Summer Reflections

My Pink Rose
My Pink Rose bush

The morning that I am writing this I have opened all the windows, in every room of my house. This has become a pattern with me on warm summer mornings. Before the air conditioning turns on, I walk around opening windows. Letting the fresh breezes in, as well as the sounds of birds chirping, makes me feel lighter somehow and sets in motion a quiet start to the day.

When I’m in a calm mood, I light a candle and do a spiritual reading or two. I like to sit outside with my coffee, soaking in some early morning sun and centering my thoughts. When the day gets off to a hectic start, sometimes it’s harder to do this. But try I do, and many times I manage to squeeze in one or the other, time outside and/or the spiritual readings.

This summer is the best for me so far in terms of mid life. It has been a rocky few years with hot flashes and I’ve not wanted to be outside much. This seems to be shifting, finally, and I can stand being outside for longer periods. I can tolerate warmer temperatures, even needing a sweater on chilly evenings. I’m relieved at this and can almost remember what it was like to love summer.

Next year Jim and I will turn the big six oh. I’m actually excited about the landmark. I feel like I can at last say, I’m too old for this or that, plus I can own my silver hair more fully, I can tell someone I’m just too old to commit to that, so sorry. For the last couple of years I was planning the big landmark party (in my head) that I was going to throw for Jim and I, for this big birthday. Now my enthusiasm for it has gone right out the door. It’s been replaced by a desire to have a week at the beach with my kids and grandkids. Jim is game for this thank God.

Penny’s baptism is coming up and I’m excited to be planning that. Everyone is coming over to our house afterwards so my event planning skills are of good use here. I’ve already got my lists- what I’m going to serve and how to set everything up. I even mapped out my calendar- when I will do what- after long sessions of questions from my mother prompted me to just get it down on paper. Inviting immediate family members only kept the list down. It’s hard to draw boundaries with that. I want everyone here but it’s in my backyard, with limited space, I have to set parameters with myself as well or I will go crazy with worry as to where everyone will fit.

My days are filled with taking care of mom, babysitting Penny, meeting brides, and grilling whatever catches my eye at the farmer’s market. I’ve eaten fresh peaches, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes already and I’m loving it. Every now and then the committee in my head chastises me for not working more, for enjoying this time with my family too much, for not making a full time income. But I tell it to stop, that I am loving this time that I have with my mom and grandchildren. I will never get it back and so there. I’m going to love it.

Here’s more pictures of my summer so far. I’m blessed.

Penny's from Heaven
Penny’s from Heaven
My June Wedding, Tara and her Bridesmaids
My June Wedding, Tara and her Bridesmaids
Meeting an old friend, Drema after twenty years.
Meeting an old friend, Drema after twenty years.
My favorite sunrise picture
My favorite sunrise picture
Lillies at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
Lillies at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
Jim and Michelene's jars of honey and lotion at their Honey Party
Jim and Michelene’s jars of honey and lotion at their Honey Party. Katherine’s Daughter events is their sponsor 🙂
Mom looking at pictures of her brother's recent trip to Greece
Mom looking at pictures of her brother’s recent trip to Greece
Another June couple, Nichole and Arnold!
Another June couple, Nichole and Arnold!
The new house built across the street- I think it's sold.
The new house built across the street- I think it’s sold already
Dundee Farm, Sewickley, where Michelene and I promoted Beefuddled Farms, her and Jim's honey business
Dundee Farm, Sewickley, where Michelene and I promoted Beefuddled Farms, her and Jim’s honey business

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Henry James



Join me on my graceful journey.

18 Replies to “Summer Reflections”

  1. Enjoy these times with your family! I miss my mom so much it physically hurts sometimes! I was just reminded this morning that we need to embrace and enjoy every single moment with our loved ones because we don’t know how much time we have left with any of them. I have friends who have lost their children suddenly and without warning. It was one of those friends who posted a rant about a father playing on his phone rather than paying attention to his 5 year old son, who just wanted daddy’s attention. Technology is a blessing and a curse…
    Enjoy every moment…it sounds like you are doing just that!

  2. Your rose is beautiful – and yes, on to 60! I’m there already and it is all good. I can’t help but smile whenever I see a photo of Penny — so sweet!

  3. Enjoy it all, Joanne! The committee in your head doesn’t know what its talking about – LOL! But you know. You know in a grand way. Your photos are lovely and a perfect reminder of living life with lovliness. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy the age you are coming into, Joanne – it’s just a number.

    Summers in my neck of the woods dare us to enjoy it. But your post reminded me of summers in the northeast and actually being able to play outside during the day and, as you say, possibly a light sweater in the evening. Ahhhh….

    Be blessed, friend,


  4. I sort of felt like I was standing smack dab in the middle of a lovely summer day with you. Ah, so beautiful. Grands and weddings and flowers and plans……….a gentle warm summer breeze with a cup of coffee. How nice.
    Your not turning 60. You are going to be 18 with 42 years experience! Experience counts baby!
    So glad I stopped in. You made me smile (once again).
    Love ya,

  5. What a lovely and loving post, Joanne. The pictures are all wonderful, but of course I’m most drawn to Penny, who is indeed from Heaven. I am six years older than you, still have occasional hot flashes, and on my 60th birthday Jim knew exactly what I wanted for a party: our daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren joined us at a cabin for the weekend. It was the most perfect celebration of life.
    And like you, I get up early for quiet moments, reflection and hot tea or coffee. Our hydrangeas are in full, beautiful bloom, and this morning I was on the deck as the sun came up, and it was a magnificent beginning to the day.
    We both have been blessed, Joanne. <3

    1. Oh Marylin, I love your comment. We could sit for hours and talk, I’m sure if we ever have the chance. 🙂 I love the cabin in the woods idea and am planning on that with a girlfriend this fall. I love that you have hydrangeas and that you are outside when the sun comes up. Blessings to you, Joanne

  6. Some day, I am going to meet you. We are truly soul sisters in so many ways. I’m extra sentimental this morning as I read your beautiful words – a thunderstorm in the background and a visual of your walking through the house with open windows each morning.
    I hit the big 5-0 next year and thus far, it seems that the hot flashes are here to stay. At least I rarely need a coat when the snow hits the ground.
    This was truly lovely – thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Michelle, I bet we will meet someday! Welcome to the 50’s- they are a rollercoaster! I love your posts so it makes me happy that you are inspired by mine. Yours are always creative and a bit feisty- I love it! Blessings, Joanne

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