Monday, July 15, 2019

Summer Sparkles

 Summer has always been my favorite season. As a child--and later as a teacher--June's arrival brought weeks of delicious freedom. I loved it!
But down here in Georgia, summer also brings some serious heat. As I've grown--ahem--older--I've liked that aspect of the season less and less. In fact this year I found myself dreading summer, and that made me kinda sad. Summer and I have been besties for a long time, and I don't want to forget about her good points.
So, I've been paying a little extra attention to the gifts and the lessons this summer has given me. I thought I'd share a few of them here--just in case I'm not the only one whose relationship with summer has hit a rough patch.

Summer makes me lazy, but our chickens? Not so much! They've been laying faithfully. We have enough eggs to share even though our hens are older and lay only every other day. But the eggs they do lay are bigger--so that's a good lesson for this older hen! Good to know I can pace myself and still be a faithful producer.

We've had plenty of rain which has resulted in our first ever
bumper blueberry crop! I begged for blueberry ideas on Facebook, and I was immediately provided with an avalanche of delicious recipes!

Peaches are in abundant supply, too! I wasn't sure I'd get any this year because our closest peach supplier retired. But a local friend told me her son's commute took him right past a peach-packing place. He picked up some seconds for me to can and freeze!
And so blueberries and peaches reminded me what an incredible blessing kind and helpful friends can be--both the ones I've come to know through Facebook and the ones I know in "real life."

Oh, and here's a cute one--while picking blueberries with my kids, we saw that a little bird had
built her nest right in the middle of the best-producing bush. It was a bird version of a bed and breakfast! This bold mama bird wasn't afraid to go after what she wanted--and she offered me a good lesson in gumption and practicality!

Of course the abundant rain also meant a bumper crop of weeds! This batch of green beans came from the weediest garden we've ever had! But hey--that just means you don't have to be perfect to be productive, right? And who doesn't need a reminder of that from time to time?

Once I started looking, I saw summer sparkles everywhere!


 In the cheerfulness of this busy worker, pausing to smile for my camera as she wrapped up my purchase.

In the kind gentleness of my oldest son, steadying his eighty-four year old grandmother at his sister's piano recital.

                                           And in the brave enthusiasm of my
                                          three-year-old niece as she took her
                                          her first steps into the exciting                                                                world of ballet.

Yes, this searing hot summer has turned out to be pretty wonderful after all. And it's zipping by--cooler days will be here before we know it! In the meantime, let's crank up those air conditioners, slice some watermelon and collect our sparkling summer blessings like lightning bugs in a mason jar!

So tell me, sweet friends--what's making your summer shine?

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  1. Hi Laurel! I'm loving your post. I can really related. I do enjoy summer quite a bit, but I find the heat daunting at times. I'm not one of those people who can look cool under pressure. I tend to sweat when it gets humid and steamy. But you're so right about looking at the bright side...blueberries are an amazing gift. Your niece is such a sweetie. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

    1. I don’t look cool under pressure either, Belle! And the older I get the “uncooler” I look, lol!

  2. I didn't know you could freeze peaches! Hmmm, I'm going to try it.
    And, lol, I'm in Arizona. I walked the dog at 10:30 p.m. last night and still came home sweating. I tried to tell the dog I didn't want to go for a walk, but she insisted.

    1. Pamela, we freeze them in chunks to use in recipes or even on cereal. I cut them up, dip them in water with lemon and salt to preserve color, then drain them and add a bit of sugar. I prefer to can them--to me homecanned peaches are incredibly better than store bought. But when I only have a few to spare, I freeze them. Oh, my. Ten-thirty and still sweating??? Bless you--and your doggie!!

  3. Lovely, Laurel. Your posts make me want to live on a farm!

    We just got home from a week at the beach with the kids and grandkids. Such fun! Lots of ocean time...until Barry blew in. We watched the raging storm and high waves and surf from our condo deck. Whatever the weather, God's creation is always amazing to behold!

    1. I'm so glad you and your family got some beach time before Barry showed up! I admit I would have liked to have seen that wild ocean--from a safe vantage point, of course! God's creation is indeed amazing!

  4. My summer sparkle is my dog. She keeps me very active.

  5. The highlight of my summer was weeding the garden. I've come to love it! When I have to hide from the blazing sun or go inside because it's getting dark, I feel disappointed, interrupted, taken away from my work of tending the garden. I also hope to finally learn to can this season! This will be a turning point in my career. I hope to learn from you, Laurel!


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