Daily Archives: July 5, 2009
Such a Rich Life is an ongoing series, with articles being posted relative to?each season for one year.? Summer is the first season I’ll cover, and this is the first article:)
I have an incredibly rich life.? My sons remind me of this regularly, with all we have to do and have going.? Well…to me it’s a rich life.? “The fabric of our lives” (an overused, oversaturated, heavily marketed (cotton campaign, anyone?) phrase)?makes me think mine is a cross between the richest silk and the roughest burlap, with threads of wool, mohair, and hemp inbetween.? Strange, but ultimately pleasing somehow.? The good times, the easy times, the joyous times…the bad times, the hard times and the times of sorrow all come together to form this incredibly rich?tapestry. I like to think I weave a tapestry each season, and cut squares from each to create a quilt that is my life.
What got me on this subject was?how incredibly busy I’ve been the last two weeks. There is so much to do in life, so many colorful, interesting threads to choose from, so much out there to think about, to see, to experience…and here we all are, busy at the loom, weaving the different threads of our choosing (and some not of our choice) into our lives.? Always a work in progress until we die, when (hopefully) we can leave a legacy piece of craftsmanship, no matter how small, to those who remain.
I’m old enough now (40) that my life has somewhat settled into seasons.? The things I do, that I look forward to with joy and anticipation each season are clearly mapped out in advance, and I happily succumb to this pattern every year because it brings me great pleasure to do so.? You know what I’m talking about…things you can count on without fail…like rain falling the day after you mow your lawn.?
Since it’s summertime, I’ll begin here, with things?I do each summer.? I have a school aged child…so summer begins with the last day of school.? What a tremendously fun day for both of us.? We celebrate by walking to the Dairy Queen after 7 p.m., relishing the fact that we’re both free from the restriction of bedtime, because we don’t have to get up in the morning for school for a few months.?
Evan plays summertime sports…this year (and I think in the coming years) it’s baseball.? This year we had T-Ball, next year we have Rookies, and for six weeks we’ve had the rhythym of twice and three times weekly practices and games.? This has sped us through early summer, and onto July.?
July 1 sees my younger son one year older each year, and is followed by the ultimate American summer holiday, Independence Day, The 4th of July, which we celebrate to the hilt with a cookout, fireworks at home, a bonfire and s’mores.? Some years we go to the public fireworks display, but we really have much more fun at home where we control the pace of events.? The last three weeks of July are full of time at the beach, lots of summer reading and time spent at the library, hailing August.
August…late summer…the first week heralding the tradition of the Cheboygan County Fair, a time of excitement and anticipation in my childhood (and now in my son’s).?
Now that I’m an adult, I actually find going to the fair somewhat of a pain in the ass.? There really isn’t much to do there anymore, and there are fewer and fewer displays each year.? Oh the 4-H kids still do their thing, which I find absolutely wonderful, but open class exhibits grow fewer and farther between.? I have done my share of? fair exhibits, but stopped putting in my home made jams and jellies when I learned they were never opened or tasted, and that the “Best of Show” ribbon appeared to always go to the Cheboygan County Cooperative Extension Office’s group display.? Hardly any reason or inspiration to enter at that point.? Home canning is a dying art goes without saying…but maybe there are a lot of people who do and just don’t talk about it, kind of like me.?
Despite the pain in the ass feeling, I still get a twinge of excitement when I talk about the fair coming with Evan, or we sing “Goin’ to the fair, goin’ to the fair, goin’ to the Northwest Michigan Fair” in our best mock hillbilly voices.? The rides make me sick (oh to be twelve again!), the games piss me off (very expensive and a complete rip-off), and the food smells good but doesn’t deliver on taste…but I still go, and actually look forward to it, it’s a thread of summer cotton I continue to weave, if only for my son’s enjoyment.?
Besides…there’s always my dad’s homemade elephant ears, a Fair Week tradition for years that we all enjoy.? The people at the fair seriously don’t know what cinnamon sugar is.? The fair elephant ears are fried pieces of dough, sprinkled with some sugar with virtually no cinnamon.? And they want five bucks for this.? Really? Ewww.? My dad’s elephant ears are plate sized, loaded with butter and cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar if you want, and all of us work together to make them at my parent’s house.? My sisters and brothers, our kids and parents look forward to this event every year.? It’s two hours of fun and food and family and it’s completely irreplaceable, a thread of solid gold woven every year, shining at every angle.
August 12 sees my older son 1 year older.? Now that he’s an adult, we don’t have the children’s celebrations, but rather have dinner out and give him a small gift.? This year he’ll have his own apartment on campus (it’s his last year of college) and I am contemplating giving him a set of green dishes for his kitchen.? Green is his favorite color, and I thought I saw a set somewhere that he would really like.
There are other threads throughout the summer…cleaning and canning green beans, making tomato sauce with my Dad, going berry picking with my parents…baking different things and sharing them with family and friends…al fresco dinners at different family member’s houses, evening walks, cemetary visits (hello dead relatives, we miss you), water adventures with Evan (beach, pool, waterpark), summer movie releases, summer reading…the list is endless and satisfying.
What do you do in summer? Anyone care to share?