We are indeed blessed. We live in an amazing country. We have a roof over our heads, food on the table, 2 beautiful boys, the joys of family and friends. It is at once incredibly easy to count our blessings and impossibly difficult to number them all.
Every season I'm struck anew with a wonder at the beauty and bounty surrounding us. Summer brings with it it's own particular set of blessings to count and enjoy. Some of the simplicities - small things that bring me pleasure, are:
* My gardens - I don't really have a green thumb but I love to pretend I do. I'm always amazed when I can pull produce from the garden and glow with pride because somehow I managed not to kill it! This summer, once again, my beans are thriving, my zucchini is an overwhelming jungle, my basil is fresh and fragrant, the cucumbers survived and the rest are hanging in there.
As for my perennial beds, my lilies (always a favourite) are indulgent with blooms - a deep pinkish purple and a striking contrast of white. Beautiful! Unfortunately, I think this may be the year that my hibisicus has not resurrected itself and I lost my huge chive plant. I blame it on the dog.
* Reading in the sun. Nothing quite so relaxing as finding a quiet spot and hopefully a nice breeze to curl up with a good book and work on that tan. Yes, I know the dangers of sun exposure but no, I will not give up my tan. Life is too short to worry about all the things that could go wrong - the sun can just join the list of thing that are bad for me in excess but I cannot live without.
* Patio nights with friends. Whether in the backyard or a local restaurant, it's always fun to dress up, get in some good conversation, lots of laughs and enjoy a nice frosty drink with the girls. Conversation runs from the ironic to mundane, silly to serious with everything in between. For all of us busy moms, these nights are a must-have sanity saver - reminding us that our whatever role we're filling at any particular moment, it is not the sum of us - it is only a part of the whole, beautiful, wonderful, strong woman we are.
* Watching the boys in the sprinkler. It makes me giggle everytime. They love water play and some days I'm hard pressed not to join them myselves. Fortunately for us, Durham region is loaded with splash pads too - so they will make (and have made) for some excellent sunny-day adventures that are easy on the wallet.
* Picking fresh fruit and hitting the local farmer's market. Ontario has some great produce. Our area in particular has some great berry farms (yummy blueberries!), a few good orchards and all that goes with it. It's another great way to spend a summer afternoon - and the best part is enjoying the bounty once we get it home. Fresh, baked or even on the 'que, fresh produce is a hit at our home! Here's a great guide to in-season produce Ontario-wide: http://www.foodland.gov.on.ca/english/availability.html
* Road trips, day trips or lazy days at the cottage. I know they're not the same, but for as long as I can remember one or the other or all of the above have been part of the summer experience. Kevin's family has a cottage on Sturgeon Lake - a little rocky for swimming, but with water shoes the boys don't mind and they're quite content to go fishing. I'd like to fit in a few more road trips as they get older too - we have so much to discover all within a couple hours' drive. Day trips are always exciting - Wasaga, Niagara, how fun!
Here are some pictures from the cottage on the weekend and snapshots of my blooms at the end of June. Oh, and if you know what to do with my over-abundance of basil or zucchini, please share! I'm good for pesto and zucchini bread but need to add some variety to my recipe book.