hello, summer.

Every summer for the last few years, I’ve made a summer playlist that I listen to at the beach, while work on this magazine, during runs in the wood or over tall cold pink drinks on the porch with friends.

These songs are old favorites like “Summertime,” by Will Smith and a more classic rendition of the same title by the amazing jazz vocalist, Eddie Jefferson. The list always includes a new title I just discovered (usually introduced by adorable friends), like “So Long Sweet Misery” by Brett Dennen, “Summer of a Heart” by Francois & The Atlas Mountains or Jessie J’s acoustic cover of “Rock With You.” It’s undoubtedly a mish-mash compilation of genres, representing the many moods of summer (hey, that sounds like a song I know).

Two summers ago, I burned CDs of my playlist and gave them to my pals, a mix tape of friendship, summer love (for my paddle board, Lake Michigan and family) and happy-go-luckiness.

My dear, long-time friend Robin teaches dance at the University of Wisconsin and emailed me in the thick of winter that she had used the CD during a class and it made her think of our summer days sailing together. BOOM. I see Sally (who teaches elementary school in Annapolis) every July at the lake and she messaged me a few months ago to say she listens to the CD in her car on particularly dreary commutes. Perfect.

Ode to the power of the summer songs.

Find yours and share them this month while you toss a fresh salad on the porch for friends and family. Get inspired by the stunning summer salads in this month’s throw-down feature. We’ve listened to your requests and filled the pages of our feature with larger images (this month, by the talented Kathryn McCrary).

Find your happy place this summer and enjoy!

Sue

PS

Check out my 2015 summer playlist on our Facebook page and share your suggestions for this year’s top 10!