Wednesday, August 8, 2018

please don't rush summer

I've already seen posts all over social media about fall and even - *gasp* - preparing for Christmas!

I just don't understand the rush. It is only the beginning of August. We have over six weeks of summer left. I am not thinking about pumpkins, leaves changing colors, cool days, Halloween, or anything even remotely associated with Christmas.

Maybe it's because I live in an area that has long, dark, cold - even sometimes brutal - winters. It makes us appreciate summer even more.

Our lives are always so rush-rush as it is; why do we find it so hard to slow down and be mindful of what is going on around us now? It's so easy to get in that mindset of what is coming next instead of being present in the moment - whether it's rushing the seasons or even the activity of our everyday lives.

To me, August is the epitome of summer. Everything here in the Midwest is so lush and green and brilliant flowers abound. The roadsides are filled with Queen Anne's Lace, Purple Loosestrife, and some kind of small yellow wildflower that appears in late summer. If the humidity is low, the sky is a brilliant blue and if the humidity is high (which it often is), the sky is dotted with fluffy, cotton candy-like clouds.

I also crave a lot of light and sun, and this is the season to revel in that.

I love when I'm in the kitchen making a meal and decide I need fresh herbs, and being able to slip outside and snip herbs from my containers or little backyard herb garden. Even better when I do it with bare feet. 

And then the fresh produce...another reason I wish summer lasted a lot longer. We are surrounded by corn fields here in northern Illinois. Of course, most of it is GMO and used for animal feed (one reason to buy grass-fed beef, if you can), but two of the local farm stands here carry non-GMO corn that is picked fresh every day.

My own tomato plants are doing terrible this year and I've heard the same comments echoing from others in the area. We think it's from the erratic weather. At the start of summer, we had a deluge of rain to the point of local flooding. Lately, it's been a dry spell. Can't seem to get that nice mix of dry and wet weather. So I've been getting my tomatoes (and peppers) from the local farm stand, too. This is the only time of year I eat raw tomatoes. I can't stand the waxy, tasteless supermarket ones.

I have a friend who gardens on her farmer friend's huge plot of land. My friend is out of town right now, so she had posted on Facebook that she needed people to come every few days and pick veggies. There were about seven of us who volunteered, so my friend set up a schedule for picking.

Brian and I went yesterday morning and came home with onions, swiss chard, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, beets, carrots, zucchini, one little cucumber, and a ton of green beans. And a couple of sunflowers for the kitchen table. (Yes, she said we could help ourselves to those, too.) Last night we feasted on corn-on-the-cob, sliced tomatoes and steamed green beans. It was a perfect summer meal. Nothing tastes better than vegetables that were just picked that day. I remember when I was little, my grandma grew yellow tomatoes in her garden. I had never tasted one before. She told me how they were a bit sweeter than red tomatoes. She picked a yellow tomato and brought it inside, sliced it up and sprinkled with a little bit of salt. We feasted on the juicy slices, still warm from the sun. To this day, I still prefer sliced yellow tomatoes over red, and I always think of my grandma when I eat them.

On the evenings where Brian's home from work, we walk down to the lake and watch the sunset. Such a beautiful way to end the day.

Oh, the summer night, 
Has a smile of light,
And she sits on a sapphire throne.
(Bryan Procter)

Happy Wednesday, happy summer.


  1. I totally agree with not rushing the season, but we do go back to school in less than a week here, so it's hard not to be thinking about what comes next, even if the weather is still summery. It will be warm for another couple of months here, so we'll certainly still have that summer feeling. :)

  2. I'm right with you! I never understand why we have to rush the season? I was in HL today and all the decorations with FALL and ChRISTMAS! It made me sad...winter is to long i want to savor every minture of summer. Its not that I don't love fall but why rush it! What Lake is that? Fox? it must be nice to be able to walk to one!

  3. Preach it! You are so right, these “rushers” need to slow down and enjoy today. Seasons come and go, they always have and God set it up that way.

    Your plants are just beautiful ❤️

  4. Melanie, I have looked back through your posts. Your yard is so pretty and well kept. I want to squeeze the bit of summer, that I can, it was hot and miserable at times. But I love summer.
    I want to send hugs to you, so sorry about the loss of your sweet son, Phil. Bless you, xoxo, Susie

  5. Ever notice that six weeks of winter left seems A LOT longer than six weeks of summer left? I plan to enjoy every minute of it and then we get fall, which is also good. :)

  6. I agree! I do think that as school starts (in early August???) it makes one feel like it's Fall but it's not! I'm not ready to give up these summer days nor think about fall holidays. Just not time yet.

  7. L love summer and I want it to stay for a long time. I also love Fall but they just rush us into the next season.

  8. Fall can begin now and go through Thanksgiving. I've had enough of heat and humidity, and having it be hot all night long with no relief. I love the cool mornings, warm afternoons, and chilly nights with windows open and blankets piled on the bed to snuggle under.
    Sorry - hope we can still be friends. ♥

  9. Beautiful yard and garden. I'd want to hold on to summer there, too.

  10. I do love everything that's growing right now, but this heat is killing me! I'm not used to this hot weather, our mountain top summers are not usually like that! Like you, I adore heading out to my garden or herb garden when making dinner and I will miss that terribly come winter!

