Summer Happenings

I seem to fall in love with each season around here.
Fall is bold with its abundance of color and change, warm days and cool nights are so welcomed after the heat of the months previous.
Winter is often so very dramatic with freezing temperatures and mountains of snow. Of all the seasons, winter is the hardest for me to love - I often feel restricted and confined not willing to brave the elements despite the beauty of the changed landscape.
Spring often seems confused between winter and summer as it slowly but surely turns from cold to warm  to cold to warm... then maybe a little cold again then finally to warm.
Summer seems to be the culmination of the years work with warmth and beauty.
For us, summer means irrigation and flowers, mowing and growing, and calm excitement. Evenings spent playing outdoors, dogs playing fetch and taking a dips in the pond, slowing down and watching the sunsets... and sunrises with deep conversations, long drives with the windows rolled down and the wind whipping my hair into a frenzy, popsicles, ice tea, BBQs, a wish for a garden to grow more than the garden weeds, air conditioning, horseplay, sleeping with the windows open listening to crickets, and creativity.

Should Life Be Harder?

My competition was lined up on either side of me as far as the eye could see. Each carrying a bag or basket for which to gather their colorful loot - snatched up quickly before another had the chance. The air was charged with energy and excitement. Everyone had their own plan of attack and I was sure mine would be most fruitful.

3..... 2..... 1..... GO!

My competition squealed and screamed with delight as seemingly hundreds of children darted off of the sidewalk on West Wagner Street into the side lawn of Talent Elementary school. Kids ran and stopped, stooping to pick up an egg and then darting off to another bright spot of color on the lawn. This location was just the teaser... the real action was to be found on the far side of the school at the track. Laughing parents took off to catch up with their children on the big field.

Finally - I was alone.

Surely, surely this Easter egg hunting couldn't be as simple as picking up eggs off the ground... so easily seen - anyone could do that... where was the competition? While my competitors picked the easy fruit I was going to go for the big treasure of eggs that must be hidden well to be found only by those willing to work for it.

All alone I scoured around the bushes by the buildings... ducking under branches, crawling here and there, dragging my empty basket along.

Eventually my mom came back and found me. Wondering, I'm sure, what in the world I was doing.

By the time we got out to the track all the eggs were neatly packed in baskets - kids smiling and showing off their treasures to their proud parents.

My basket remained empty.

Mom found an egg - a purple one with it's shell cracked and the egg showing through. A casualty of an excited kid running over it to grab another.

I was sad... but more than that I was confused. Shouldn't this Easter egg hunt have been harder..... as I expected it to be?

Life can be hard. Really hard.

But I've come to learn some of the hardest times are the times I make hard all on my own. Doubting my abilities, worrying over how an event will go, wondering how other people will respond... all of it unneeded stress.

Sure, there are times when we need to prepare for a difficult challenge but I'm learning that most times life is like that Easter egg hunt and perhaps it is best to excitedly run carefree into the day - stopping to pick up the beautiful treasures along the way.

Memorial Weekend Camping

We had campfires....
Visits to the fish hatchery....

Civil War camp learning....


Exploring roads and finding treasures in the back country....

Train Rides....and