This is what it is to truly summer. To delight in what we hold, knowing we won’t hold it for much longer.
The quarterly practice of paying attention to what I learn is important to me. The weeks tend to fly by and if I don’t stop and mark the days and moments, it’s hard to remember what I brought away from them. Emily Freeman always gives me a friendly reminder to remember with her What I Learned posts– if you would like to add your own list or peruse what others have learned, hop over here for a visit.
1. Pre-cut parchment paper sheets, make life easier and are a convenience item I can completely justify. They mean we will eat healthier and have faster clean-up on a weeknight. Two words: Roasted Vegetables.
2. Creating an atmosphere of simple fun and joy means as much as creating a masterpiece. About half way through summer– completely discouraged with all I had not accomplished, I remembered the importance of welcoming my absence with open hands. Did you have a moment like this?
3. You all love scones as much as I do. I shared a recipe for our favorite Peaches & Cream Scones and many of you made them and wrote back to let me know. I simply love that you did because it makes me feel like we’re in the kitchen together.
4. The reason for a celebration is often its’ own lovely reward. Lance and I celebrated ten years of marriage at the end of August. We celebrated in a cabin with fifteen other family members. We celebrated with an amazing dinner date just the two of us. We celebrated for days before and several days after. It was a big deal to both of us– but without a doubt, the greatest gift– the most spectacular glittering part of our anniversary? Realizing that TEN YEARS of marriage is its’ own beautiful gift. More thoughts coming on this later.
5. I will always love butter (does that sound as weird as it does as I type it?) But I had forgotten how much I enjoy olive oil in baked goods. I made both Shauna Niequist’s Berry Crisp with olive oil and these muffins and was reminded how good and light it can be. Try substituting olive oil in something– perhaps you will like it too.
6. The mountains in Summer are not the mountains in Fall, but they are spectacular in their own way. We picked apples in flip-flops. We went tubing down the river and fell in once or twice– all without frostbite. We hiked and picnicked and splashed in the lake and then dried out in the late summer sunshine and all my mountain memories are sitting here with me, long before the weather turns cool.
7. It appears I only wore one shirt all summer and it’s this one. Scanning through Instagram, I realized that I was wearing the same shirt in every photo of myself. It’s my favorite– so why not? How’s that for a capsule wardrobe/ summer uniform? Do you find you wear the same few things?
8. Reading fiction increases both my empathy and my understanding. I’ve read several books in the WWII genre this summer, all dealing with different aspects of the war and the brave ones who walked through it. I’m amazed at the stories of both the resilience and the hardness of it all.
9. We need to be reminded that as Tolkien wrote,“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
The most beautiful stories continue to pour from Texas as they continue to battle in the aftermath of Harvey. If you are a reader there in the midst of this terrible time, please know we are praying and giving and desiring to help. If you are not and are still looking for a way to be involved, Melanie Shankle has a great list of ways you and I can help.
Your turn! I’d love to hear something you learned or loved this summer. Onward to Fall! (Well, onward once the temperature drops below 86′)
If you missed my Spring What I Learned list, you will find it here.