EMBRACING SUMMER TO THE FULLEST…

I think that each season has a set of smells, colors and textures that are each unique to itself. I love them each equally and differently. Time passes so quickly! TOO QUICKLY!!! I have consciously tried to slow my life down…it has taken a while to actually make it happen and I’m still working on it…but I’m really trying. I’ve sadly been one of those people who are found guilty for over committing every ounce of free time, each weekend, each month….one right after another…and its my own fault that the weeks seem to be flying by…Ive made them so full I haven’t made enough time to step back, kick off my shoes, lean back, relax and soak it all…in. I am trying to slow down, I am truly attempting to live more in the present. It takes constant awareness to balance it with the willingness and ability to work hard, plan for the future and keep it all…balanced. Summer has a way of reminding me to do that. Maybe its the heat, or the longer sunshine filled days, or the amazement of watching my garden grow, I’m not sure what it is. I think stopping and consciously thinking about the smells, tastes, scenery…the more I do that…the more I can fully appreciate it and enjoy it.

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What summer smells like to me:

tomatoes freshly watered in the garden/sunscreen/corn on the grill/fresh flowers/freshly cut grass

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What summer tastes like to me:

watermelon/fresh fish/great seafood/fruity drinks with umbrellas in them/peach and tomato salads/blueberries/strawberries/ice cream/fresh herbs/juicy burgers/coleslaw/lowcountry boil/fizzy drinks/infused water/sweet tea

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How I love to spend the days:

going to the beach/exploring/jumping in the car and taking a road trip/reading/fishing/swimming/ biking/ gardening/kayaking/sidewalk chalking

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MY SUGGESTIONS FOR FULLY EMBRACING SUMMER:

  • Go the extra mile to make a regular meal more special by changing up where you eat it and how you decorate the table. (Recently we spent our 4th of July in Vermont with family and instead of eating at the table in the dinning room, we carried it out on the lawn and enjoyed the front row scenery of the trees and lake. We bought some mini flags and festive napkins…it really brightened the meal and assisted in creating some wonderful memories)!!!

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  • Find something you enjoy learning about and build upon it each year! (Several years ago, my daughter and I took up this challenge and began to learn about and explore: lighthouses. While on vacation in the OBX, we visited a nearby lighthouse and bought a book called, ‘Lighthouses in North America.’ We really enjoyed it and for fun dated the one we saw that day. Since then we now try to visit at least 4 a year. We learn about each one and tour it if possible…if it is nonfunctional we visit the site and mark it in our book. It’s a fun experience and we build upon it each year).

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  • Go to your local farmers market or near by farm stand and buy something you have never cooked before. There is so much great produce to enjoy during the summer! I love cooking but have so much to still learn. This is a great way to try new things, and also a great way to support your local community. (I bought some eggplant recently and tried a new recipe with it…it was an utter disaster, but regardless I enjoyed it and it gave me a new purpose, goal and experience and I can’t wait to try it again)!

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  • Find a book that has a relevant theme to your present life, and allow yourself time to sit back and enjoy it! (On our 2 week road trip to Vermont and Massachusetts we visited 3 islands…I asked a friend for a recommendation and he said it seemed fitting to read: Treasure Island, since we were planning on island hopping. I LOVED THIS IDEA and took his suggestion. FYI:it’s a great book)!!!

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  • Find a place that makes you happy and while there, try to sketch to memory the colors, smells, the general feel of the area and think about how it makes you feel and write about it. (I journal a great deal and recently while visiting a friend who lives off the coast of Cape Cod, I saw the most beautiful sunset of my entire life…I actually cried. I wrote about it upon getting home, recalling what my senses absorbed and when I reread it, I felt transported back to that time and place and it felt like a gift).

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  • Go somewhere completely new, someplace you’ve never been before…it could be the a park on the other side of town or a far away island 1,200 miles away…the point is, change-up your surrounding and allow yourself the time and attention to absorb it.

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  • Try something new and unexpected! (While we visited Massachusetts I had the chance to collect fresh mussels and though I had never done it before, I didn’t allow it to stop me! I listened to the instructions given to me earlier in the day, took my bucket to the dock, plunged my arms into the cool water and pulled them up one at a time and cleaned them off. Once I had collected enough for dinner I took them up to the house and cooked them in the most tasty mixture of wine, butter and garlic)!!! I was hesitant but it didn’t stop me…I felt pretty excited about it and it was a really fun experience.

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Its been a pretty great summer so far, full of lots of adventures and fun…we are really enjoying it and excited that we still have several weeks left! Photos for this article are taken from our recent trips to the OBX, Vermont, Cape Cod, Nantucket, our own backyard and Folly Beach!

Carpe Diem!