Summer snap.

Dear friends,

summer

Summer has snapped ’round my house.

How do I know? Every change of season and arriving holiday announces itself via the mirror above my buffet. The latest bedecking involves twinkly lights (but of course), some printed burlap ribbon, a red-white-and-blue wreath, a handful of mini-flags, and a pennant banner I made a few weeks ago.  The opening day of Memorial Day weekend seemed like the perfect time for a little redecorating. I’ve got a big supper planned for tonight — beef brisket, coleslaw and baked beans — and I thought we needed to mark the official start of our summer fun with seasonal decor.

By the way, the phrase “summer fun” is used carefully around our house. When Kate and Parker were in grade school — back when their Grannie was still their nanny — I got the notion they were frittering away their summers like lazybugs. So one May I spent hours developing a summer curriculum that involved trips to the library, book reports, chores, and all sorts of forced, Mom-approved activity. I created a tabbed binder with to-do lists, charts and progress reports and insisted my mother, Grannie, implement my regimen. I labeled my big binder of instructions”Kate and Parker’s Summer Fun Plan.”  You can imagine the look on their faces when I unveiled my creation.

You can also imagine how well it went over, with both the kids and their reluctant drill sergeant. Let’s just say no trace remains of the binder and I rarely utter the word “fun” right after the word “summer” lest I be ridiculed out of the room. Ever since then, my approach to summer with my children has been decidedly laissez-faire.

Speaking of laissez, here’s where I plan to do most of it this summer:

deck

This is the easternmost corner of our deck, and it’s the view you see from our living room sofa. Our deck is giant and wraps two sides of our home. We grill near the kitchen door, eat and recline near the dining room windows, and have our coffee here, right outside the living room. Though you can’t see it in this photo, just to the left of this spot is my cutting garden. Since I plant from seed every year (because I’m too lazy and too cheap to buy seedlings), there are no blooms yet. But in another couple of weeks, I’m sure there will be a riot of color to gaze upon from this spot. I can’t wait.

Here’s a shot from last year to tide us over:

newflower

With gratitude {for a long weekend and the urge to enjoy it with nothing more than good food and good company},

Joan, who figures if spring sprung, then summer snapped, although she has no idea why she thinks so, and is generally confused by things like past participles and probably should have avoided  this train of thought

One of those days.

Dear friends,

It’s one of those days, baby, where the entire world is sweet and bright and happy.

We’ve had a long morning rain, which all the creatures around our place needed so. It’s just a bit chilly, which practically makes me sing September. My boys are in the next room watching football and talking about plans great and small and the sound of their voices tumbling toward me is music to my ears.

And me? I’m sitting on the sofa with a blanket over my feet, a cup of coffee and a cat snuggled close by, and a view of the scenic Missouri hills stretched out beyond my toes.

I spent the morning constructing a simple reminder of my mantra, seven letters glued to burlap patches, strung by twine and ribbon, and stretched across a mirror to reflect gratitude throughout our home. It’s a one-word poem in tribute to the season of thankfulness otherwise known as autumn.

Join me (won’t you?) in the moment, in the reflection, in the acclamation of a day made for no more or no less than the fullness of our hearts.

With gratitude {for the first in a long season of perfect fall days},

Joan, who saw a similar banner on Etsy for $25 and thought “Psssshaw, I can make that” and promptly did for about two bucks

PS: For many years, my dining room buffet has been the center of my expressions of seasonal decor. It usually starts with twinkly lights and extends from there to a large stash of holiday tchotchkes. I wasn’t quite ready for the explosion of pumpkins and fall leaves I usually pull out after Labor Day, so I went with a muted, faded summer look. Here’s an unedited photo if you’re curious to see the entire tableau.