Summer is half way over and I can honestly say it is one of the best summers that I can remember.
I remember some distinct characteristics of my childhood summers. Hot, muggy days (with no air conditioning), popsicles, riding bikes, playing with friends, endless days with no plans...just being a kid.
I have always wanted my kids to have fond memories of summer traditions. My kids definitely have memories, but I don't know if they would describe them as laid back, lazy days of summer. They spend a lot of time on the go and working hard.
We made some really difficult decisions to make this a year to do less and be more.
It has been hard...
Hard to make the decisions...
Hard to let people down...
Hard to let go of control...
Hard to let go of the guilt.
These past few months we have been able to see the results of the "hard", and we know beyond a doubt that we made the right decisions. This summer we have truely embraced doing less and we are loving life.
It hasn't been a monumental summer...
Which is monumental for us.
I keep wanting to say it is the "lazy days of summer", but we are still working hard. We have just added more stopping places. At the end of the work day, we are done. We eat dinner, sit on the patio, talk about our day, and go to bed.
Many of theses decisions to let go and slow down were made because we were at the end our our sanity. We had no idea at the time that Daniel would be presented with a job opportunity that would have made the extra things impossible. Daniel is working on a special project at work that requires him to commute and then work 10 hour days. It is four days of really intense mental and physical work. At the end of the day, he comes home too exhausted to do anything else. This has forced, and allowed, the rest of the family to slow down and savor the evenings of rest. I have to admit that I am getting a lot less done...but the dirty dishes will still be there tomorrow..
We are getting less done during the week, but a lot done on the weekends. Probably because we are actually home. My garden looks great (thanks in part to Walker, my weeding partner). The flowers in my hanging baskets are not only alive, but thriving (first time ever!) Our yard looks the best it has ever looked.
We have been blessed with wonderful weather this summer. The last two years have been cool and unusually wet. This year we have had an abundance of beautiful blue skies, warm days and just enough rain to keep things growing but not really ruin plans.
We had a really good crop of hay this year. Isaac learned how to mow with the haybine and was a life saver that day...until the haybine blew apart.
The boys have been keeping themselves plenty busy. They wash and work anywhere from four to seven cows each day. We are in the final countdown to the fairs and still have a lot of work to do.
Both Isaac and Walker have spent considerable time helping neighbors with hay, straw and running equipment. Isaac has a new weed eater and has spent countless hours putting it to work at the neighbors house.
I know they wish they had less work and more play...but that is just the life of a farm boy.
They have carved out time to be really creative this year. Isaac built a platform for the back of his 4-wheeler so that Daisy could ride along with him. She now comes running every time she hears the 4-wheelers start.
These pictures make me want to laugh and cry at the same time.
They built an mini archery course in our back fence row. They are so creative. They have spent so much of their lives following behind Dad as he built archery courses, that they know all the ins and outs. I can't believe the details that they mimicked.
I guess they just can't stand to be away from archery.
We all have summer birthdays. The past several years, everyone's birthdays have been pretty minimal and sometimes neglected. Last year Isaac didn't even get a birthday cake.
This year we have made a point to celebrate. We took a weekend mini vacation for Daniel's 40th birthday, Walker had a day of go-carting and extra large gifts, I was served breakfast in bed, and Isaac...he has 7 more days to wait.
Summer is only half way over and we are just getting started. The first half of the summer was a lot of rest and relaxation. We are now headed into the final stretch with church camp, the Knox County Fair and the Ohio State Fair, and then the boys will be taking a small vacation with their grandparents.
The boys have grown like little weeds and have matured so much in just the past few months. They are becoming so responsible and taking initiative around the farm. They have farm boy muscles, six pack abs and farmer's tans.
I think this is going to be one of those years that I cry when school starts. This has been a wonderful summer and I never want it to end.
I think L.M. Montgomery sums it up well in Anne's House of Dreams.
"All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer - one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going - one of those summers which, in fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world."
You might also like...
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.