Summer has arrived in Virginia. It actually seems to have settled in….and I say, “Welcome. Please, stay awhile!” I enjoy summer. And while this one will, no doubt, be different in many ways, there is much to anticipate, enjoy and savor about summer. This post is a few of my favorite things about summer. Five highlights of summer – and five (rather random and just for fun) facts about me!
FARMER’S MARKETS. Whether a small roadside market or a weekly gathering at a local pavilion, I love walking through stand after stand of fresh produce. The baskets brimming with just-picked vegetables are beautiful. Add in a stand or two of homemade bread and donuts, and one with local honey – and, well, I’m a giddy school girl! Many of our markets are not fully open right now but I am hoping they will be soon. I did recently discover two new farms near me selling all kinds of summer goodness.
FACT: I love seasonal vegetables. Give me all the veggies. Except for tomatoes – which are just plain gross. I know many disagree but I just can’t even. I enjoy fruit as well (not as much as vegetables…go figure) but you can have watermelon. Another summer fan favorite which I do not enjoy. At all.
AMERICANA. I’m trying hard to pare down my seasonal decor, but I just have a weakness for patriotic decor. It might be as simple as popping some flags inside a pitcher or a favorite Uncle Sam on the mantle, but the Americana decorations not only mean summer but they make me want to hum a patriotic favorite:) I also really like the front of my house once we hang up our flag buntings. Line the curb with small hand flags…and, well, I’m just busting with patriotic glee!
FACT: So much of summer is outdoors. And I’m really not an outdoors kind of girl. I don’t mind the heat…but I shun the sun. I burn in an instant and have had way too many severe sunburns. It just is not worth the risk for me. I do most of my summer-loving around dusk:) I’m also not much about water activities. I swim really well but do not enjoy it. And the beach? A definite…no thank you.
FOURTH OF JULY. Yes, closely related to Americana, but I enjoy the celebrations for the Fourth. In the past, we have celebrated with friends who live literally doors from the fireworks launch. It is deafening. One year, we joined friends in a casual parking lot gathering and, another year watched the capital display from Fort Myers overlooking the city. We have also walked in the local parade with our church’s float. (One year was enough for me doing that!) I think my favorite, though, is the Saturday after the Fourth. Every year, we meet friends along the Potomac River for a second celebration. The City of Alexandria celebrates its birthday with cake for hundreds, an outdoor concert, and amazing fireworks done to the “1812 Overture” complete with the Marine Corps cannons. It is fantastic!
FACT: I have lived here – literally miles from the nation’s capital – all my life; however, I have only been downtown once for the Fourth. That was in 1976….for America’s Bicentennial! I was a teenager. I was in awe of it all. I remember it well. It is a pretty amazing memory!!
PACKING LIGHT. We enjoy traveling and, while we do enjoy “big” trips, we really enjoy weekend trips. Getting away for just a couple of days. Whatever type of trip, the packing is my least favorite part. It shouldn’t be a chore…but, it just is; however, during the summer, packing is so much easier. No bulky sweaters, heavy boots and all the extra that is needed when packing during the winter. The smallest, lightest overnighter….and I’m off! I so hope there are some long weekend trips in my future for the summer months ahead.
FACT: My husband and I have cruised a few times. There are things we enjoy – and things we don’t – about cruise vacations. But packing suits/tuxedos and formal wear are the worst. Just sayin. I’m not sure it is as expected on a cruise as it once was, but if it is, you can probably count my husband out!! He is an over-packer. I could pack for two weeks in one suitcase. Easy. (Unless I have to include multiple formal outfits – ha!)
LONG DAYS. The sunrise this morning was just after 5:30…and it won’t set until after 8:30 tonight. That is blissful in my opinion. Long, sun-drenched days of summer. My number favorite of summer!
FACT: Yes, I am a morning person. That is not a new fact. However, I never use an alarm. I did not use one even when I was still working. I just do need one. I wake on a regular schedule….even in the winter; however, I do love having the sun wake me up. It streams in the bedroom windows (we have one right over our bed) and is just cozy and energizing all at the same time each morning!
I also love soft serve ice cream, al fresco dining at home, fresh pedicures in fun summer colors and the sound of the ice cream truck! He stills goes through our neighborhood and brings back the best memories! One final summer thought. I may not know what this summer holds in store. Some plans have already been canceled. Other things will, no doubt, have to be adjusted. But summer has still arrived. The certainty of that reminds me of God’s faithfulness. Whether I know or understand all things, He is always faithful. I can depend on His promises and be as sure of His goodness as I am of the seasons coming and going. Thank you, God, for being so faithful.