It was a beautiful summer.
And yes, I realize that by the time I am finally getting these words into print, summer is well over. As the welcome cooler weather has settled in, watermelon and salad have been replaced with apples and oatmeal as weekly staples in our home. It is nice - though almost eerily quiet - to sleep through the night on jersey sheets without the hum of the window air conditioning unit in the background. As someone who loves wearing socks and hoodies, and snuggling under blankets, I am inwardly delighted with the drop in temperature. Still, I would be remiss if I neglected to blog - however overdue - about our lazy lake days of summer.
Unlike last summer's six weeks of rain, this year was full of bright, sunny days, and not so many hot streaks as to be unbearable (though the humidity made me very thankful to at least have AC in the bedroom!).
Our June was sprinkled with activity, such as our strawberry picking field trip (an adventure that I don't care to repeat - in the future, I will bring additional adults or leave the children at home, or more likely, just buy my strawberries at the store!)
Don and I went hiked a small mountain with the teens from church, and our sweet Lydia experienced her first birthday.
In July the fun began with Lydia's first trip to the beach and then to the lake shore. It turns out that she loves both the sand and the water!
At the beginning of the summer, she was perfectly content to sit by edge of the pond and splash in the water, but by late August, she was determined to swim! She was fearless in her attempts to crawl straight into the middle of the pond, and refused to admit defeat until I was forced to pull her up, sputtering, from the neck-deep water!
The boys loved playing at Grammy's, too. They made friends with Henry, the elderly neighbor, caught frogs and snails, and went for paddle boat rides. Donny occasionally ventured into the water, but mostly preferred the shore, while Hayden loves to swim. With the swim bubble belts my mother-in-law bought them, both boys learned to do a decent doggie paddle in the pool, too!
Don missed out on our weekday fun while he was busy working, but he couldn't complain - he started a new job at the end of June that is 100 percent telecommuting. Now instead of battling traffic for 45 minutes or more each way, he just has to roll out of bed, walk into the office, and turn on his computer! Having him home has been an adjustment, but it is certainly a blessing.
As for me, I am very much a homebody, but if I have to be away from my own abode, I think my favorite place would be my mom's house. Besides the comfort of feeling "at home" and welcome to rummage the cupboards in search of snacks, there is something wonderfully peaceful about being at the lake. This lake is actually a pond too small for motorboats, to my husband's chagrin, but my delight. Without the threat of being plowed over by a speedboat, I was able to swim straight out across the middle of the pond, slowly and steadily making my path through the still water. Each week, while Lydia napped on a blanket and the boys played with Grammy on the shore, I worked on swimming a little farther before I turned around. My goal was to make it across the 1/2 mile pond and back by the end of summer, and with my slow rate of swimming, it was a somewhat daunting task.
At the same time, my relaxed pace also enabled me to thoroughly enjoy my swims. Practically having the pond to myself, I was free to pray or let my mind wander as I enjoyed the surroundings. Sometimes there were ducks in the distance. Once I swam out towards a neighbor's house to look into the eyes of a blue heron. As I floated on my back, I watched a hawk circling above me. And once, I was confused by the strange buoy I saw just a few yards away from me, until I realized that it was a snapping turtle!
Near the end of August, on a drizzly Sunday afternoon, Don and I did it: we swam all the way to the other side and back. I was stiff-necked and chilled, but very thankful for my husband's patience (since he could have done the swim alone in a fraction of the time) and excited to accomplish my goal!
It has taken a month now to finish composing this post, so although more could be said about this summer, I will conclude it here: watching the sun set over the harbor, as we did from the car window after one of our beach trips, and pondering the greatness of the God who made it all.
He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.