Dog days of summer
Last post was about the felines in our life, but lately I've been thinking of dogs - dog days actually. Driving yesterday, the control panel on the car said '108'. mercy, that's just HOT. Having taken most of the summer off from blogging, I keep thinking of those papers we had to write, on the first day back at school, when - I now realize - the teacher just wasn't quite ready for our return: 'what I did on my summer vacation.' I've realized I'm weary of summer, so I'm going to live in a bit of denial and just declare it over. We seem to be having an unusually warm autumn!
Here's how my summer went:
I grew my hair out to it's natural color, and grew it some. The book I read, 'Going Gray' (and of course I read a book on it!) said it would take a year and I'm finding she was right. the end of October will be a year and I don't love the length but I do love how it feels and what it costs to maintain in time and money.
We painted and spruced up and got neglected chores checked off the list. The AC was working well so we spent bulks of days indoors. when it cools off we'll work on some outside items.
I bought walking shorts and tops and started walking mornings, when it was below 80. It's a nice way to start the day and since I don't love exercise it's nice to check it off my list and get on with the day.
We made some changes in our schedules and how we do things. A trip to Idaho gave me enough time away to get some perspective and here's what we did:
- Don took over grocery shopping. He enjoys it and after 30+ years I'm a bit weary of it. I enjoy seeing the things he adds to the list. He hates cooking and I enjoy that part, so we think this will work well for us.
- Ive been praying, since the beginning of this year, how to spend my time. I gave notice at our church's Care Center, although Don will continue to volunteer there one day a week. We realized we spend a LOT of time together, and this gives us some space and when he comes home we kiss 'hello' (something that goes missing when you retire). He gets to tell me about his day, another thing that went missing.
- It'll sound silly but we decided to stop eating lunch together. Instead I put lunch items on a shelf in the fridge and we grab as needed. Don tends to want a heavier lunch and at a different time, so we think this will work well for us. is there a man alive who thinks cottage cheese and fruit is the perfect lunch?
- God impressed on my heart that nobody else is the mother to my grown kids, and while my grandchildren do have other grandmothers, I want to be involved in their lives, to have an impact and just plain ole enjoy them. I'll be going into DFW two days a week indefinitely, helping my daughter and daughter-in-law. My daughter home schools and is expecting #4 this fall; my DIL just returned to work full time, so I'll be lending a hand. This will have me out of our house two days a week with an overnight stay most weeks, but I feel strongly that a mother's influence is for a lifetime, not just a season of 18-20 years.
I decided to read through the list of Newberry Award winners. How helpful it would have been to start twenty years ago since there are 92 so far. Somebody said, 'the best time to plant an oak tree is 50 years ago, the second best time is today.' I've read 8 and have been surprised at how mature the writing is in some. When they say 'young adult' at the library they mean it! I'm sure many are great for younger readers, but I understand now why my daughter pre-reads much of what she passes on to our 10 year old grandson! Most libraries will have a good collection of these books so they are readily available. Some are free on my kindle. Continuing on with my efforts at self-education, I think this is a good step.
I also grabbed The Book Thief and started it last night. It got rave reviews and I plan to spend the next week of this 'unusually warm autumn' curled up inside, with a glass of ice tea reading away. Stay cool everyone.