Remember last summer. I do. It was wonderful. For us it was a summer filled with opposites: travel (Dominican Republic, Cambodia, and Thailand) and spending lots of time around our home; being poor as could be moneywise, yet feeling like we were living like kings for all the joy we squeezed out of life. We spent time with wonderful friends on the porch. We strolled around the city eating amazing food. We encountered different cultures and left enriched. We planted our first garden and fell desperately in love with the soil and its creator. All in all, last Autumn Phil and I declared that the summer had been the best one of our lives.
Well I have to say that this summer is giving it a run for its money. Things have been busier this summer with me starting full-time work, and us moving into a new place that requires lots of work. But boy the long days of summer have been good to us. We have travelled to see dear friends. We have spent many a meal with friends at one restaurant, home, or another. Phil and I have read books that inspired us and took us places. Phil has had two weeks of vacation to relax and recharge. I’ve taken a couple of days off to simply slow down and be. We have finally put our money where our mouth is and have started shopping for most of our food locally. Doing so has brought new relationships as we talk with farmers from all over the state, and good advice for Phil and I as we try to grow our own food. This summer might even be the best for the quality of the local garlic and honey we have been eating. Seriously…life changing. If it is food I try to put garlic on it, and if garlic does not work then I reach for the honey. Phil and I’s Sunday school experience has grown richer over the summer. Perhaps we are investing more, I do not know, but we have come to cherish those relationships with our kids. I have cried tears of joy over those children. Last night we laughed for at least five minutes over the kids, while eating the best pizza of my life perhaps (see why this summer is pulling ahead). I was gasping for breathes I was laughing so hard. With us both working we have come to appreciate discipline more in our lives. We still have a long ways to go, but that is what long days of summer are for. We have to be disciplined to work in our huge yard. It does not take care of itself. It takes hours to weed the garden. As I sit and type my arms are sore from spending two hours digging holes in tough dirt so that we can plant our herbs and blueberry bushes. It has been hard. It has been good. We have started waking up at 6:30 am on Saturday mornings to go to Richmond and train for the half-marathon with a few hundred others. They have encouraged us and challenged us. And honestly they have been so friendly. Everyone there seems to think it is so great that you are running. I love it. We have had an intense heat wave this summer, which has made us delight in the cool (aka low 80s or 70s) days and such the very marrow out of them. Today has been such a day. This morning as I sat stretching looking over the stadium we were at I was greeted by a beautiful blue sky and so much lush green. Green grass, green hills, green trees. I could not help but open my arms and try to pull as much of it into my soul. Because blue skies and 76 degree weather help keep our souls intact. I am sure I have been leaving out other bits of wonderfulness. It is hard no, when there is so much!
Perhaps the best part is how many friends have already come to spend time with us in our new place. Many a conversation has been enjoyed on our porch. And ohhh when groups of friends arrive we drag out a blanket into the yard and pull out the cornhole. Much laughing and trash talking has happened in these moments. We’ve had a least one successful potluck. We ate, we played, we talked, we watched precious little ones wander around the yard. Babies are always a favorite guest in the Brock household…Despite the fact that we are woefully not baby-proof.
So here is to heat, frisbees, full-time work paychecks, friends!!!, family, blueberry bushes, Jesus, vacations, farmers markets, wonderful porches, laughter, grace, and veggie burgers. Summer you have been very good to us. Thanks.