—“Bed in Summer,” Robert Louis Stevenson
What child (grown up children too) cannot relate to this child who has “to go to bed by day?” My kids and I get a kick out of Stevenson’s empathetic poem. It is almost as if he is taking the children’s side. I think he is.
I’ve been taking the children’s side too this summer. Long days, late nights, and an unhurried pace awakens the imagination for both parent and child. We are not machines, after all. We are taking our time- our time for relationships, for observation, for ideas, for play.
We’ve traveled and will travel some more. In June we went to FL to spend some quality time with Mimi and Poppy, splashing in the ocean, riding horses, and fishing in the canal. We then went to Dallas with Daddy to the Southern Baptist Convention. The kids went to day camps while Mommy and Daddy went to the conference. I will go to New York this week for a few days with a team from our church. We will take a family day trip to Jackson Falls for a hike and to see some waterfalls later this month. Finally, before we get back to our formal studies we will take a trip to see Nana and Poppa and uncles, aunts, and cousins in SC. The summer is jam packed, but joyful.
With the sweltering heat we’ve had, the pool is our landing place. We try to go in the morning or evening to avoid the midday intensity. I lie in the shade with a book while the kids swim and play- it’s a win-win!
Our garden is in full bloom producing an abundant harvest! Well, except for our cucumbers. They are a pitiful sight. Travis is a master gardener (in my humble opinion). The kids and I are learning a lot from him. When the green bean plants began to sprout, he realized that they were “runners,” so he rigged up a trellis with stakes and string so that they would not run a muck through the garden. We have had so many delicious meals right from our backyard! Omelets, stir fry, steamed veggies, fried okra, salads, and more…
“Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.” ~Wendell Berry
Summer reading is in full swing too! We finished reading aloud Little Dog, Lost, and what a delight it was. It was the perfect book for the ages of my children- a misunderstood neighbor, a cause, and a dog and boy made this a great read for us. We are reading The Penderwicks now, which I’ve already read and could not wait to read to my kids. It is the perfect summer read- four sisters, a cottage, rabbits, a boy, a bull, and a summer adventure. It is the first in the series, and we plan to read them all (not this summer, though). 🙂
Here is a simple Oven Fries recipe that complement many summer meals:
Simply Delicious Oven Fries
3 pounds Russet potatoes, cut in wedges
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place potatoes on 2 cookie sheets, spread evenly
- Drizzle olive oil over potatoes liberally
- Sprinkle Kosher salt and seasoning salt (even amounts…I eyeball it)
- Sprinkle 1 tsp. of pepper (or so, I eyeball it too…depends on your taste)…I use less pepper
- Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- Toss potatoes several times (add more oil if necessary)
- Bake in oven for 20-30 min. (Toss potatoes with metal spatula every 10 min. or so)
- They are done when they brown on the edges and get a nice amber glow.
- Eat and enjoy!
We have had a few evening bike rides, but let me tell ya…we still come in sweating, begging for water and popsicles. I love our neighborhood- perfect for walks, runs, and rides. 🙂
I love how my kids are at the ages now where they can play a board game together. They actually administer the game- recalling the rules, determining who goes first, and keep score (or money for monopoly). Brother sometimes plays by the rules… 😉
Something came to my mind this morning as I looked out of my office window. Everything God has designed in creation has a determined way of life. A hawk flew across our backyard, and God reminded me that it is doing as it was designed to do- hunt, feed, nest, and find shelter. The Holy Spirit gently impressed upon my heart that I am designed for a purpose as well- to love, lead, share, nurture, and rest. All are made to worship- even the birds. So, here in the middle of summer- in the heat of the sweltering sun, we find our way of life by design. In work, in play, in relationship, in conversation, in observation- we remind ourselves that we are unlike the birds- we are human- we reflect the glory of God in a different way. And in this way, and in every season, we both marvel and wonder at the feast laid before us- in the presence of the One whose image we bear.