My dad’s birthday (at the end of July) always signals the end of summer for me – time to start making preparations to go back to teaching. I love my job. Still, it’s a complete mixture of emotions – happiness, depression, excitement, anxiety, etc.
In looking back on this summer of 2012, rapidly drawing to a close, I’d have to say that it has been a summer of simple things appreciated. For my kids, it has been the summer of the snails – yes, snails. They have spent lots of time hunting for snails under drainpipes and in the garden and adding them to a homemade terrarium (after naming each one, of course!)For me, one of the greatest pleasures has come from having the time to sit and work on puzzles. I love the challenge of a good puzzle – especially one that has beautiful scenery – somewhere I dream of visiting one day! I have also really loved the quiet time with “Magnificat” and a second cup of coffee in my Therese’ of Lisieux coffee mug! I hope to continue this when school starts, though it will require getting up 15 minutes earlier. Hmm!
This summer, I discovered “Chimes” restaurant in Covington, Louisiana. I was fortunate enough to get to go four times – once on a “date” with my husband, once with my whole extended family, and twice with dear friends. We love to sit outside on the deck where you can watch goats eat grass and lock horns. There are also ducks, chickens, and lots of other birds to captivate you. A super boardwalk leads to an overlook of the Bogue Falaya River – quite scenic – and a great thing to do with kids while waiting for your food to be served.
I also enjoyed making beaded stretchy necklaces and bracelets using religious medals that I have collected over time. Here is a small sampling of my crafty venture:On the Fourth of July, the whole neighborhood (and many of our extended family members) came over for Uncle Mikes fireworks extravaganza. It was an amazing hour-long show right in the comfort of our front yard. It made me feel incredibly blessed to have such awesome people in my family to share my life with. I also am blessed to live in a great neighborhood with wonderful, supportive, faith-filled people. It was very uplifting!We did a lot of hanging out at Grammie and Pop’s pool (Thank God for them and for this summertime luxury!) It was a FREE way to entertain the kids on several hot afternoons. Unfortunately, we have been in a real funk as far as weather goes lately. It seems as though I cannot remember a day when we have not had rain – and lots of it. I feel as though I have had attention deficit this summer – an inability to stick with any one thing too long. I picked up several good books – got enthused about them, then my interest quickly waned. I’m determined, however. They REALLY were good, so I’m plugging along, and going back to each one – one at a time. Recently, a friend loaned me a book on the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich – fascinating – truly – but a thick book. I hope I can stick with it!Lastly, I’d have to say this has been the summer of organizing, cleaning out – a semi-annual ritual – and doing some minor redecorating. My daughter has wanted her room re-painted for over a year now. I don’t know why it took me so long to work up to it. She picked out an eye-popping color, and we went to town rolling! Three walls were painted in a “honey-dew melon” green and an accent wall was rolled lime green to match a polka dot on her comforter. We bought new curtains, painted a desk to match, and added a magnetic paint section to a wall where she can post pictures and memos.
I visited with some friends that I haven’t connected with in years. These reunions have been such gifts. One of those friends, I saw just yesterday. I love this lady – she is beautiful on the inside and on the out! It is such a blessing to have a person in your life that understands you, and is interested in sharing the spiritual journey. How we could all use that support! Anyway, she showed me her lovely, lovely prayer room. This inspired me to spruce up my “prayer corner” a bit. Here are my “renovations.”Lastly, I rescued an old bulletin board from the garbage, painted it the color of my walls, and hung it in my bedroom above the television. Now, I know it’s not glamorous like an oil painting, but I’m enjoying it – even if temporarily so. I had the best time filling the board with all of the people, places, things, quotes and lyrics that make me happy! One final picture for the Summer of 2012 record books: Enjoy the rest of July!