Here's the first paragraph:
"It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer."
Summer was about freedom from homework and early bedtimes as a kid. Catching fireflies, eating ice cream, playing baseball, riding bikes, going swimming.
As an adult, summer has become a celebration of freshly grown fruits and vegetables, home improvement projects, weddings galore, drinking beer at Growler's with friends, trips, barbecues, and gardening. There are a few things we do every year - pick strawberries, go to Shakespeare in the park, see shows at the Muny (outdoor theater), celebrate the fourth with friends.
But summer isn't about just tradition. It's all about making new traditions too.
This year, I'm reveling in my garden. I planned and plotted what I would plant in the empty space out front for months last spring. I tried to pick the perfect blend of tall and short native Missouri plants. I dug holes, placed those plants in the ground and hoped to see them blossom. Some did, others didn't do so well, and eventually bugs moved in.
This year I wasn't sure what would come back. I've been so pleased to see that almost everything has. My marsh milkweeds are almost 4 feet tall! The hydrangeas are fluffy and the bright purple poppy mallows offer a punch of pink in the midst of all that green.
I'm also enjoying planning for backyard barbecues on my soon-to-be-completed deck. Having a deck seems to have inspired a whole new level of creativity in my planning process. Before, we'd drag a couple of tables outside into the backyard and instruct everyone to bring their own chairs. It worked just fine, but didn't fit my dreams for outdoor entertaining and decorating. With the new deck, we can have places to set a sweating glass of tea, and hanging planters overflowing with color, and twinkling lights, and cozy cushions to curl up on for late-night chats.
Then there's Chris and my "to-do" list that we have sketched out on our chalkboard in the kitchen. So far it has:
- go to Botanical Gardens
- attend the Whitaker music fest at the outdoor gardens with good friend Kara and her main squeeze.
- take Chris' sister out for dinner to celebrate her pregnancy (she's already 4 months along already, yipes!)
- play more candy land
- make homemade ice cream
- get a pedicure and wear sandals
- go on a picnic along the riverfront
- catch lightening bugs
- go canoeing
- ride bikes
- take our friends camping
- do some yoga
Here's to a good summer of enjoying the weather, good friends, great family, music, food, life!