A Look at the Small Things: Summer 2023

Summer is in full swing.  The heat (obviously), the extra long days and the early mornings, and evening runs for ice cream (yes, we just got back from such a treat).  The Saturday morning farmer’s markets with all the fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.  All the squash, zucchini and blueberry recipes.  Summer is amazing.  The big things and the small things as well.  Today’s post is just a few of those simple (or maybe not so simple) things of this season.  Things I might otherwise overlook, or miss, and that I want to remember.

Something I accomplished.  This might be one of the “not so simple” things, but I finished chemo at the beginning of summer.  On June 1st, to be exact.  I feels like I have been “regaining normal” over the last two months….and that feels especially wonderful.  Summer is the perfect time, in my opinion, to do so and I think this season has helped me in so many ways.  Mornings outside.  Not only do I get some genuine Vitamin D but the sun (before it is blistering) feels so good.  Sleep comes easy and feels great at the end of longer days.  Summer evenings are perfect for walking and regaining strength.  Summer does wonders for my mood and that has a tremendous impact not only on my continued healing but also serves me well as I continue with other treatments.  On a random side note, I recently had to shave my legs.  I’ve never been quite so happy to do so!!  Like I said, it’s the little things:)

A few, random, things I’ve been reminded of.  As enjoyable and relaxing as summer might be, if I’m not careful, the lazy days of summer can make me….well, lazy.  But summer is not the time to do less or to become lackadaisical.  I wanted to be sure I was using that word – lackadaisical – correctly, so I looked it up.  It means to “lacking spirit.”  To be honest, I have noticed that a bit in my devotional life.  Those Bible reading plans that I began with much spirit/gusto six months back?  Some have ended.  Some have gone by the way side and, well, you get the feeling.  Blah.  I blame it on summer.  I blame it on cancer.  I blame it on chemo brain.  But I need to stop looking for something to blame and get refocused, reprioritized and reenergized. With that in mind, I really miss Bible study during the summer.  Maybe I should lead one myself during the summer?  I have considered this before but never moved forward.  Something worth considering and remembering.

We are in the process of changing cell phone providers.  Everything was going smooth with the transfer…until it was not.  My husband’s phone is in complete working order.  Mine, on the other hand, is dead in the water.  You never really know how much you take “the little things” for granted until they are dead in the water.  I would not say I am attached to my phone but I will be glad to have it working again….if, for no other reason, this should have been simple and easy.  Fifteen calls later and I’m still….um, dead in the water.  Grrr.

Customer service seems to be a dying art.  Fewer and fewer companies (online, in person, anywhere) really seem to care at all what type of customer service they provide.  Yet, so often there is little if no recourse or alternative.  I certainly do not mean to turn this post (or this section of it) into a rant, but oh it is frustrating.  I’ll end with a public service announcement:)  If you receive good service….tell someone.  Appreciate it.  Applaud it.  Take those surveys at the the end of the call.  They really do matter.

Something that made an impact.  This is, truly, a small thing, but the impact was surprising.  One Friday, a couple of weeks ago, a friend sent a text.  “Hey, just thought I would have a few friends over tonight.  Bring a craft to work on.  Or don’t.  Just come and visit for a while.”  My immediate reaction was I can’t do that.  I have to decline and I wish she would have let me know sooner.  But, I had no plans for the evening.  I could go.  I am just not spontaneous.  Apparently, at all.  It sounds silly but I never realized exactly how true that is about me.  I probably would have denied it.  Have I always been like this?  I have no idea.  But I did go that Friday night!  Had a lovely evening:)  I am in a season of life where I can do things “last minute”….and all will still be well with my world.  The impact – when I finally realized that – felt great!!  So, if you want to go to dinner tonight – I’m your girl!!:)

Let me know something you appreciate.  One of those little things/daily conveniences that you, maybe, take for granted.  Or let me know where you get good customer service!! And, here’s to a great weekend ahead!  Thanks for stopping by –

23 thoughts on “A Look at the Small Things: Summer 2023

  1. I’m glad that you embraced spontaneity! Hey, want to come over for dinner tonight? Oh, wait, I think we live too far apart and I am seeing a movie tonight with my girls so I guess that option is off the table (pardon the pun…). I’m glad you are feeling the summer love. I just worked on a Share Four Somethings post and my “love” was my love for summer. We are on the same (warm loving) wavelength. Have a great weekend!

