As I write this post, the sun is shining, a lovely summer breeze blows through the large slider window, and the views across Clifford Lake invite daydreaming. The occasional kayaker or fisherman passes by, but that is about it for lake traffic today. The cottage itself is a quiet place too—just Mom and Dad B, two dogs, and me, hanging out. The rest of the gang headed to Michigan Adventure (a theme/water park) for the day.

Over a month has passed since my last post. End of the year duties as well as grading, faculty meetings, and work deadlines squashed any creative juices for writing. On top of that, the last week and a half have been spent visiting family in the Midwest. Tomorrow we head home.

On Thursday, I fly to Waco for a long weekend and the chance to see old friends and colleagues. This will be my first trip back since moving two years ago. Anna came home from her trip to Waco full of stories and good memories. I trust my trip will be the same. I am looking forward to some authentic Mexican food and a frozen margarita or two. Sorry, New York, your Italian food may be good, but you can’t beat Texas in regards to Mexican food!

As I think about the rest of the summer and how I want to spend my days, my thoughts turn toward cooking. Most of my cookbooks go untouched during the school year so this is my opportunity to try all the recipes I have collected over the last nine months. I added a couple more recipes to my “to try” pile on this trip while flipping through some of my mother-in-law’s magazines. Right now, I am loving recipes that use basil, tomatoes, and goat cheese. Yum!

My reading list is also quite long for the summer. Both Brad and I enjoyed Jeffrey Archer’s Paths of Glory on this trip. It is the story of the British climber George Mallory and his attempt to be the first Englishman to climb Mt. Everest in 1924—a fast and enjoyable summer read. Today I hope to make significant progress on The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, a historical novel that my rising seventh graders will also read this summer. I met Avi, the author, at a Children’s Literature Conference in Columbus, OH, in my early days of teaching.

Then there are the house and garden projects—a never-ending list! Weed-pulling, mulch-spreading, and window-washing, top the list along with various painting projects.

Even though summer hasn’t officially begun, topping my list of favorites has been the time spent on my deck enjoying quiet mornings or dining alfresco. The porch, deck, or patio has also been a favorite spot while in Indiana and Michigan. What is it about sitting outside in the summer that makes a person feel so content and so happy? In this instance, I agree wholeheartedly with the cliché that it is the simple things in life that bring the most pleasure.

What about you? What’s on your list—both for pleasure and for work—this summer?

2 thoughts

  1. I agree … there’s nothing like the porch and dining outside, friend. We should do that together with some tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese upon your return!


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