Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer's Simple Treasures

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart." (Celia Thaxter)

It's the Sunday night before Labor Day; the last "official" day of summer.  September and the approaching days of autumn - whose chilly mornings nip your nose, and crunchy leaves tickle your toes - seem well on their way.  Women are busy changing purses, shoes, and dresses - "no white after Labor Day", you know.  I've never understood this fashion fiat, and I'm sure if I asked my wife to explain it, she'd just shake her head and laugh at my perpetual lack of fashion sense ("Eddie Bauer" is the only "style chromosome" that God gave me!)

And I'm sure there are youngsters moping and mourning the impending opening of school...(teachers too!)...the end of "freedom"...the return to the regimen...the "horrors of homework" (and having to grade it!)...Shorts and sandals slipped away...sweaters and heavy shoes hauled out...Heavy sighs...

But I decided to take a moment to remember, and celebrate, the many things I've enjoyed this summer.  So what might some of "Summer's simple treasures" be?  As I think back on my days, these are what I remember:
  • Early mornings in the first cup of coffee and my morning paper...gently awakening as the sun rises...what a luxury!
  • Mid-morning walks with our spunky little chihuahua Izzy.  Each day she'd be so EXCITED to go for her walk, that just the SOUND of me putting my socks on would send her into a tizzy!
  • The satisfaction I'd get out of the yardwork I'd do.  Whether it was spreading barkdust, fussing over our roses, or hacking out behemoth bushes to make way for a new palette of posies, I always enjoy the physical labor of making our house, our "home". (I guess I have a "sodbuster gene" too!)
  • Seeing the first shy morning glory poke its head out and greet the day.
  • Savoring all of summer's fresh produce!  All hail to ruby red strawberries; blueberries and plums so sweet they make you sing; cherry tomatoes that go "pop!" in your mouth; cucumbers and onions, that in a salad (with a little vinegar and sugar) make a perfect marriage; and the "royalty" of summer herbs, King Basil and Queen Cilantro!
  • Self-serve frozen yogurt!  (No need for the "little man" cup; Fill 'er up to the brim!)
  • Smelling hamburgers cooking on a BBQ...anywhere within 3 miles!...
  • OK...Gotta get off this food obsession (don't know how I manage to keep my "boyish" figure, but I do!)
  • The unexpected pleasures shared with my wife this summer - unexpected, only because of their simplicity.  Miles and miles of walks taken together: in the pine-scented woods around Lake Tahoe; evening walks in the surf there, holding hands, talking and laughing; along the boardwalk at Redondo Beach; drifting on a catamaran with her on her birthday, with a grin as big as the sun on my face; watching the sunset together at Palos Verdes beach; enjoying the sun and summer breezes found in the quiet summer haven we call our backyard... All of these, and so many more, are the stitches of love that sew us closer together...all so precious, to me...
Just in recounting these few simple pleasures, I'm reminded of how blessed I've been - how lucky a man I am.  There is beauty and joy in my life, and as long as I remember that, it can always "be summer", even after Labor Day (though you won't catch me wearing white!)...

Deborah and I cata-maraning for her birthday on Lake Tahoe
Bon soir! (a little more French I know!)

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