Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer Days, Nostalgia, and Some Things I Love...

"Summer is so brief, so packed with living.
I hate to see each day end."
~Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Daybook

But wait! It's going too fast! I haven't tasted a really great peach yet. I haven't gone blueberry picking. Local growers haven't appeared with their heirloom tomatoes or those wonderful little Sungolds. I haven't eaten enough watermelon. There hasn't been enough hiking and no camping at all. I haven't been to the coast to hang out with Mom and Dad at their house on the lake. There's lots of summer living left to do!

I love summer days, with doors and windows thrown open to fill the house with fresh air and sunshine. I love the abundance of delicious, sweet, juicy fruit. The early morning sun makes me feel cheerful, and I make a point to watch the late evening sunsets. I love the endless birdsong of summer. And I adore the chubby legs of my grandsons as they run around barefoot in their shorts.

I love a long, leisurely breakfast and coffee at the table on the sunny deck (a cool breeze is a nice accessory for these mornings) with a pile of books, my journal and notebook, my Bible, and a few small pieces of chocolate on a tiny plate (pushed off to a shady place til the chocolate is gone). And I make Swiss mocha like Molly Katzen described it once-- put a piece of chocolate on your tongue, take a sip of hot, dark coffee, let the chocolate melt, and enjoy your faux mocha. Katzen says it's a Swiss tradition. :-)

I was tempted to alter this arrangement, to add some color, to make it look more
artistic, but this is reality-- how it really was as I sat outside this morning.
I didn't want to mess with that. :-)

I love old books where women journaled about the positive aspects of their daily lives. (There are two or three of them on the table above.) For some reason, the ones I like are usually stories of country life. They are light and innocuous, but full of more simple, unaffected, practical wisdom than their detractors could imagine. I find these books lovely, enjoyable, and inspiring. And they remind me that the hours, the days, the seasons, the years pass quickly, and we should savor them.

I love old things that remind me of Mom or my grandparents or my childhood. They have an aura of happy warmth just because of the nice memories they bring back. Most of my Goodwill or thrift shop purchases are motivated by this.

That's what made me pick up these early 1960's white oval platters and dishes with a blue design when I saw them at Goodwill. My childhood took place in the 1960s, and, while no one I know had these dishes, that color of blue rings many bells of memory. (Aaron thinks I've committed some kind of sacrilege by placing them on the old English pine china dresser in place of the Brambly Hedge tea set, but the cool blue and white is airy and soothing for summer.)

Pure nostalgia is also what made me buy a colander exactly like the one my mom used in the kitchen while I grew up. She still has that colander, and now I have one like it. Seeing it hang from a nail on the side of my kitchen cupboard might strike most people as ugly, but it makes me smile. And at age 50, my decor is all about meaning and joy!

And I do love how God takes the dirty, smoky sky and makes a lovely, rosy sunset. But that's the way He works, isn't it?