Tag Archives: Summer

Ahhh. A summer’s dream

I read an entire book the other day. I read “Sister Noon” by Karen Joy Fowler. It was an incredible book, unputdownable, if you know what I mean.  I’ve been a big fan of Karen’s since I first read “Sarah Canary,” and that book still resonates. Karen is a master wordsmith.

But to take the time to read an entire book in a day is to hearken back to that summer between seventh and eighth grades. I alluded to that odd summer a few days ago, when talking about the biking summer between sixth and seventh grades. The summer between seventh and eighth was when I fell in love with reading. Fiction caught me in its trap and I have been ecstatic about being its prisoner ever since.

That summer I spent entirely in my swimming suit (don’t ask me why). I would wake up in the morning, and with both parents gone to work, I would get up, brush my teeth and then go back to bed and read. I slept with a pile of library books, and when I finished each one in the stack, I put them in the basket of my trusty bike and went back to the library for another pile.

That summer I devoured everything I could find by H.G. Wells, everything by Edgar Rice Burroughs including all the Tarzan Books, the Pellucidar series, and some of the Mars books, everything I could find by Heinlein, Serling, and Ian Fleming, and then became magically transported to the dark side of Edgar Allan Poe.

It was an incredible summer. I read every possible waking moment. With no one to nag me about taking out the garbage or “go outside, it’s a beautiful day,” I had the luxury of feeding my soul.

Perhaps that summer has taken on some mythical aspects in my memory. Perhaps it wasn’t precisely as I remember it, but that’s okay. What I do know is that I read all those books in those short months, and that I have never been the same since.

Would that every child had such an opportunity.

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Filed under Reading, Summer

Taking the Summer off

Taking the summer off seemed to be such a great idea back when I was overextended. In reality, it’s not so great.

I’m not bored — probably if there ever was a sin, boredom is it — but I don’t have enough to do. I’ve been reading, and gardening, and watching too much television, making jobs for Al to do around the house, poking my nose in affairs that aren’t mine… I’m eager to get into a project, but now it’s too late to take on anything large, as we’re going to be traveling the first half of September, and then it’s just a stone’s throw to school starting, work starting, and I begin teaching a new class on Writing for Veterans at LCC.

But whatever I thought this summer of leisure would be like isn’t it.  I’ll remember this next year.

I need to keep busy, or I’ll get myself into trouble.

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Filed under Gardening, Summer

My Summer Kitchen

My kitchen is a mess in the summer. Always. The floor has bits of dried leaves and things that all three of us (husband, dog, me) track in from the garden, the countertop always has some dirt-filled things, like garlic drying or onions. Right now there is a bowl of raspberries left over from breakfast, to be snacked on until they’re gone (before lunch).  Soon, I hope, the perpetual bowl of tomatoes will be there.

We live as much outside as inside during the summer, and while my winter kitchen is spotless and everything is in its place, the summer kitchen tends to be a riot of seeds,  plants, and rooting cuttings, compost for the worm bin and on and on and on.  Sometimes it bugs me, and I get busy, cleaning, cleaning, but the next day it’s back to its normal summer state. And I guess I’m growing to love it.

When the tomatoes are over, the pickles are in the pantry, the rest of the produce in the freezer, my kitchen will again be clean and ready for the winter. And then I’ll miss the chaos, and I’ll miss my summer kitchen.

Meanwhile, I’m kind of enjoying the mess.

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Filed under Gardening, Summer

What a summer

I’ve been a practicum student at Serenity Lane this summer, a drug and alcohol treatment facility in town, working with the chaplain as she ministers to the spirits of the patients. What an education that has been! Yikes. I see myself in so many of them — their eyes, their stories, their fears, their shame. I identify and empathize, and yet I know the other side of that misery as well. If only they will stick with it, if only they could glimpse what I know to be true about a clean and sober life…

If only that insecure but talented writer could keep the faith and keep putting the butt in the chair and keep pumping out the words. If only they could glimpse what I know about successes as a writer…

If only that young married couple could stick it out, reach deep and find the reasons they were attracted to each other in the beginning, and rekindle that respect for each other. If only they could glimpse what I know about the sublime pleasure in a long satisfying marriage…

These are the pleasures of age.

I am one of the extraordinarily fortunate ones, and I am grateful every second of every minute. The question now is how to share the knowledge in a meaningful way. Other than walking the talk–which I try to do, and accomplish with varying levels of success–that is the current quest.

But more will be revealed, if I suit up and show up, and that’s what I’m doing.

What a summer.

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Filed under Aging, family, Joy, Marriage, Spirituality, Summer, Writing, years