  11. That's great that you gained access to that garden! I don't think I could eat corn on the cob now. My teeth aren't in great shape. We will have summer here till November.

  12. You know I agree with you on the pushing a season out of the way too early. I get that some people love the warm weather more than the cold, and vice versa...thats pretty common. But I learned in the blog world, and in retail, some profit by being the first in offering whatever it is that represents the next season or holiday. Whether they truly want that with the heart is questionable.

    I love all your plantings. I can tell its a garden well tended and loved. My neighbor at the lake always tells me to take whatever I want--they travel a lot. Still, I feel like a thief a bit! But her husband is a little eccentric. He plants seventeen tomato plants, and its just the two of them! The same with zucchini and cucumbers. Its too much for me sometimes!

    You and Brian are so romantic. The walks to the lake every evening...sigh! That part of the day usually has Al in the living room watching MSNBC, and me in the den watching CNN. We can't even agree on a television channel!

    I feel bad that I can't have you guys up this summer. So much damage to the exterior of the house from the elements. We are using a lot of composite material in redoing things. I'm praying we will be done in time for the gorgeous fall weather. The house is definitely livable, but I can't function with a bunch of men outside making chaos and noise, nor the dogs. Take a raincheck for next year, please!


  13. What perfect lines to go with your last photo, Melanie! And it's only been last summer and this one where I've learned to agree with you about not rushing summer away. I never really appreciated August as much as I am this year. I'm not anywhere near ready to see frost get all the pretty blooms. I can understand why you feel that way about your beautiful garden.

    What a wonderful opportunity that was to pick vegetables from your friend's garden! And have it be a help to her at the same time. I bet you felt like a kid in a candy store. I love yellow tomatoes too.

    I am thankful for autumn when it comes and I guess it will always be my favorite season. I even love winter, and who can help but love spring. But I can truly say I'm a summer girl too now! I'm just grateful to be back somewhere where there are 4 distinct seasons!

    Thanks for your reminder, Melanie! I may end up pinning some autumn pins before too long and by September I'll be thinking pumpkins--but not yet!


  14. Summer is too short here! I already see Chinese lanterns turning orange and leaves dropping...and sunset is earlier. Your photos are full of summer beauty and I love it...August is such a golden month to me.
    PS Happy Birthday!

  15. LOL You are SO RIGHT! :) at my place I have a mix of flowering bushes and perennials and then each summer I plant seeds. Most of the flower seeds don't even come UP until mid or late july :) Tomatoes and other veggies are the same for the most part. These carry on until the first heavy frost.

  16. The lake looks so beautiful and refreshing. Enjoy the last weeks of summer, although there are 6 left. We are in full summer mode here until October, I can't wait for it to cool off a bit.

  17. Here in the south we often have very hot summers. It does seem as unceasing in those years as your snow does. But I have learned to really appreciate each season and what it brings. This year is much appreciated as we've had rain most days, so everything has stayed lovely and green and fairly mild. Yes, it's terribly humid but it's been so very nice! I'm in no hurry to see Pumpkin Spice this that and everything else, anyway, much as I love fall. I'll take my final weeks of summer and be quite happy.

  18. Hi Melanie! Yes, we should revel in summer because it's so warm and kind to us. I love fall, too. I'll hate saying goodbye to the flowers. They are miraculous, aren't they?

  19. The winters are long and dark here, too...and I hate them. Summer is my all time favorite season. We walk on the beach, swim in the pool, fish off the docks and linger outside long after dark to watch the stars. The kids don't return to school until after Labor Day, so we have a lot of summer left to enjoy. That said, I do love to craft, so I will use these lazy hazy days to paint or create for the coming holidays...especially if I can do it outside! And by the way...yum!! It all looks so fresh!

  20. Thank you so much for your lovely photos and your insightful comments. i live in Michigan and we have had nothing but relentless heat and humidity. My area has had so little rain. I was so depressed this winter and looked forward to spring with every turn of the page of my many seed catalogs. Woefully, spring was so late. We had snow in April and then within a few weeks, the heat overwhelmed us. Your post has forced me to not waste the next six weeks thinking about fall. I too crave sunlight and your post has brought sunshine to my day.

  21. This is a beautiful post, Melanie. One that makes me want to get out there and enjoy the many wonderful things that summer has to offer. Your flowers look so pretty and your basil looks especially healthy. I so agree about wandering into the garden to snip a few herbs while making dinner. Yum! I love how your friend organized the care and tending of her garden while she was away. A win-win for all involved.
    I do enjoy the summertime, although I am guilty of wishing for the cooler (less humid) air to arrive. These southern summers about do me in. Thank God for the A/C.
    By the way, in answer to your question, our new home is about 45 minutes from where we live now. Enjoy the remainder of the summer!

  22. I so agree with you.... I love summer and all the glories summer gifts us with... I'm not a winter soul, and thus let our souls bask on these precious days of sunshine and the color green!



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