Friday, September 07, 2007

Lazy Days of Summer

The Lazy Days of Summer

Yet another rock collection begins...

My husband’s mother accompanied our family home for a visit after our trip west. The days have settled into a lovely and more leisurely pace since the arrival back to our own terraferma, especially after our “Midsummer projects list” had me hopping like madwoman before our company arrived last month, and then shortly afterwards, it was time to fly off to the sunset for the family wedding.

At the seashore...

Naturally the first requirement after arriving home again was a trip to the grocery store, mostly for restocking the perishable goods necessary for good health. As per the usual teenager pitter pat motions when whipping open the refrigerator door, our two older ones at home are seemingly always announcing; “there’s nothing to eat in this house”! It has been proven once again in our family, keeping a well stocked or partly running empty pantry makes no difference around here if there is no junk food, sweet cravings tended to, or quickly made grabs. Giggly snickers echo from the walls of the home and their questions continue to go unanswered, for we know it’s a faze. It’s items such as these which tend to keep us reveling in the fact, this faze too, has come full circle with another set of hilarious bunch of bantering culminates from physical growing and stretching teen years, with the deep, empty and hollow legs leading these kidlets onward. Lurking into the night , it is not uncommon to find a scavenger attacking food they’ve gathered for a midnight snack, resulting in continuous cycles of dirty dishes and poor starving children. As if this isn’t yet another complete déjà vu for us! (laugh)

A lazy summer morning breakfast.

In the grocery store check out aisle the past few weeks, the noisy conversation chatter has others focused on their overjoyed enthusiasm for the first day of school to arrive this week, but here in this home, our children will stay home. Our schooling does not mimic the traditional school year of an educational institution, it never really has.

Home cooking!

We choose to take vacation time when my hubby has his, usually times when others aren’t. We perform our more structured schooling routines when it suits our family, rather than the other way around. Last year’s schooling only for some of the children here in this home only ended at the end of July this summer, and then company arrived before we flew to Vancouver for the wedding.

Our backyard golf driving range!

Ready for the sunset viewing.

The summer organizational blitz throughout the home took the family by storm, and the kitchen rests as the final incomplete target. In the near future, we will be stripping the wallpaper border off the walls in there, give it a fresh coat of paint to match the dining and living room and allow the colors to flow through all three rooms, giving it a uniformed look on the main floor. Meantime, this is *our* summer, our week of nothing if we can help it. Ah, to rest and relax is a feeling like no other!

Phenomenal weather has blessed us all summer!

It has become a realistic way of life to live the way we do, our chosen lifestyle within our family has culminated over the years into a gentle and natural rhythm throughout the year. We love these first weeks of the official city’s back to school mandate, not for the purpose for us to begin our own schooling at home just yet, nor for the purpose of our children leaving the home to attend an educational institution. Rather, it’s the time we find advantageous for taking spontaneous day trips to local educational museums or other sought after resources, those without bus loads of children crowding the buildings at the present school timetable. It’s a preferred time of year for attending a late summer or fall fair, exploring a bit more geographically, or for choosing to do our shopping in an uncrowded setting rather then the back to school, mayhem-filled shopping mall rush for children attending school.

The most important goal priority-wise of course is to just enjoy a slower pace of life before all those little squares fill up once more on the calendar, feeling the blessings of an Indian summer and watching the beauty of the harvest bounty begin to roll in and gather in the farmer’s fields and on corner market stalls.

As we like it...

“As we like it” has become our motto this time of year, throwing in a few activities as they arise. Surely the water’s edge is appreciated by all, especially now that our town has lost many of its cottage visitors. After summer crowds have dispersed, the pace of life has slowed our lives down again to a comfortable daily routine.

We’ve enjoyed taking Grandma touring as it fits in our relaxed schedules, or as she so desires, mostly to her favorite places remembered from last year’s visit.

Catching up on doctor appointments is more laid back also, especially without the scurry of life biting the bullet in our time frames.

Slumber is delightfully dreamy for everyone; even Grandma has been surprised by her restful night’s sleeps beyond the norm of her regular routine back home.

However, there have been a few mornings where hubby and I awake early, taking our morning coffee to the back deck and enjoying the lovely peaceful moments together before others awake. Tomorrow is one such early morning rise for us for a different reason, as there is a golf tee off time to drive the golfers to.

