Tag Archives: Summer

The Best Summer Ever

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Here we are in late June and it’s finally starting to feel like summer. I truly miss summer with kids. I know, those of you with children at home are smack dab in the middle of separating squabbling kids and telling them they just ate, even as you read these words. Humor me.

I haven’t totally forgotten the challenges, mamas; I know the struggle is real.

But I loved the days of relaxed bedtimes and lazy mornings. Even though I worked most of those years, I remember there was less urgency of schedule; there was so much joy in letting loose. When I came in from work we headed to a pool instead of checking homework assignments and laying out clothes for the next day.

In our current stage of life, summer can seem just like any other season, but this week has been so much fun.

After a quiet and restful Father’s day for my hubby we joined friends for dinner on Monday night. The kitchen was lively as we all took on various bits of cooking and serving. It was especially fun as the children selected dishes and flatware for the table and even some of the meal prep.

We sat around the table long after having our fill of delicious food, sipping wine and talking. The children took leave but returned later with an impromptu skit. They were thrilled to entertain and there was so much laughter.

The next evening, we met our daughter and grandson at a favorite restaurant to celebrate Father’s Day. Once again, we sat around a table, sharing a meal and catching up with the ones we love.

Sometimes you think you’ve had the best days of your week already, you know? Have you ever thought that things just couldn’t get any better, planning to just hang out in the afterglow for a stretch? That’s pretty awesome for a Tuesday, the most ordinary day of the week, but that’s pretty much how I felt.

And then Wednesday came along and knocked one out of the park.

It was the first night of book club. It had been a gorgeous afternoon and I jumped on the golf cart and headed to town, ready to meet with friends. The sky looked a bit threatening to the south, but it’s Florida, people. In June. Carry on.

I swung by the church to pick up the mamas as they dropped their babies for childcare and we squeezed everyone and their umbrellas in…the clouds were a bit more threatening.

The hour passed quickly as we discussed the book and caught up on life. We stepped into the muggy parking lot just as it began to pour. Six women jumped on the golf cart, umbrellas extending around the exposed perimeter. Shrieks of laughter filled the air, followed by screams as cold rain soaked our clothing. In the midst of it all, someone recorded the craziness with her cell phone as we splashed through puddles the short distance back to the church.

Gold Cart Rain

After a warm bath and a snack, I snuggled in next to my hubby and thought about the joy of relationships. While I’ve shared some highlights here, there were many more moments of connection with precious people in my life this week; some as simple as a text message and others heart to heart conversations.

I’m determined to care for relationships this summer. It seems like the perfect time to nurture them by making memories. Just imagine how many years we will laugh about that golf cart ride!

Are you intentional in your relationships? Do you have dinner parties, or coffee dates? I’d love to learn more about how you take care of the people in your life. Talk to me by adding a comment – I promise to respond.

Now go out there and have a great summer, friends!

“Walk with the wise and become wise…” ~ Proverbs 13:20

lorraine

Summer Time and the Living was Easy for Moms

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Summer Time and the Living was Easy for Moms

It’s summer time. In May, moms can’t wait for it to arrive but right about now, they are all pining for the start of school. They are ready to be rid of send their little snowflakes back to the classroom. And you know why? They are worn out from entertaining them.

I keep humming the tune to Ella Fitzgerald’s hit, Summertime as I recall summer when I was a kid.

It was the 60’s. My mom (like all of the others) shoved sent us kids out the screen door early and locked closed it behind us. Don’t come back until lunch, she said.

The elementary school down the street offered summer recreation. In a big open room (that was not air-conditioned) kids of various aged played ping pong and board games. Outside, others circled around sandy places where marble championships were played out. On the adjacent sidewalk, girls bounced tiny rubber balls and scooped up jacks with proficiency; others jumped rope to rhymes like Cinderella Dressed in Yella and Three, Six, Nine.

Girls Playing Jacks_Photo Credit Required._State ARchives of Florida Memory

Girls playing jacks in Tallahassee. 1963. Black & white photonegative, 35 mm. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. <https://www.floridamemory.com

 

There was a sandy playground with a very tall slide. It was metal – by afternoon it was too hot for our bare legs to touch. It was fast, but not fast enough, so we managed to find squares of waxed paper to sit on as we pushed off. There was a sandy hole at the bottom of the slide and our butts landed hard. One time someone fell off that slide and broke her arm. There was no lawsuit so we got to play there all the days of my childhood.

playground slide-3857_1280

And who was watching over all of these vulnerable children? I’m pretty sure it was a couple of teenagers. Oh, there was probably an adult somewhere, but my bets are that she was in the air-conditioned teachers’ lounge smoking doing lesson plans for the following year.

When we finally returned home we turned on the water spigot on the side of the house; it ran through the hose and we had to wait for it to cool. It was refreshing.

water hose-815475_1920

Mother didn’t have play dates arranged for our afternoon; she expected us to find a shady spot to play dolls. Later in the day we played kick ball in the front yard, or badminton, using the fence as a net. We jumped on the swing set and swung so high that the legs raised up off the ground. We sang those same jump rope rhymes to the rhythm of swinging legs, propelling ourselves higher and closer to the sky.