    1. Ah rats….dinner would have been great! But do hope you had a fun evening at the movies! And, triple yes to the LOVE of summer!!:)

  2. Again, thank you for visiting my new blog! I appreciate your visit and the opportunity to get re-acquainted. Congratulations on finishing up chemo. That is a huge victory! I hope all your future doctor visits reveal that you are totally cancer-free.

    I find that in this season of life of watching my 21-month old granddaughter 3 days a week, I don’t have the energy to be spontaneous in the evening. On the days she’s here, I’m into my pajamas by 7:30! But how fun that you received a spontaneous invitation and that you went! I’m sure spending the evening with friends was pure delight!

    I recently had horrible customer service from a company which I will not name. It was a service, and I asked for a refund within the allotted time. They ignored every email that I sent, and they even deleted my Instagram comments in which I said I was disappointed in their customer service and wanted a refund. Their post remained up, but they deleted my comments. Eventually, I reached out through Paypal, but they never communicated with me….just sent a refund through Paypal. I was appalled to be completely ignored multiple times.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend!

    1. I have to admit, Patti, some (if not quite of bit) of my lack of spontaneity comes from lack of energy after 7PM! LOL!! Sad but true. I can only imagine how those pjs feel after a full day of babysitting!! Thanks for the congrats and kind words!! Have a great weekend!

  3. I love this post. First of all congrats on finishing up your treatments!! I hope all is well moving forward.
    Best customer service: LLBEAN!!! Hands down. In person at the store, online with the chat, or on the phone with a customer service rep is always a pleasure. This is why most of my casual clothes come from them. (And just about ALL of my hiking gear/clothing). They truly have the best service.

    Another good place is my local credit union. I had to call the headquarters once and got no where. Went in person to the local branch and got the best service. BUT i still had to deal with headquarters after local person helped me. SO I played the “do i need to get my attorney involved in this?” guess who started giving great service!! (Same thing when i had to deal with a lab/medical facility issue). Sometimes when you ask to speak with the person over them, or gently ask if you have to get your attorney involved, all of a sudden the customer service is excellent. just sayin’. hahahah

    (ps i don’t go to the gym in the winter either…..don’t wanna put my money in it when we have a treadmill in the basement and walking in snow is lovely).

    1. You are right about LLBean! I have heard that same sentiment – about great customer service – many times. Our (very large) LLBean store closed…which was so disappointing. We used to make a trip to the mall just for that store! Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your weekend, Faith!

  4. Jennifer, I rejoice with you at completing chemo! Praying God continues to heal and restore your body! I love your whole post on the “little” things. I feel like I totally take them for granted. This summer I am so thankful for walks in the evening simply to enjoy the fragrance at dusk, the last gorgeous rays of the day’s sun, and simply to just breathe.

    1. Evening walks are lovely this time of year. We just came home and our neighborhood is full of folks out walking. Some with their dogs. Others with kiddos on their bikes. And some just meandering. It is lovely…..and I want to join them:) So glad you stopped by….I will be visiting your blog soon (it is open on my computer as I type)!

  5. Jennifer, I’m so glad you’re done with chemo and “regaining normal.” What a blessing that is! I really enjoyed this post, even your “rant” about your dead-in-the-water cell phone. I hope you get that fixed soon. And I know what you mean about good customer service. It seems to happen less frequently these days, so much so that when I DO have an interaction with a particularly helpful person on the phone, it practically makes my whole day. As for what I appreciate … our home Internet was down for several days last week, and it gave me a renewed appreciation for … electricity!! I was so glad it was the internet that was out and not the AC. 🙂

    1. Oh my – hooray for electricity, the internet and yes for AC! How did we enjoy summer as much when our homes did not have air conditioning?!? And, yes, the cell phone issues are resolved. Hooray!! Have a wonderful weekend, Lois!

