Yea for summer!

Summer officially begins tomorrow.

My own little web creation-A summer day at the lake, maybe Lake McBride in Solon,  or Pleasant Creek outside Palo, both favorite summer spots.

My own little web creation-A summer day at the lake, maybe Lake McBride in Solon, or Pleasant Creek outside Palo, both favorite summer spots.

Hooray for the picnics, the beaches, and the bugs! 

OK, so forget the bugs…if you can. Let’s turn our attention to the fairs, the swimming pools and the bike rides instead!

Those of us who live in Iowa are extremely blessed because we can appreciate summer much more than someone who lives in Florida or California.

Why? Because we have the pleasure of changing seasons. We can be assured that after months of bitter cold and blowing snow, warmer temperatures are bound to come…sooner or later.

Spring took its sweet time this year. It rained more than we would have liked (much different from last year’s drought!) and flooding threatened those closest to the Cedar and Iowa rivers, but not nearly what it was five years ago when historic flooding affected the area.

So…yea for summer!

Bring on the county fairs and garage sales and let’s not waste one minute of it!

On my agenda for the next few months includes a couple of family reunions, a trip to Adventureland with my kids and grandkids, and kayaking on the Wapsipinicon (as soon as the river goes down).

I might even go to the Iowa State Fair at the end of August and try my first deep-fried Milky Way or some other food-on-a-stick.

Of course, there will be the baseball games, where I will cheer on the Cedar Rapids Kernels, and trips to the local swimming pools or the beach with the grandkids. I also have to find time to stain the deck and the picnic table in the backyard and finish painting the garage.

Then there’s the never-ending yard work…


Hooray for summer?

Of course!

It won’t be long before the seasons change again so I’m going to enjoy my summer while I can.

Summer nights in Iowa

As I was sitting on the back steps last night listening to the cicadas and enjoying a moment of peace, I was reminded of the summer nights I spent as a kid, running wild and playing with my friends.

Summers in Iowa were a lot like this year, stifling heat, but much more humid.

We didn’t have the air conditioning to cool us off, so we did our best to catch a breeze when we could, or spent the day at the cement wading pool at Bever Park. If I was really lucky, my mom would give me a dime to buy a popsicle from the concession stand, and I would try to eat it fast, before the juice ran down my arm.

Nights were spent playing hide-and-seek, ghost graveyard, or seven steps around the house. There was no reason to be in the hot house; we only had four channels on our TV and no computers or video games. We stayed outside until the very last moment when we had to come in. We would reluctantly trudge into the house, take a cool bath, and lie on our beds, suffering in the heat.

All the windows in the house would be open and I’d fall asleep to the orchestra of the animals at Bever Park; the soft roar of the lion and the call of the peacocks, coming together in a chorus.

It’s been a long time since I’ve played ghost graveyard, but every once in a while, when the cicadas play just the right song, when dusk is just beginning to glow with a soft purplish light, and the heat of the day begins to wane just a bit, I remember when all I had to worry about was being a kid.

And I miss it, just a little bit.

Morning Glorious

Summer is winding down. The mornings and evenings are getting cooler. Soon the leaves will begin to change color and drop from the trees in droves.

Morning Glories-the beginning

I like the changing seasons. The smell of burning leaves, the crisp, cool air, the fierce excitement of football games and tailgates; these are all reminders that another season has passed. And so, it’s time to say goodbye to summer.

I had a great summer. I worked a lot of it, but I still found time to enjoy it.  One time I did this summer was to learn how to grow Morning Glories, a challenge that taught me that there is more to it than just putting seeds in some soil.

I did start with a packet of seeds, a small container, and potting soil.  but then I had to wait. And wait and wait…a long time.

It was almost a month before the first green stem began to nudge its way through the soil. Of course I was thrilled! I was actually capable of making something grow!

A little bit more

But  I knew this was just the beginning. I had to care for them so they would thrive. So I watered them when they needed it, gave them plenty of sunshine, and lots of TLC. But as much as I tried, they didn’t grow very fast. A month had passed and still they were only an inch high. Out of the 30 or so seeds that I planted, only five actually made it that far. I decided that I would transplant them into a larger container.  And so they grew a little more.

When they had matured to a few more inches, it was apparent that they needed to be set free. After researching Morning Glories, I found out that they are a viney sort of flower that blossoms in the morning (duh) and like a lot of sun. I planted them at the base of a trellis set up against the garage, in full view of the morning sun.

Every day I checked on their progress. They were a little slow at first, but then something amazing happened. They began to grow. Rapidly. They began to grow so fast I couldn’t keep up with them. They took on a life of their own and wrapped around the trellis…twice. But still, there were no flowers.

Two months later

After a few weeks of strictly leafy blossoms, I began to accept the fact that it just wasn’t meant to be, that my plant would be blossomless. But then it happened. I was walking around the yard one day and I saw it. I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and I had to look twice to make myself believe it. But there it was; a pretty little pink flower that had made its home on my vine.

I was so excited, I just had to share it with everyone I knew, who were just as excited because they know my track record with pants. So, I have broken my curse with plants…but still not with moles. This accomplishment kind of makes up for the mess they made of my yard. Almost.

Morning Glorious