Knitting lessons begin

Our youngest daughter was eager for her grandmother to teach her how to knit, after watching her quickly complete several cotton washcloths. As soon as she was able to locate her older sister’s knitting needles, lessons began in earnest. Not to be undone, our younger son thought it might be worthwhile to try his hand at the craft, taking direction and instruction very well and catching up to his sister’s project length in no time at all. Evenings and a few afternoons have included knitting sessions, where three people continue to click up a storm with their needles working in unison.

My new hand knitted washcloths.

The whole family had to perform an all-hands-on-deck property maintenance after arriving home. Naturally the weeds began to hover as tall as many of the newly planted florals recently inserted into the earth’s soil. Grass was begging for a shaving resulting in lawn mowers and weed whackers revving up their engines. With yard maintenance behind us for the most part, the BBQ continues to be fired up and plenty of nutritious fare is on the grill for easy summer meals.

Gather round the fire...marshmallows are cooking.

Last evening our teens decided the lovely sunset evening was just perfect for beginning a roasting fire outside in the designated fire pit, for a marshmallow cookout. Like a magnetic force, all were attracted to the idea and soon everyone was trying their hand at the evening’s warm treat fresh from the skewers. I threw the entire end of the citronella candle into the center of the fire when the mosquitoes began to buzz around and become annoying, and then the dogs wanted to come and hang out with the bunch. They played together, ran after balls, rolled in the grass, ate a few goodies, sniffed for toads and crickets in the area, and thoroughly enjoyed their evening with us around the fire.

After Grandma’s departure next week, we will begin to roll into a more regular routine of rising early, and hitting the books. Surrendering to autumn’s calling for education to begin anew in our lives is part of our way of life during the weeks before autumn officially begins.

Does structured education truly really ever leave our lives though? Not at all.

Life presents many opportunities for learning. How often do we not immediately recognize the natural osmosis-type encounters stumbled upon or sought after just by observing the something of interest? Yes, we are always growing, learning, and obtaining blessings, with our abilities to observe things in motion before us, often mimicking their delights later on, but truly assimilating and digesting something new each day, and dropping it into our wisdom portfolios.

How do we welcome autumn into our lives?

Can you just feel the crisper air beginning to creep in during the evening hours, that is, if you are lucky enough to get time outdoors saluting the sun dipping down beyond the horizon before the mosquitoes buzz about munching on your extremities? Enjoy the sun’s light for we are still being blessed with longer days soon to be cut short when daylight savings time appears.

A great feast day - September 14th

The church offers a perpetual feasting during the autumn season, and I have been busy ensuring our calendar’s squares are filled with notes of importance with many feast days appearing very soon, and throughout the next few weeks. "The Exaltation of the Holy Cross” falls on September 14th, among other feast days surrounding it, but this year we have chosen this day to feast well, and then begin a full scheduled week following it getting back to school, after a wee bit of a preliminary assignment beginning briefings beforehand. I cannot think of another more perfect, nor significant day for feasting and reminding us that education, like our lives, is a gift and it is there for us to reach out and grab it.

So, are you also back in a schooling session? If not, how are you reaching out to keep your cogs turning with the darker evenings up ahead? Here’s a great quote to ponder;

"If any one finds that he never reads serious literature, if all his reading is frothy and trashy, he would do well to try to train himself to like books that the general agreement of cultivated and sound-thinking persons has placed among the classics. It is as discreditable to the mind to be unfit for sustained mental effort as it is to the body of a young man to be unfit for sustained physical effort."

-- Theodore Roosevelt

Why not turn off that television and grab a good book. As the “time suckers” keep the family scattered within and outside of the home, dinner hours are often non-existent for a family meal, children are often in dire need of a slower rhythm after schooling all day long, it is a worthy choice to become united and come together, spending time as a family. Gather round with the all your family members then, and enjoy the autumn evenings up ahead sure to pass by as swiftly as they began shortly before a frosty winter’s appearance.

“The family comes together, prayers rise like incense, memories are carved on our hearts, feast days are celebrated, music is enjoyed, conflicts are resolved, the new baby just home from the hospital is loved for the first time by his siblings, tears of sorrow and joy fall, guests are welcomed, books are devoured, a warm fire is stoked . . .and it all happens within the four walls of our LIVING ROOMS.”

Do not forget to salute the sun for as long as you are able, for you will dearly miss it before all too long as winter’s frosty white blanket hovers above you.

Our tomorrow not only holds a golf game for a few, it also holds a beach day for the rest! Wahoo, higher temperatures are expected by midday, thus the water’s edge is a great idea!


It’s still here!

Get out and enjoy it while making your plans for autumn!