Friday, June 8, 2012

The Lovely Monthy of June... by Grace Burrowes


Among my many blessings are a pair of parents who chose to retire in San Diego, CA. My dad saw San Diego when he was a mere lad in the United States Navy, and decided that’s where he was going to grow old. Seventy years later, the choice is still a good one. Mom agrees, and come January, you never saw two people with more company underfoot.


The brother who lives in Montana seems to visit only in January, now that I think about it.
I may end up on the West Coast some fine day, but in truth, that move has little appeal. I do not care for the relentless, grinding monotony, among other things.
What can I possibly mean?
I am enjoying this year’s version of June so much I’m about to bust. The lightning bugs are starting to come out, I ate my first handful of ripe wild raspberries last night, and when I go for my evening walks, the scent of fresh cut grass frequently perfumes the air. A few weeks from now, I’ll be enduring the stinkin’ heat, tired of the stinkin’ bugs, and out of patience with the double-dog-stinkin’ allergies, but the summer is young, and I’m in love.
I fall in love with fall, too. I particularly like how the horses get shaggy coats in anticipation of winter, the sunlight goes all contrasty and sweet, and I have more energy out of sheer relief to be done with summer’s worst heat. I love making the season’s first fire in my wood stove, swilling hot tea by the pot, and wearing fuzzy socks. And then…

I’m ready for it to snow, already, please. I’m ready for all the writing time that other people think is intended to celebrate the winter holidays. I’m ready for the succession of three-day weekends, and for a pause in my usual progression of cross-country road trips. I’m ready for Christmas cookies (Carolyn Brown, are you reading this?), and for mistletoe (Richard Armitage, this means you, fella).
Until…

I’m ready for the cold to let up, and for the crocuses to remind me that spring isn’t far away. I’m ready for the peepers to sing to their little froggy true loves, and for the marvelous profusion of spring flowers—daffodils, tulips, forsythia, lilacs, oh, I could go on and on—to gladden my winter-weary heart. 


All of which is to say that, for me, change has a role to play in the rejuvenation process. I find things to look forward to about each season, no matter how often that season comes around. Because my environment changes in this orderly but never entirely predictable fashion, I pay more attention to it, and enjoy its various pleasures a little more fully for knowing tomorrow, next week, or next month, they will be gone for a long time.
 So… what do you enjoy most about the arrival of summer?

To one commenter below, in the spirit of enjoying seasonal change, I’ll give a signed copy of “Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish.”

29 comments:

  1. Oh, yes, ma'am, I'm reading this Miz Grace and nodding (as in agreement, not fallin' asleep) with each statement. I loved the spring that Oklahoma blessed us with this year with the flowers blooming instead of wilting, and some blessed rain. Can't imagine living where there are no seasons...no reason to wrap up in a blanket and warm socks to write, write, write everyday...and make Christmas cookies! Loved the pictures and the post, Miz Grace...and congratulations to your awesome parents for their example to all of us!

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  2. We don't get much in the line of spring here usually, and it's already been in the 90's every day. Soon, the 100's. But I love when it changes...we had a terrific thunderstorm that woke me in the middle of the night, couldn't get to sleep, but I got up and watched the rain. We needed it so badly. I think that's what I love the most. Change. I can stand some of something for a while, weather-wise, but then something's got to change! :)

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  3. Carolyn, the older they get (and they're quite old) the more awesome Stu and Colleen are. They have learned how to love and love well, and that, I believe is the purpose of life.

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  4. Terry, I notice that change works to rejuvenate me with the writing too. I can go at the WIP for a few hours each morning, but then it's time to switch to revisions, research, another WIP. Sometimes I go back to WIP the First later in the day, but I need that break to see it with fresh eyes.

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  5. San Diego ISN'T monotonous! Next time you come to visit, get away from the parents and look around. Come visit our little mountains and you can still have all your seasons, but with options within driving distance.By the way, May and June are the best times to visit. the weather is relatively mild and you're not here in the middle of the winter rains.
    I'm here because the Navy sent my grandfather here 80-some years ago and they never left. As far as summer goes here, I like guessing how sunny the day will be and watching the world go by.No, I don't get summer thunderstorms, but then I'm thankful for rain when it comes.

    vlettel @ cox.net

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  6. What I enjoy most about summer is fishing, wearing shorts/capris and sandals, having bbqs and growing a garden.
    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  7. Summer? Um, I don't really like summer all that much. It's so hot here. I guess it's fun to take Baby G swimming, but even that gets old and we really have no other outside options because it's so hot. I much prefer spring and fall.

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  8. Virginia, I usually drive cross country to see my parents, and it is amazing how, if you get away from the coast proper, there is variety. Coming down from Flagstaff, you're at 7000 feet, then at sea level, then up to 4000 feet, then back to sea level... all in the course of a few hours.
    And yet, a little altitude and some driving isn't a substitute for watching your own yard undergo seasonal metamorphosis. My parents live in La Jolla, and the view there never changes unless the gardener goes on vacay.

