Whew, as I sit down to my computer after a long day at work…I am feeling the effect of the hot SUMMER Texas heat. Yes, it was over 100 degrees today but we have been very blessed to have a fairly mild year up until now. After all it is the first of August and this is normal for this time of year. Nevertheless it till can zap your energy and make you sweat!
Personally I love SUMMER, for some reason it is a more relaxing time of year. An author unknown quoted “SUMMER is when your Hair get lighter, Skin gets darker, Water gets warmer, Drinks get colder, Music gets louder, Nights get longer and LIFE gets better! Don’t you agree? SUMMER is time for flip flops, shorts, bare legs and fun in the sun with extra hours of daylight…you lighten up a bit on the schedules and go with the flow. It means more grilling outdoors, picnics, poolside or romping in the park. It is time to eat peaches, plums, melons and make your favorite delicious homemade ice cream. I remember helping my grandpa with the old fashion crank ice cream maker with a wooden tub which took a long time churning and lots of physical labor. He would sit it on the back steps and bend over holding on to the top while grinding and grinding the crank. Fortunately we have advanced and the electric motor churns that metal canister just fine packed with ice and rock salt in a plastic tub…oh how I love the taste of that homemade ice cream, especially when you are licking the paddle… Yum…is your mouth watering yet? What is your favorite flavor?
For many, SUMMER may mean to have a reprieve from daily work or school, especially if you are a teacher or student. You have a couple months off while others like me have to squeeze in a little vacation here and there or by taking a three day weekend. Others like my hubby, SUMMER is a bit more hectic, he is in construction and they do allot of schools so they only have three months to get the job done. Nevertheless the whole mindset and vitamin D seems to put folks in a better mood or maybe the heat makes them lethargic and not so uptight? Many families have second homes and it is a chance to go to the mountains, ranch, lake, or seaside. Perhaps it is an opportunity to sleep under screened in porches, a tent or in the outdoors. It is definitely a change of pace. Kids can enjoy SUMMER camps making new friends, learning to stretch their courage by zip lining, water skiing, swimming across the lake or pool, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores around the open flame of a camp fire. How many of you can sing the words to “Kumbaya”, “The Ants go marching…” or “A boy and a girl in a little canoe”…? Isn’t it fun to remember all those favorite camp songs? I bet I have you humming the lyrics right now?
One of my favorite memories was going to church camp in the mountains of Colorado. We would stay in an old musty cabin that had wood floors and creepy crawler as in bugs yet there were a group of giggling girls that made you feel a little more at ease. Some we knew and some we didn’t but it was always fun to make new friends and have a new pen pal for the rest of the year. We had a community shower, with extremely cold water and a little general store we could buy snacks and things. There was a rotary phone we could call home but it was long distant so we would call collect. We had to time it just right to make sure our parents were home to accept the call…Yes those were the days! Each morning we started off with breakfast then onto morning chapel, the afternoon we had craft activities, free time and then evening worship. Later in the night we gathered around the camp fire in the cool mountain air. The Lord truly blessed us, finding our purpose, laying a deep foundation, reading his word…oh how I love being a child of God. SUMMER Fun…Matthew 24:32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that SUMMER is near.”
Fortunately we have traded a bit of the feel of SUMMER for the comfort of air-conditioning in the South. It takes something out of the season to need a sweater and scarf in restaurants or office buildings. I know when I was younger I would sleep under my electric blanket year round. Now that I am a woman over 50 that is definitely not the case…LOL! I am very thankful for air conditioning. As a child growing up in Southeast Colorado we had what we called water coolers or swamp coolers. I can remember my dad getting on the roof at the beginning of SUMMER and cleaning out the unit from the winter and string a garden hose up the roof line to set it into action. Basically, an evaporative cooler (also swamp cooler, desert cooler and wet air cooler) is a device that cools air through the evaporation of water. Evaporative cooling differs from typical air conditioning systems which use vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycles. When I was in High School my parents put in a central air conditioning unit…there is definitely a difference. Central air seems to me to be much cooler and not so humid or sticky. However, I would take either one on a HOT SUMMER’S Day, how about YOU?
We must learn to embrace the SUMMER’S gifts, shift into SUMMER gear slow and easy…breathing in deeply exhaling slowly. Some ways to consider doing this is take advantage of early morning coolness and choose this time to spend outside…perhaps visit the farmer’s market on the weekend and pick up some fresh produce or perhaps you planted your own garden in the spring and are reaping the harvest? Feeling the cool sand beneath my feet under a scorching SUMMER sun, it is the time of year to restock the sun-block and mosquito repellent. I love having pop cycles or ice cream sandwiches in the freezer for when the grandkids come over and savor the flavor of freshly brewed sweet tea or lemonade. There is nothing more quenching on a hot SUMMER’S day. It is a time to keep my makeup down to sheer lipstick and a dot or two of foundation and a quick swoop of blush, the bronze skin color from fun in the sun brings out the natural glow. I love wearing a cool cotton dress. I want to begin to play a more local tourist on the weekends in my hometown, going to outdoor concerts or movies in the park. What about planning easy places to visit through a quick day trip especially if it is country side. Perhaps we can catch fireflies at night and put them in an old mason jar, star gazing in the moonlight. Listening to the frogs croak on the riverside or at the lake along with the crickets and locust or perhaps the coyotes are howling too. I was sitting on the bank of Salado creek not so long ago and watching two dragon flies hover over the water…they are amazing to watch. If you are seaside nothing more fun than going ghost crabbing at night with a bucket, net and a flashlight. All of these activities are makin memories….precious memories and enjoying the simple pleasures of SUMMER!
I am sipping on my favorite cup of hot peach tea reflecting on the true blessings of SUMMER. As you are “Takin Time Out” this week, what is on your list of SUMMER fun? Is it gardening, grilling or simply chillin? Have you curled up in the hammock, lounge chair or sunk into the pool on your favorite mat and read a good book? Perhaps it is hiking, kayaking, paddle board, shuffleboard or doing your famous cannon ball off the diving board? Whoosh can you feel the ripples of the pool or the wakes of the boat or the smooth sailing on a catamaran. SUMMER fun…it may mean playing miniature golf, driving go carts, horseback riding, visiting a theme park, dangling your feet off the dock or listening carefully as the boards creek and lapping of water after an eventful day out on the lake. Perhaps you like to build sand castles, gather sea shells, or surf boarding. In the mountains it might mean a hike, rock climbing, looking at the beautiful wildflowers enjoying the crisp cool air. Yes for some of us the altitude may make us a bit short of breath but the fresh unpolluted air is a bit sweeter wouldn’t you agree? When is the last time you went barefoot in the tall blades of grass, watched a sunrise or sunset, tossed a Frisbee, and rode a bike or skate board? As I am typing I begin laughing at jumpin on a pogo stick or twirling a hula-hoop. Simply Savoring SUMMER…As the year rotates through the seasons like a wheel of fortune. Being present to each one, possessing its bountiful blessing, taking its inconveniences in stride, means living to the fullest every day of the life you have. Until next time my dear friend…maybe you need to reprioritize and let’s enjoy every bit of SUMMER!