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Summer: These are a few of my favorite things…

Summer is winding to a close. Kids will be going back to school soon--weeks earlier than when we were kids and in the classroom after Labor Day.

What are your favorite things of summer? For me, it's the ripe peaches and tomatoes of August, swimming and kayaking in natural bodies of water, those summer trips & family reunions, staying in the shade with a Southern Belle fan at the ready, reading fiction without redeeming social value...

What about you?

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17 Responses »

  1. I've become a weather watcher over this summer, anticipating my daughter's outdoor wedding at the end of this month. Here in the Colorado Rockies, the summer heat has been broken most afternoons by rain clouds swarming over the mountains. The clouds screen the sun for a while, giving some relief. Lately, the clouds have broken open filling the roads with racing streams flowing over the gutters, torrential rain whipped by winds. The downpours don't last long, but they make a dent, and the temperature drops for the rest of the day. A few days ago I raced around my house closing windows, pools of water collecting on the floors below. I always note the time of day, conjuring scenes of wedding guests making a break for the tent that we've rented "just in case." So far, the rains have arrived after the planned wedding vows.

    This summer I've learned (again) that there's no controlling wind and rain, no controlling thoughts and feelings, or anything for that matter. Despite my initial struggle, the recognition that nature runs on its own schedule has brought me comfort. There's real peace in letting go. I'm counting the days to the wedding, feeling the pleasure of a joyful party just down the road. I've heard that rain on the day of a wedding is auspicious, and bodes well for the couple. Now, I'm conjuring scenes of wedding guests dancing in the rain, enjoying every little drop.

  2. Frankly, the absence of winter is the biggest summer treat I can think of; no shivers, no need to keep the door shut and run the heater on full, no need to dread the terrifyingly chilling air and water; and summer does allow the natural night music of the miniature world around us. I am essentially a summer soul!

  3. Sleeping with the windows open, listening to the night critters, including some that are rather spooky and can't be identified. Going barefoot. Living in the country makes summer so enjoyable. A good supply of ripe tomatoes and sweet peaches to nibble on, and wearing few clothes. We don't use air conditioning so we can take advantage of the warm air and sunshine. Fans are fine. This summer has been extremely hot for our area, so that even the most adamant summer lovers are tiring of the long, hot days and no rain. But this too will pass, and it will begin to rain and cool down and soon we'll yearn for the return of the heat. I'm finishing up so I can go take a dip in the pool to cool off.

  4. Dear Susan, Ernest, and Velda,

    I think of you in such different places: Colorado, Pakistan, Missouri...with such different scenery and weather conditions. To read and experience your gratitude is the linking theme for each of your experiences of summer.

    Janet

  5. I love the long days, fresh tomatoes, fresh corn-on-the-cob, picnics, berries of all kinds, big glasses of iced tea (brewed in the sun, of course!), and summer rain.

  6. I love all the seasons, but my love of summer must be a carry over from childhood. My birthday is June 11th, and I always got out of school a few days before my birthday. So I anticipated summer with much enthusiasm. As a child, summer was swimming, snorkeling, water skiing, fishing, building castles on the mud flats and exploring all the little islands near our home...all day long. It was nonstop fun. Even though I don't do all the same things and have added many new summer activities, I still look forward to my birthday and the summer ahead with the same excitement. Oh, and I can't forget daily trips to the farm stand for fresh-picked corn.

    About this time of year, I start looking for the first signs of fall...the sounds of the cadidid bugs singing "back to school, Kendra, back to school, Kendra." I also watch for the first gray-green leaves on the maple trees. I'm sad with the coming of fall, but at the same time I look forward to fall clothes, the rich palate of colors our trees take on here in New England, the fresh apple cider, pumpkin pies, the smell of burning leaves, and a whole new wardrobe.

  7. Dear Susan and Kendra,

    Thanks for your vivid pictures of your favorite gifts of summer.

    Kendra...how fun to have the whole summer as a gift for your birthday. In Maine you have distinctively four seasons, each with its own virtues.

    Janet

  8. An unexpected lovely and telling event this summer. It's the tale about Aldo. If you're interested, please visit my website blog, scroll down a bit, and read these posts: Forget Me Not and then More About Aldo.

    And thanks to Janet and all who participate here for keeping up the momentum.

    Enjoy!

    Eden

  9. Eden,

    The story of Aldo (the parakeet) who came to you on the second anniversary of your mother's death is both sweet and inspiring.

    I'm glad Aldo is both safe and sound. As is your mother, I'm sure. I bet Sweetie Boy, your cockatiel, is enjoying his company, too!

    Janet

  10. Hi Janet:

    I can always count on your contribution—although I don't take it for granted.

    You are beyond complacency—and I love that about you.

    Eden

  11. Creek shoes floating
    Making love
    in Kelsey Creek
    eyes
    clear
    calm
    open
    eyes seeing me
    amber eyes
    still
    present
    deep summer blue
    dancing cotton wood green
    floating
    feeling
    loving
    moved to let the soul be touched
    I open my eyes
    to liquid rock
    reflection dancing
    on walls that were once part of cave
    creek shoes floating
    a warmth in all the
    touching places
    cool river caressing the rest
    I open my eyes
    creek shoes in Kelsey Creek

  12. I wrote this poem years ago:

    Corn Ceremony

    It's mid summer.
    The corn plants
    In my father's garden
    Tower over head.
    I've been waiting for this moment
    Since we planted the tiny seeds
    Mid spring.

    Now I stand between the rows
    Toes wiggling in the warm earth.
    Full ears wrapped in green husks -
    Yellow silk turned slowly golden brown, then black.
    I touch an ear.
    Is it ripe?
    I touch another - and another
    Until I find the one to pick -
    The first fresh corn of summer.

    I strip the ear.
    Husk and silk fall to the ground.
    I bite in to the golden pearls
    And taste the sun!

    There's a whole list of summer joys I could add - but this is one of those moments that's especially meaningful this summer.

    JJ

  13. Meg, since I couldn't get to Kelsey Creek with you this summer, your poem is the next best thing to being there.

    JJ, Your poem "Corn Ceremony" catches the spirit of the fullness of summer.

    Thanks to you both for sharing your poems.

    Janet

  14. I love lying in my hammock, watching the grapes grow above the arbor, their vines twisting and stretching until, by mid-July they cover the top of the arbor so that I can read for an hour every day after lunch, without having to squint or shift away from the overhead sun. I love the mottles of light that burn on my leg until I move a few inches into another patch of shadow. I love coming back to my hammock in a few days and seeing the grape embryos forming, rounding, finally ripening so I can pick them while I hang suspended reading DEATH IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA.

    A huge, specked yellow leaf dropped off into my lap yesterday, the harbinger of Fall.Even as I mourned the passing of summer, I was excited at the prospect of fall, with its scents and that vague, wistful turn of sunlight that teases me into realizing the fleeting path of my life.

  15. Anne,

    I love your vivid description taking us through the grape cycle as you span summer and fall.

    I think it's so funny that you're reading "Death in the Time of Cholera" as you gently swing your hammock.

    Thanks for taking us there.

    Janet

  16. Summer is a joy to me because my husband Howard and I share "Grandma and Grandpa Camp" with our eight grandchildren. Two of our older granddaughters join us on a auto trip each year to capitols in our beautiful United States. We have 43 states to go! Our best to you Janet. Julia

  17. Dear Julia and Howard,

    The two of you really know how to enjoy life and your extended family. You add so much value to them all.

    Janet

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