Summer, Still…

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Three weeks ago, near the first day of summer, I wrote about my childhood memories of this season. I could have chosen to write about summer days when my daughters were young: long walks to the park, outings to local swimming places, and long hours spent on the white, sandy beaches of Beaver Island. I could have written about summers when my grandchildren visited here: mornings at Iron Ore Bay, days full of adventure, and evening drives to see the deer. In my memory, this warm season meanders slowly along, allowing me to savor every sensory summer offering.

But, here I am, in real-life summer. The days speed by. How can we be halfway through July already?! And all I feel, most days, is exhaustion. It’s not only that it’s busy, though it is. There are hoards of people in the shops and on the streets. The harbor is filled with boats, and the beach downtown is full of people, every time I pass by. There is also the tiredness that comes from the long list of “to-do”s that are not getting done.

Always, there are things to do, and I’m behind in almost everything. My income taxes have still not been filed; there are galleries to contact regarding future shows; I have to follow up on some paperwork for the state. My flower beds are weedy, and the lawn is ready to be mowed.

I gave up on the garden when July got here. If I did manage to find the time to clear the weeds, turn the soil and plant, there would still not be time left in this short season to see results. So, my vegetable garden, this year, consists of three tomato plants, a few kohlrabi, four hills of summer squash, and one row of beans.

I’ve closed the door of my studio. Expecting company, and needing to clear space upstairs for them to sleep, I used the studio – which was already over-full – to store two totes, three big baskets and a large piece of exercise equipment. Those things can now be moved back out, but it doesn’t solve the problem: there is too much stuff in that small space, and I don’t have time to do anything about it. Even if I did, I don’t have time, this summer, to work in the studio.

Last week, My daughter Kate came for a visit. I expected her, plus her husband and two of her sons, but at the last minute, work conflicts got in the way of any of the men making the trip. What a treat! I love my son-in-law, and seeing my grandsons is always wonderful, too, but I almost never get to enjoy Kate’s company alone. I loved it! Having her here gave me a reason to stretch beyond my little world, as well as a perfect companion.

We visited all the gift shops. We walked the dogs together. We took a drive around the island, and I got my feet in the sand, at the beach at Iron Ore Bay, for the first time this year. We went out to lunch, two days in a row! We had simple suppers at home, and spent the evenings playing games. Having come from a big, competitive, game-playing family, that’s one of the things I miss most, living alone. Kate and I got in enough Boggle and cribbage to satisfy me for a while!

Kate’s visit was short, but enjoyable. It reminded me what summer can be, if I allow myself to relax and take part in it. I intend to do just that…before this summer, too, is just a memory.

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

5 responses »

  1. I sense a bit of panic at the speed summer is sliding by. I feel you. Me too. We didn’t put in a vegetable garden at all. We were already, for the past years, been down to just tomatoes and sometimes a zuchinni. This year we didn’t plant any of it. I miss the tomatoes. Katie loved to go out and pick a cherry tomato off of the vine. I’m sort of glad we didnt plant, because I’d be thinking of her every time I picked tomatoes. On the other hand…I’m thinking about her all the time anyway.

    And your daughter…how special. I once asked my mom, if she’d rather all 4 of her kids come for a visit at once (which usually included spouses) or each of us one at a time. She said one at a time. Though she said she liked that we got to see each other when we all came at once. But I think it was overwhelming to prepare for a visit from all of us, and individually we could spend longer, more quiet time together. I miss mom a lot too.

    I hope the rest of your summer slows down somehow and you get a breather and maybe into your studio a little bit before fall!

    • This made me smile…it would have certainly been one of those whiny, wailing country songs! Enough always gets done. I hope eventually I will stop worrying so much about it! Thanks for reading, Chris, and for your comments!

  2. Hi Cindy. Me thinks you need t take a leaf out of my book. Take time for yourself. The other things will still be there tomorrow if they don’t get done today. I wrote about a wake-up call I had a short time ago – stop, smell the roses, and enjoy the summer. Winter will be there soon enough.

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