I have lofty blog posts, planned, people. Lofty. Posts about the spaces I consider sacred and how they influence my writing, posts about character development and settings and plot, or the lack thereof. The problem is summer keeps getting in the way.
Somehow, summer manages to have an abundance of time, and yet not enough hours. When I wake each morning, the day stretches ahead, empty and inviting, and yet somehow I blink and it is night and nothing on my to-do list has been done.
So I’m making an official record, right now. This summer, I want to:
- Spend an afternoon with my daughter stretched out on the couch reading.
- Watch a movie outside under the stars.
- Find the perfect strawberry ice cream cone and eat it.
- Learn how to make a flawlessly balanced raspberry lime rickey, neither too tart nor too sweet.
- Take a trip on a sailboat and feel the wind on my face.
- Watch a minor league baseball game with my son.
- Hike with the Slobbering Beast and actually tire him out.
- Finish a few chapters of the novel I’m working on.
- Steal an afternoon away with my husband.
What’s on your summer list?
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My daughter took this picture this morning.
Summer in New England is short and temperamental. The warm weather comes and goes in a flash, the sun visits and then retreats. It’s fickle and gorgeous and a season to appreciate but not to count on.
Because we were away for two weeks, and then recovering for another week or so, I missed the narrow window of opportunity for planting out my garden. It’s too late for my sweet pea and nasturtium seeds, although I did manage to throw some radish and lettuce seeds in the ground before we left. And because we are getting the house painted this summer — and the vegetable garden is right next to it — and because we spend most of these warm months bopping about, making the most of the sunshine — I’ve decided not to do anything else. This will be the first time since I’ve owned my own house that I won’t have at least a pot or two of tomatoes.
I’ll miss it, miss the intoxicating scent of home-grown basil, the fun of making my own salsa from scratch with ingredients I’ve not only chosen but grown. But I’ve decided to focus on what I have this summer, on the unexpected delight and abundance that can occur when you cede control. We never pruned the roses this year, we’re letting the mint grow rampant (I know, I know — we won’t be able to find the house) and the wisteria and clematis received only the most cursory haircut. The lavender is so full and lush it has fallen over, and I can’t decide whether to cut and dry it or simply enjoy it the way it looks today. It’s a jungle, but a beautiful one.
The lavender hedge smells amazing in the hot sun.
The wisteria and the mint may take over the house.
The clematis is taller than the shed.
Wherever and however you spend your summer, I hope it is a beautiful one, filled with unexpected pleasures and delights.
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I’ve been cheating on you, my pretties. Whilst you thought I was here, slogging away at the computer, I was actually there, eating scones with clotted cream, drinking pots of tea, and walking about the Irish countryside.
You know all that stuff about how poetic the Irish are? It’s true. One rainy day, I asked an old codger how long a particular hike was, and he turned to me and said “How long is a piece of string?”
(The answer, as I found out after walking for two hours, is damn long.)
I got to see my husband down a pint, show my daughter the Book of Kells, and watch my son charm the local populace in two languages. (If the Irish for hello didn’t work, there’s always his signature “Hellloooo, ladies!”)
I watched my parents and MIL experience Ireland for the first time.
And saw a white horse upon a green hill. (A gray and brown horse too.)
I did a little tiny bit of research for my next book. I’d like to write it in this sweet cottage.
Failing that, if I ever make the best seller’s list I’ll celebrate by staying at this country home, which I didn’t discover until my last day of the trip. Anyone care to join me?
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