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  9. Crystal, oh yeah, on the wearing shorts and sandals. I'm not allowed to wear sandals in court, and oh, the injustice of that!

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  10. Shana, it gets miserably hot here too--we have plenty of 100 degree days--but that's mostly in a 10 week stretch when the kids aren't in school. In your neck of the woods, that heat lasts for months. Don't know as I could endure it.

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  12. To be honest this will be my first summer. I grew up on central coast of California and the weather is pretty much the same year around. Then we moved to Louisiana and summer is might as well be year around. Then we moved back to California. Now we live in Montana, and it's kinda cold here, so I'm anxiously waiting for summer. However, I have come to realize I miss California. By the way, I love San Diego. I have a sister in law that lives in Poway and we use to go down there all the time.

    countessofmar@yahoo.com

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  13. Lovely, lovely post, Grace. Your writing could make a mud puddle sound beautiful.

    Living in Northwest Florida we don't have huge swings in the seasons, but it's just enough to make me very happy I live here.

    Amelia

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  14. What a wonderful post, Grace. I'm right there with you as far as embracing each of the seasons as they start and ready to be rid of them as the next season draws closer!

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  15. Melody, you'll be going back to California, I'm sure. To describe Montana as "kinda cold," when you can get snow any month of the year is considerable understatement.

    Everybody should have a friend to visit in California from time to time.

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  16. Amelia, you do have hurricane season, though, and everybody comes to visit you in winter.

    My Montana bro says they have two seasons: winter and relatives.

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  17. With the arrival of summer, I ceremonially put away my winter coats, mittens, hats, scarves, and boots. I've learned from experience that it's not worth it for me to do it before then: just three weeks ago we had frost warnings here in MN, with 90' four days later. ;-)

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  18. With the arrival of summer I tend to most look forward to hiking, picnics and grilling with the family for fun mealtimes.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  19. I always look forward to the family get together on the 4th of July. I just enjoy spending time outside.

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  20. I live in the Sacramento Valley, so the heat is pretty dry here and rather torturous in the summer when you're out and about. However, I do enjoy all the outdoor grilling and bbq's when summer time comes around.

    kliu107 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  21. One of the best things about summer are the blockbusters. It seems that every week there's a good movie coming out.

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  22. Tamara, you are a Viking. I could take the long, cold spring, but that 90 degrees followed by frost stuff is hard to manage. Probably feels like you just get winter put away and it's back again.

    Lil, Maryland is more walking territory than hiking. The Appalachian Trail runs within sight of my house, but honestly, it's really just a walk in the woods around here.

    Quilt Lady, there is a sense that in summer, you don't have to pause in the air lock, wrap up in three technologically mandated layers, and head out into the Far North between the house and the barn. When the barn pipes freeze and I have to lug hot water to the horses to melt the ice-covered water buckets... except I fall on my tukas in a snow bank half way to the barn.... I do occasionally get resentful in a way I don't feel toward even the worst summer heat.

    Kristy, I've crossed the valley to get to the mountains, and yep, it looks dry, but also pretty. Really pretty.

    Jane, and the theaters all sport AC these days, which they run full blast.

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  23. I love the slower pace of the summer, the relaxing days of sitting around the pool or at the beach with a book.

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  24. I like going to the beach.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  25. I love summer by the pool with a good book to read. I just think that I'm on the beach with the ocean beside me. LOL. I have a good imagination. Really it just feels so good out there in the sun with a book I cant stand it.
    lorimeehan1@aol.com

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  26. Having lived in California all of my life, I am not familiar with the radical seasonal changes but I enjoy the mild variations we have. Impressive sand sculpture and I love the cat giving the horse a loving rub! Thank you for sharing.

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  27. In South Florida the seasonal changes are slight....BUT, they are there. The grass gets greener and do the trees and bushes and the flowers bloom. Its the sky, though, that always get my awe. The summer skys are tremendously expressive and so different from the other seasons. The clouds are huge and so white against the blue..blue sky. The clouds are such a bright white that they almost hurt your eyes to looks at them. But they change color as they pull in moisture, they become all different shades of gray untill they become very heavy and then we have our summer showers. Somehow we can often see the sun still shining through those clouds. It is a glorious time for nature and I bask in it!

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  28. I couldn't agree more, Grace. Lovely post!

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  29. I love your post. I live in Central Florida and we have Summer, Summer, Summer and Winter (well our winter is your fall). I just hate the heat. I was born in Michigan and my heart always wants those 4 seasons, but that will never be. My husband hates the cold. I do have my beautiful family here in Florida, so it really isn't so bad after all.

    gatormaryd(at)yahoo(dot)com

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