We knew better than to say we were bored. She would put a bucket and broom in our hands and we’d be scrubbing screens and cleaning windows before you could say “child abuse”.

If there were Vacation Bible Schools I didn’t know about them. We were Catholic and there is no way my mom was going to allow the protestants to influence us with their cookies and Kool-Aid.

Speaking of Kool Aid, it was a favorite. Sweetened with sugar, I’m pretty sure it kept me alive, like a glucose IV drip. I don’t really remember eating but I’m certain we were fed.

The Popsicle Man came around most afternoons. The sound of the recorded music announced his imminent arrival and we started asking for nickels as soon as we heard it. We didn’t always get one, but it was a treat that we loved. We all sat around inspecting the color of each other’s tongues. No one wiped our faces or hands with wet wipes.

There were those magical afternoons when we loaded up and headed to Lake Fairview for a swim. The water was warm, but it was wet. Not one sign warned of alligators or snakes; we knew they were around, but I never saw even one. They had lots of room to avoid contact with humans and I think they liked it that way.

When it was finally time to come in for the day, she cycled us through the tub in our one-bathroom home (did I mention there were six of us?). The residue from kids who had played hard was apparent in the ring left in the tub. The last one out scrubbed it with Comet cleanser and we all settled in to watch some Red Skelton or Gunsmoke or whatever we my parents wanted to watch.

Yes, my mom left us a lot to our own devices, but she knew more about what we were up to than we realized. The world was big and far away, and our life was simple.

Those tired kids never had a problem falling asleep. She was smarter than any of us knew.

Moms know that tired kids have no trouble sleeping

“Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home…” Proverbs 14:1 MSG

By his grace alone (I survived my childhood summers),

lorraine

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Summer Isn’t Over but We Press On

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If you’ve been reading my posts you know by now that I’m writing all over the place. It’s been quite a ride already and if you are actually one of those wonderful people faithfully navigating the twists and turns with me, THANK YOU! We exceeded 900 views last week – that’s just crazy talk and I know that’s only possible because of your shares. Please keep it up.

Over here where I live, it’s still hotter than blazes. In Central Florida summer lasts until, I don’t know, late December? Maybe not, but it definitely outlasts its welcome well into November. Don’t get me wrong. I love that I can swing through Dunkin’ Donuts for a pumpkin latte on my way home from the beach. How great is that? In the style of my BFF (in my dreams) Jen Hatmaker, thank you Southern Living magazine for delivering the Fall issue this week. In the name of all that is holy and sacred, how do you people not know what the weather is like in….well, the south? It’s a cruel tease when our air conditioners are cranking at full capacity and if not for the daily thunderstorms every living thing in the lawn would be dry and shriveled. Fall is what happens in Northeastern Indiana. I know this because I have been there and it’s glorious. While I wouldn’t trade for their winter, right about now I’m pining for their fall weather. So thank you from a Florida girl who mostly loves the climate.

Dock on St Joe

Dock on the St. Joe River in Leo, Indiana

LaCroix

Until it cools off enough for spiced cider and lattes, I’m exploring all sorts of cool refreshing beverages. My current favorite is LaCroix Coconut water with a splash of lime. While sweet tea with lots of fresh lemon is my standby, this is a wonderful sugar free alternative. Another new favorite this summer is iced coffee from Chick-fil-A. This treat is worthy of nomination as a comfort food.

Eli

On other fronts, I just have brag on God’s faithfulness in the little things. We have a sweet little grandchild who is getting some therapy to help with developmental issues. The therapist was excited about a toy that he really responded to in therapy and recommended it. Unfortunately, it is no longer sold in stores. While it could be located through an online channel, it was expensive. That evening, my daughter shared a picture on her Facebook page, hoping that a friend might have one or see one at a garage sale or resale shop. Early the next morning, someone reached out. There was a brand new post on a local resale board, offering a menagerie of infant toys. And in the midst of them…the very toy that we needed for little guy! So often I want to swoop in and make things happen on my own when often our God, Jehovah-Jireh (literally, the LORD will provide), has already provided. Ask, wait and receive.

Nobody’s Cuter Than These Sweet Things!

My tribe of young moms (I’m obviously the elder) reads a book together every summer. I can’t talk about summer without mentioning this year’s read. It’s a new release by one of our favorite mom bloggers, Melanie Shankle. “Nobody’s Cuter than You” celebrates friendship. We laughed and cried over the honest stories of developing friendships and learning how to be a friend along the way. We give it a big thumbs up.

Mike and I enjoying a mental health day at the beach last weekend.

Last week I wrote about marriage. On a recent weekend Hubby knew I needed a mental health day and he declared that we were going to “look at water” on Saturday. Honestly, the very best thing ever for my soul. It was a little mini vacay and I love him for knowing when I need this.

And finally, you have to see the new movie “War Room”. From the Kendrick Brothers (“Fireproof” and “Courageous”), this one stunned the box office watchers over the weekend with its $11 million debut. I know nothing of Hollywood and critics, but I bawled my eyes out. It is a beautiful story of mentoring and the power of prayer…two of my favorite things. My favorite line? “Submission is ducking so God can hit your husband.”