Archive for July, 2011

42.  Waves.

Leaping through, diving under or riding them into shore, waves make swimming (which is already my best) all the better.

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41. Clam shacks.

We love to finish a great trip to the beach off with a belly full of clams.  Aunt Carrie’s is always hoppin’ at the end of a good beach day.  They make these amazing clam cakes that are just perfect for dunking into a bowl of steaming chowder.

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37.  Garden bouquets.

Every morning we make the rounds in our little yard and see what is happening.  So much can change in the garden from one summer day to the next.  The little everbearing strawberries that weren’t quite ready yesterday are now quickly seized up by a baby’s chubby pincers and shoved into an eager mouth.  And flowers that had only begun to open are now wide and unfurled towards the sun.  It is such a treat to bring in fresh cut flowers.  They are truly the colors and smells of summer.

38.  Summer rain.

What is more wonderful than the smell of the earth soaking up a good summer rain?  Maybe only playing in it at the end of a hot day….

39.  Compost surprises.

It’s always fun to see what wonders are going to manifest in last years compost.  Squashes tend to always make a showing and we like the mystery in the early summer of what types they will turn out to be.  We’re still not sure about some of them… but this one, to my utmost delight, appears to be a Kabocha!  My favorite winter squash of them all!

40.  The baby backpack.

This old backpack was a hand-me-down when we used it in Eli’s baby days.  And while we did upgrade for Soren, the good ol’ tried-and-true backpack still lives on.  It stays with my parents in Maine just waiting for a baby to visit.  I love the comfort and history of this well-worn pack.  It’s blessed with many, many a happy hiking memory and still provides the perfect perch for a little one to take in the summery views of mountains and sea.

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36.  Summer reading.

Sometimes a summer read is just so good that you can’t even put it down to, say, walk to the lake for a swim.  And sometimes it is so, so good that you can’t even put it down to, you know, just rest your eyes for a minute. 

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33.  The drive-in.

We’re lucky enough to live near a drive-in movie theater.  We make it a point to see at least one movie there each summer.  Usually more.  It’s all about the novelty of waiting for dusk to descend and then getting cozy inside the car while the big screen lights up.  Technologically speaking, our windshield doesn’t make for the greatest viewing and our car stereo doesn’t produce the finest sound, but the whole experience of the drive-in makes it a well-loved, celebrated yearly event.  This time we saw Cars 2.

34.  Blueberry picking.

I love the sound of blueberries plunking into a bucket.  Eli and I always think about the well-loved Blueberries for Sal by Robert McClosky.  Plink-plink-plunk.

I’ve noticed that different people have different blueberry-picking strategies.  I watched a family pick a tiny pint of blueberries by skipping from bush to bush nipping a few off here, a few off there.  I like to tackle a single bush from head to toe.  I love to get right under the bush and discover the branches heavy with sweet blue jewels.  When I can scoop them up by the fist fulls, that’s blueberry picking at its finest.

Our first round of picking yielded blueberry-lemon and blueberry-cinnamon jam as well as blueberry crisp and lots of handfuls shoved into mouths.  Yesterday we went back for round number two.  This batch will be combined with raspberries and gooseberries for yet more jam.  You can never have too much jam in the middle of January….

35.  Big shade trees.

Big, glorious deciduous trees that cast sweeping shadows of shade make me want to scream hallelujah.  The majesty of a centuries-old tree sharing its cool shady patches with us on a hot day… such lovely, green, oxygen-filled refreshment.

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31. Freckles

32.  Diving down to reach the cold spots.


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26.  Making macrame bracelets.

Just like we made in camp way back when.  This year I snagged a huge bag of red, white and blue embroidery floss for, 50 cents, I think it was.  My sister and I spent an afternoon crafting on the beach while the small ones played in the water and sand.  It’s not such a bad way to macrame when you affix it to your toe… but our backs did get cranky after awhile.  Good thing we have enough floss to make 4th of July bracelets for the next ten years.

