Remember when you were a little kid, when summer was unalloyed gold, just hours and days and weeks of playing and lazing about?
And then, eventually you had to get a summer job, but there was still plenty of time to ride bikes and do big splashy cannonballs into the water?
But then you grew up and bought a house, with a big yard. You became an adult. It seemed like such a good idea at the time . . .
At that point, summers changed irrevocably.
Now, summer is the best time, in this region where winters are long and fine days may be few, to do outside chores and upkeep.
We have been working like dogs!
We have been sanding the deck and the steps and all the other outside wood, sanding it and filling cracks and repainting. We need to seal the cedar siding on the house and paint the trim and deal with the gardens and so many other tasks that can really only be done in the summer months.
But summer is also the best time to enjoy our lovely lakeside location, in the beautiful region where we live.
It’s the prime time to bask in rare perfect days.
So, we work for the delicate balance that is summer.
We clean the house and plan meals and enjoy time with family and with friends but we balance that with time for just us two, alone, where we find ease and contentment.
We balance the time our cats spend outside, on the roof, in the gardens, lurking in the bushes, with our annual trips to the vet with each of them.
We turn our attention to the details of our surroundings, how the color of that purple iris is nothing like the color of this one.
And wonder whether frogs are like snowflakes, every one unique.
And the first buds of the first flowers, ever, on the climbing hydrangea.
We have flowers on the climbing hydrangea! And they said it couldn’t be done . . .
But we also look to the wider view, the sky that seems bluer in the Adirondacks on Lake Champlain than anywhere else ever. And the dancing white sails of boats, finally set free from winter.
We balance trips to the local ice cream shop, for Outrageous Oatmeal Cookie and Chocolate Moosetrack ice cream, with brisk walks and weeding and more sanding and painting. It is, after all, bikini season (bwahahahaha!) and the best time to be outside, moving one’s muscles.
Summer is the only time, in my purveyor-of-vintage-linens persona, when I can take decent photos of larger vintage items, like blankets and big tablecloths, so I balance ironing and picture taking on sunny days with making new listings and other Etsyfying on days of gray.
Through it all, we kind of lose the idea of a lazy, hazy summer. We’re never bored.
Summer can be hard work. It can be physically exhausting. It can feel stressful, trying to fit everything in.
We balance all that with strict rules about quitting time. We meet at the fire pit, out by the lake, at 5. I might do some hand sewing but no other work is allowed.
We put our feet up. We chat. We plan the heavy lifting for the next day, we have a cocktail, we listen to the foolish kingfishers chatter, and watch the cats snack on the catnip plants.
And these really quiet moments are all the sweeter because our bodies are tired and hands are sore.
There will be time to be lazy and hazy during the winter . . .
It’s summer now.