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Summer At Home

*Author’s Note: this post was originally published in 2014. It’s been updated with new images and links, but the story is the same. I hope you enjoy it. 

If I had to pick a favorite season, and it’s a very tough choice, I’d have to choose summer. When I had a growing family, summer was our time to be together. No schedules, no school, no homework. I loved it. I was always so ready for the last day of school and so NOT ready for school to start in the fall. I was blessed to find a job with a schedule that revolved around my kids…so when they were home, I was too. Looking back on the summers in my past, I can honestly say that they were the best times of my life.

When my kids were young, we spent long days at the pool. We ate fresh fruit, corn on the cob and grilled hotdogs. There were bike rides and trips to the park to swing. Sweet days that looking back, were some of the best. I wish I would have realized that at the time. I wish I would have taken more pictures and let my kids stay up late. Other than that, I have no regrets.

As my kids grew, so did their interests, and our summers became busy. I found every golf course in Northwest Ohio…and then some. I learned the importance of keeping your head down and filling in your divots. I learned that dancers are athletes at heart. I learned how to set a pony tail with sponge rollers so it curled beautifully. I spent a lot of time in my car…but it was the perfect time to talk to my kids, so I never minded. Some of our best conversations happened in the car. We discovered Niagara Falls and the mountains of Colorado. Good times for sure.

Then one summer things changed. I was shopping for dorm decor and stocking up on shampoo. I bought a futon when I wasn’t even sure what it was. I packed up my daughter and even though it was nearly impossible, left her standing in the parking lot of her college. To this day I can still see her there, waving at us as we drove away. That was the beginning of a different sort of life for my family.

Summers were never the same and they flew by in a blur. Four years later, I was moving her into an apartment and moving my son into a dorm room.  Now summer days for me were filled with gardening, reading, and DIY projects around the house. I suddenly had time for things I had been putting off. I had time to sit on my porch and remember summers past.

black and white pillow on white porch rockers

It was during one very hot summer that I came to the painful realization that I was alone. I wrote about it here. I wasn’t in the best of shape, physically or mentally. It was time to take control and figure things out. I had to find a way to get healthy and accept my life as it was. I was not, and never will be, a gracious empty-nester. I did, however, learn to live with it.

Which brings me to where I am now…writing this on my back porch on a perfect, Ohio summer day. Along with my story, I’ve included pictures of my home with summer touches. Fresh flowers that I picked from my back yard. Sunlight streaming though the windows. Light accessories and bright fabrics. Bringing summer into your home is as easy as buying a bag of lemons at the grocery. Small ways to remind us that it’s a short season…and to enjoy it while it’s here.

The summers in my life have taught me a great deal. Some lessons have been easier to learn than others…but they all have put me where I am today. Blessed with a home I love and a family who loves me. I don’t see how I could possibly ask for more.

Thank you for stopping by and for making it possible for me to spend all my summers at home…

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