Four Somethings This Summer

posted in: Writing | 5

Earlier this year I linked up with Heather Gerwing’s monthly blog that covered four somethings I learned, loved, said, and read that month. The end of spring semester came in a freight train and derailed my monthly writing habit.

I decided I would stop writing consistently this summer and just let myself write when the universe spoke to me; like last week when the boys went back to school. However, I kept up a list in my planner of things that spoke to me or I found interesting throughout the summer months.

Something Loved

  • Adventures with Addison and Harry. We took them on a big trip this summer and they were champion travelers. I loved experiencing the adventure of other counties and cultures with them.

european vacation

  • This green rain jacket. I wore in while in London and it was so perfect. Lightweight so you can put it in your backpack but insulated enough to keep me warm. It also had a nice cut at the waist to give it a little shape so it didn’t look like a boxy over coat.
  • Ginger tea. While we were in Amsterdam I ordered ginger tea thinking it would be a regular ol’ tea bag. What I got was a cup of hot water with a wooden skewer with slices of raw ginger on it. That’s it. I was initially disappointed and thought I had wasted my money but I added a little bit of honey and was delighted by the entire experience. Sweet and spicy, warm and comforting. It’s perfect for a cold day or an upset tummy.
  • This blog post from The Glorious Table about making a house a home. The writer gives really simple suggestions to help me remember how to create a welcoming environment. I especially loved her thoughts about the emotional atmosphere in the home.

A cinnamon scent can’t cover up the tension name-calling or selfish maneuvers create. This piece of homemaking deserves our highest effort and energy because it builds not only our home but also the homes our children will create for their children one day. The atmosphere of our home impacts each occupant’s character. The effects of this atmosphere are something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

You can have a weekly cleaning service and beautiful upholstery but if there is ongoing tension and anxiety that has a negative effect on everyone in the home, all that beautiful decor is just a coverup.

Something Said

  • The Summer of No

I saw a friend while picking Harry up from day camp earlier this summer. I asked her how her summer was going and what they had been up to. She said this summer what her “summer of no”.

She said she was saying “no” to the obligations, events, activities that cut into her family time. She was making an effort to make summer about family vacations and taking it easy. Hooray to the summer of NO.

  • Thou art mine only hope

When we visited Shakespeare’s birthplace Addison bought a book: Star Wars – Verily, A New Hope written in Shakespearean play format. We all loved reading out loud from it and couldn’t get over Princess Lea’s line: help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope; translated to Oh help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, help. Thou art Mine only hope.

Now I want us all to have matching t-shirts with the line Thou art mine only hope printed on them.

  • Way back in May I gave the blessing prayer over the weekly offering collected at the morning service. After I sat down our youth minister whispered that she really liked it and that I should blog about that prayer. So, here I am, finally getting around to sharing this prayer with you.

Loving God- You have commanded us to love one another regardless of race, creed, gender, or history. Help us to see your image in other and know how to love them. Please use these gifts of time, talent, and resource and let them be a reflection of your love to those who need it. Let these gifts be used according to your will and to further your kingdom. -Amen

Something Read

  • The Diary of Anne Frank – I purchased this book at the Anne Frank house gift shop. I haven’t read it since, probably, middle school and possibly we only read the play. I’ve been slowly reading it all summer and it’s sobering to read something when you already know the real life tragic ending. As Anne’s entries become more and more personal I started to feel like a voyeur and that I was reading something that wasn’t meant for me to read. But that’s exactly it; I wasn’t meant to read it. These are the actual thoughts and feelings of a young teenager and reading them feels like peeking into a window into her adolescent mind that I shouldn’t have looking through.
  • The Blue Castle and Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery – As a young girl I loved Anne of Green Gables and gobbled up every single book L.M. Montgomery wrote. The summer I re-read these two books just for fun and I was reminded of why I loved them so much. L.M. Montgomery’s stand alone stories are like romance novels for tweens. All of the heroines are looking for love and have something quirky about them that sets them apart. The love stories are innocent and pure and everything a young girl dreams true love will be like one day. They are precious.
  • Cinderella Mom blog post by Lisa Bartlet – A friend of mine penned this story about an experience she had after a repair man admonished her housekeeping abilities. The nerve. Her thoughts on being a stay at home mom and the guilt we place on ourselves about our “role” in the home hit the nail on the head.

A clean house is not the price you pay for staying home with your kids. Housework is not your penance. How much or how little you clean isn’t the measure of your success or failure at motherhood.

Something Learned

  • You can use Alexa as a phone. We got rid of our land line a few years ago because the only thing it was used for was to answer calls from telemarketers. But we discovered that we missed the land line. Mostly, Adam missed being able to call me and have me answer because my cell in always on silent and I don’t usually hear incoming calls. We also wanted a way for the boys to be able to make an emergency call or call one of our cell phones from home. Adding a land line back to our plan was too expensive so I crowd sourced FB and they came through. My college roommate suggested Alexa and she solved our problems. We can call anyone in our contacts by asking Alexa to call them and vice versa, we can call Alexa through the app. If AT&T knew what was good for them they would offer an emergency land line at a low rate to keep customers who want to completely cut the cord.
  • I love the sounds of summer. Hearing frogs and crickets in the trees at dusk is like a lullaby to my weary mind. Summer thunderstorms calm me down and give my busy mind and body permission to relax. Without the threat of tornado season, I can enjoy the rolling thunder and pitter-patter of rain.

What are you taking away from the summer?


5 Responses

  1. Kelly R Smith

    I’m adding your books to my reading list. I read a classic every month and binged on the Anne series earlier this year (I only read Green Gables when I was younger). I haven’t read Anne Frank in decades. The summer of no…I think I’m about to embrace the fall of no! The start of school has already been sososo busy. It’s time to bring a little more no into our lives!

  2. Kelly Koutahi

    I love your book choices. I also loved Anne of Green Gables, and have bought a copy for one of my daughters for Christmas. I like your format in this post, how it is a hodge-podge of topics. Often, this is how my mind works – hitting on the highlights of many different topics. Other times, I want to delve into one subject. But today, your format was well-suited to my leap-frogging mind! What I am taking away from this summer is that sometimes, August in Oklahoma can surprise us (re: our unusual cool spell earlier this month).

  3. Nicky O

    Love the idea of 4 somethings. I need to make more time to read outside work. I loved the Diary of Anne Frank when I read it years ago.

  4. Heather Gerwing

    I love the summer recap! The coat, the summer or no, and hello – using Alexa for a phone! I need to know more about this! So happy you linked up again!

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