  6. I am struggling a bit this summer too…I did teach a Bible study because I wanted one this summer, but we really didn’t finish it. We missed one week (I was sick), and no one came back, LOL! So, it was just done. Now I am trying to motivate myself to watch the final videos, but don’t want to by myself, LOL. Anyway, headed to TN tomorrow and hoping for a relaxing time. Have a great weekend!

    1. I’m curious…what study to you start? It is a shame that it fell apart. One of my biggest worries….that no one will show up!? I hope you have a great visit to TN!! Relax, enjoy and many blessings to you, friend!

  7. Oh congratulations on getting through your chemo! This is news that always makes me happy for someone!
    It sounds as if you are enjoying your summer. I appreciate the ease of summer…a quick walk without having to get all dressed up for cold weather, the longer, lighter days, the beach, family vacations….

  8. Hi Jennifer 🙂 I’m so glad your chemo is over. I would imagine that the little things seem rather big after going through a trial. And rightly so!

    Even though it’s way too hot here, I do love summer mornings and summer evenings when the wind is blowing and all the sights and smells just remind me of being young and loving the summer. I am one who loves the sun going down at 8:30! I want it to stay this way forever.

    And I’m with you on being spontaneous. I am not one for last minute invitations or pop ins from people. I hate surprises and I hate pop ins 🙂 I have been known, on occasion, to decide on a whim to go shopping and call one of my daughter-in-laws and ask if they want a day out. It’s rare, but fun when it happens 🙂

    On the phone…I’ve thought about ditching Verizon so many times, but am afraid of facing life without a phone. I know there would be glitches or some situation and I’m just not willing to risk it. How dumb is that? I would love to have a monthly bill that isn’t the size of a small car! That would be nice!

    1. The sun staying up until 8:30 is the absolute best!! Glad to know I’m not the only one that is less than spontaneous…and, no thank you, to pop ins! Too much like surprises:) Hope your Saturday is going great!!

  9. So glad that you are finished with Chemo and doing well. Yes, finding good customer service can be very difficult and FRUSTRATING- especially when the customer service agents don’t speak English well and they are difficult to understand. One of my pet peeves! So glad you decided to get together with your friends, and that you had a nice time. I hope you have a good weekend!

  10. May the Lord continue to give you grace as you regain your strength, rest, and heal after chemo, Jennifer. I’m not a spontaneous person either, so I applaud you for going to a friend’s house on short notice, and I’m so glad to hear it was a nice evening with the ladies. I appreciate walking in the cool of the morning. (Evenings are too hot right now and I’m too tired at the end of the day, so mornings work the best.) It is so good to see you back in the blogging world, so welcome back!

  11. Before I had my children I worked for a holiday tour operator in the Passenger Relations (aka complaints) Department. We dealt with all post-holiday correspondence and I can tell you that the letters of thanks and praise absolutely made our days! So I always like to give thanks where thanks are due as I know how much it means. It is so frustrating trying to talk to a human once you have tried all electronic forms of communication isn’t it? Hope your phone woes are soon resolved.
    Yes, yes, yes to acting spontaneously! So pleased you enjoyed your evening out x

    1. Everyone loves appreciation….and I can only imagine how they would be highlight amidst all the other complaints! Oh my…what a job!! Hope you have a great week, Deb!

  12. I am grateful to know that you are finished with chemo, and I hope that each day brings new vitality. You bless us all as you share your stories; your spirit through all of this is beautiful. I was once advised to be very patient with recovery after chemotherapy, especially as we begin to feel “normal” and then want to do too much. Enjoy those friendship and crafting times, the sunshine, and all of these little joys of summer abundance. You are in my heart.

  13. Congratulations on finishing chemo! That’s definitely a huge thing! And shaving our legs is something we shouldn’t take for granted. 😉

    I second your thought about the lack of good customer service these days. I despise having to call for support with cell service or internet or cable, etc. It’s quite tortuous to either not get to talk with a person at all, or to talk with someone who can’t help.

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