Catching up…

Coffee cup, desk, StarbucksSaturday morning…no real plan…that is the way I like to start my weekend.

The past two months have been a flurry of “getting ready”, “the gangs all here” and “wow, I can’t believe it is over”.  We finished the main work of the Master Bedroom reno, new ceiling, insulation, carpeting and all.  We had a wonderful time visiting with all of our children and our lovely Fee.  Lots of relatives stopped by to say hello, we endured the rainy weeks surrounding the Fourth of July, and we discovered that it really IS fun to be grandparents. Far too many craft beers were consumed, but lots of laughs (and a few tears) were had.

I am hoping that the next few weeks will allow us to enjoy my favorite season of the year.  I am wishing for hot days and summer sun. I want to quietly barbecue dinners on the deck and enjoy my morning coffee on the porch.  I hope to take “the boys” for a trip to Lake Erie to let them splash along the shoreline.  I plan on shopping for bits and pieces for the new bedroom and spending time at a few favorite summer haunts before they close for the season.

We will try to save the next big project for fall because these summer days are always brief and fast.  Our youngest will be starting her  Senior year of college very soon and the house will be completely quiet again, but that’s not such a bad thing.  We have issues with an aging parent to deal with that will certainly cause stress and anxiety, but today I refuse to think about it.

I intend to enjoy the summer day. Take a drive…go out for lunch…buy something I don’t really need.

I will leave you with a slide show of our summer so far here on the Hill (sorry for the poor quality – most are from my phone). Happy weekend, everyone!

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Hot enough for ya?

heat squirrel in a bowl hot
Click image for photo credit

If you ask me that question this time of year, my answer will undoubtedly be “Not Really”. It is SUMMER for heaven’s sake!

I LOVE the heat. Summers around here are so short that I can’t get enough of the warm weather.  Humidity is not a problem for me.  My skin feels great, my joints and muscles move better and I just feel good.

Now, I know that I sit at a desk all day, and don’t have to labor in the hot sun.  As a matter of fact, it seems like I am COLDER in the summer than I am in the winter.  I sit in my office with the A/C on and shiver.  I have to put on a sweater and drink a cup of hot tea every day at around 1pm just to get through the afternoon.  When I drive home from work I don’t even open the windows on my car until I am halfway there.

I have often said that if I had visited the tropics when I was younger, I would have never returned. I love the feeling of open windows and grass underneath my bare toes.  Even on the muggiest night I am usually content to have a fan blowing on me to keep me comfortable.

I get so tired of hearing people at work or in lines at the grocery store complaining that it is “too hot”.  In an area that has only a few months of temperate weather a year I think we can all survive a week or two of summer heat and humidity.

Seriously, do any of you remember this?

First Day of Spring

 

I do, and I know that we will have many more freezing, snowy winter days next November through March than the last short string of ninety-degree weather.

If you do have a problem with the heat, I will be thinking of you.  Drink plenty of fluids and try to stay out of the direct sunlight. Check on your elderly friends and relatives and make sure your animals have enough water. Try not to complain too much, because there are those of us who wait MONTHS for this.

Know that I will be enjoying every sticky, sweaty moment of this summer weather. I will smile when I walk out the door this afternoon and am hit with a wall of hot, sultry air. I will sit in my car for a few moments and feel the heat sink in to my bones before I turn on the A/C. I will have a cold drink on my front porch this evening while I listen to the birds chirping and my neighbor mowing his lawn.

Ahhh, summer. It will be over before we know it!

All Tucked In

The whole family came home over the holiday weekend.  Each of our daughters, along with their  significant others (and Fee, of course), were here from Wednesday through Sunday afternoon.

It was a busy time – full of laughter and sarcastic banter, arguments and tears – the usual for our family. During our daughters’ teenage years because there were so many women living here the joke was that this was the “house of hormones”. Now that the girls have brought home boyfriends and a husband, the female/male ratio has evened, but the emotions remain.  There will always be squabbles and disagreements, but we also have our fair share of fun and hilarity. Our times together are precious and few and the conflicts fade away to be replaced by wonderful  memories and only a few battle scars.

When everyone is here there is always a flurry of activity.  People spill from one living space to the next. Conversations are shouted room to room, and in the summer from room to porch to deck. Snacks and drinks abound and the dogs are thrilled by the attention and opportunity to beg at all hours. By around 9 or 9:30 PM when everyone has usually retired to the living room to watch movies  or play games I normally  begin to flag. Quite often I  excuse myself to the solitude of my own room to sleep while they all have a good two to three hours of merriment left to make.

I am a bit of a night wanderer. I have always been one, but middle-age (and a glass or two of wine) seem to wake me most nights around 3 am or so. It is this time, when everyone is unconscious and dreaming, that I feel the most peaceful and content. It is such a comfort to know  that everything I hold dear is here on the Hill, safe and sound, tucked in for the night.  I love to walk the upstairs hallway and feel the even hum of all of them breathing  and turning in their sleep.

moonlight shining through a bedroom window
Click for Image Credit

I will often sit in the darkness of the living room, surrounded by their things (they have so MANY THINGS) and remember nights when they were all small. During those early years I would be awake with a fussy baby, or a six-year-old terrified by a nightmare.  I spent many a dark night worrying about things….their grades, their boyfriends, their college scholarship applications…back then the early hours of the morning felt like a lonely time when nobody else in the world was awake but me.

Now when they are all here those wakeful moments in the middle of the night help me to realize how very lucky that I am.  I am fortunate that my children are relatively happy and healthy, living fulfilling lives on their own, away from us. I am grateful that they choose to come back to visit us as often as they do, bringing others along with them to spend time here on the Hill.  Their joyful returns to their childhood home – the home that their father grew up in, help me to appreciate the place a little more. I love to hear the stories of their memories here and now to have them share it with the ones that they love as well.

It will be some time before we are all together again. While I wait for that  occasion I will remember the feeling of contentment that I had while I listened to the quiet of the house as they slept. All together, here on the Hill.

Preoccupied

The past few weeks we have been a bit preoccupied here on the Hill.

Jim and I (mostly Jim) spent the beginning of June getting ready for the arrival of Fee (and her family) for a two-week visit.  We did a reno on the Master Bedroom, which turned in to a much larger project than expected – of course!  What project in an old house ever goes exactly like it is planned?  The transformation is not quite complete, but once things settle down I will be sure to post pictures.

The end of the month brought their arrival and the successive holiday week brought the rest of the family along for the festivities.  Today marks my return to work after a four-day weekend.  We still have house guests, and a proper update is well overdue.

In the meantime, they all seem to have slept in today! Since I found a few minutes of quiet, here is a collection of snapshots of Fee’s visit for her first American Independence Day celebration (among other things)