27.  Sporting macrame bracelets.

The making is fun.  But so is the wearing when the whole family can match their little bracelets.  The fact that we can wear them all season until they are dirty and scraggly and probably not have a single person bat an eye means that it is really summer.

28.  Butterflies.

It’s so special to have little winged friends around.

29.  Hydrangeas.

They’re puffy and blue and sometimes as big as my head.  I do so love my hydrangeas.  They’re the color of the sea and they abound around Cape Cod cottages.  Hydrangeas say summer all over their poofy blue faces.

30.  Our weekly farmshare.

It’s better than Christmas.  A big box once a week from our farm full of lovingly tended produce.  I get giddy at the anticipation of what is inside.  When there’s fruit, it feels like we hit the jackpot.  We’ve been members of our CSA for 12 years now.  It’s a long-term relationship of the very best kind.

30.  Chillin’.

In no other season is hanging out quite like this…

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22.  The path to the lake.

We have many loved swimming holes.  Some are at home, some are in Maine, but all the lakes worth swimming require a hike in.  The path to the lake is ripe with the anticipation of cool refreshment.  The air gets denser and cooler the closer we get until the woods open up and reveal the true gold:  a dip into smooth, deep, cool waters until, as Eli is fond of saying, “We’re all freshed out.”

23.  The lake.

In addition to being clean and cold, our Maine lakes also come with beautiful surroundings.  Rarely crowded, we often share the lake only with the loons and eagles.

24.  Babies at the beach.

It’s been 7 years since we’ve enjoyed a baby at the beach.  I’m really loving our beach days with Soren.  He’s such a busy,busy guy and the beach provides him with so much new to explore that he’s content to dig and splash for hours.  That in turn gives his mama a much-appreciated intermission from all the chasin’ she is usally doing…

25.  Skipping stones.

Having loved throwing rocks into the water since he was tiny, Eli is now flexing his stone skipping muscles.  “Mama, watch this one!  No, wait!… watch this one!”  I hear over and over again.  Plip, plip, plip, plunk.  The sounds of stones skimming the glassy surface and then plunging down.  It’s the music of summer.

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18.  Beach stones.

They line shelves in my home.  They are book ends and paper weights.  They creep around the base of plants and find their way into my garden.  A  small, smooth one might live in my pocket for a time.  Beach stones are my cherished symbol of the sea.  I love summertime for long hours on beaches searching for that next perfect stone.

19.  Tide pools.

It wouldn’t be summer if we didn’t devote some long, lazy days to exploring rocky shorelines and being continually fascinated by the miniature worlds of the the sea that tide pools provide.  It’s always nice to meet a periwinkle face to face…

20.  Lupines.

If we are lucky enough to make an early summer trip to Maine, we are blessed with an abundance of indigo and violet scattered through nearly every grassy meadow.  My parents’ yard is generously edged with a whole lot of these lovely wild ladies.  I stick some seed pods in my pocket in hopes of bringing some coastal Maine into my own little Massachusetts garden.

21.  Seal Cove Goat Farm

The friendliest goats we know live in Lamoine, Maine at Seal Cove Goat Farm.  We need to visit regularly to pet the goats and stock up on the loveliest, freshest goat cheese.  I came home this time with a peppercorn & garlic blend and feta.  Both were subsequently devoured on crackers and salads.  I can’t wait to go back for more.

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16.  Swinging.

It’s so youthful and freeing and oh-so-summery to swing under the canopy of old shade trees.  Reaching with bare feet towards the open sky, then swooping back again is just enough thrill for me.  I’m not exactly a roller-coaster-kind-of-girl.  No, I’m a summer-swinging-sort-of-mama who likes the wind in her hair and her toes to the sun and a carefree whooping escaping from her lips.

17. Cartwheels

And while we’re busy whooping and being carefree, what is summer without the spontaneous cartwheel in the grass?   Cartwheels are decidedly more fun when coordinated with someone else.  Double cartwheels. We’re almost ready to join the circus…

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