Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Last week I took some time off to wrap up canning projects, see some family, tackle a few sewing projects, and do about a hundred other things that I otherwise don't have time to do. It feels a little funny when people asked me how I was enjoying my "vacation" since I was not exactly at the beach or taking a trip or anything. But if a vacation can be defined as a break from the daily routine, than that is what the last week had been.

In so many ways this has been both a summer of renewal, and a summer of new discoveries if such a thing can be possible. For the first time I have discovered the joys of reading Anne of Green Gables, yes, at this late date. How did I get to be this old without reading it? Carelessness? Apathy? Negligent parents? Oh sure, it's a famous enough book that I knew all the characters and plot, but had never actually read it from beginning to end for myself. All I can say is, what a treasure those books are. And to think that L.M. Montgomery lamented that she never wrote the one truly great novel that she always wanted to write, even after penning the masterpiece that is Anne.

Also this month, it finally worked out that I could visit with a cousin whom I had not seen for twenty-five years. It's not unusual for me to go long periods of time between visits with my cousins, as our family is geographically scattered far and wide, even on other continents. I have some that I have never seen, and some I only see about once every ten. And on average I meet up with a new one every few years. But when Cousin Grace and I got back in touch recently, we were surprised to see how much we have in common after all this time. After a year of correspondence, we set a date to visit. What a wonderful blessing to renew an acquaintance with someone that you haven't seen in decades only to discover that you still like them as much as when you were fifteen! Cousin Grace chatted constantly in the car as we cruised the country side looking for good deals and hidden bargains, and all the while I kept making wrong turns on all too familiar roads. At the Reuzit shop we discovered our mutual love of rose ticking fabric, and at our lunch we discovered that we both have the same specific form of dyslexia, and lamented how our school teachers never knew what to do with us. In hindsight, a day that will really make memories is one in which you are too involved to pull out your camera and document it. That is what my day with Grace was, and we plan on many more of those days to come.

Then, I took my special birthday coupon to the quilt shop and found the perfect pattern for that fabric I won, planted spinach and lettuce, and am only beginning to clean off my desk which is littered with unopened mail, newspapers, and catalogs. My week at home was symbolic of my desk in that it was not always peaceful, but it was productive.

I also worked on doing a guest post at Saloma's blog. To be honest, that was difficult to write, a real challenge, and yet, important enough to be written. To many of my close friends who read this blog who already know a little about my family life growing up, much of it will not surprise you. And for others, well, lets just say I'm a little nervous about feedback it could generate.

Finally, the last ping of the canning jars happened exactly 24 hours before I was due back to work, providing a chime that signaled the official end of my canning season. What a relief. All the lovely apples were turned into sauce and pie filling, and the last gleanings from the summer vegetable garden are now chow chow relish. As if on cue, you can feel a little crispness in the air these days, bringing in just a touch of fall. Not exactly my favorite season, so you can't pry flip flops off my cold feet until mid-October. But every year I do rediscover that I love a change in the seasons, a new routine, and some rest.


  1. Thank you, Monica, for your beautiful post on my blog. How can someone argue or criticize your experience... you write about them so well.

    I LOVE Anne of Green Gables! They are among my favorite books. I also love the films. Someone did a nice rendition of the book in those.

    I hope you enjoy the last days of summer. I love autumn, so we are coming into my favorite season.

  2. GREAT posts - both here and at Saloma's blog!! I commented over there about that post so I'll comment about this post here. I've never read Anne of Green Gables either - and so many other "classics"! I've still never read Pride & Prejudice and I know that's a big favorite of a lot of people, too. Sounds like vacation was busy but I bet you feel so good after getting so many loose ends tied up! Maybe next vacation could be to St. Louis and you can help other people tie up their loose ends! :D Your time with your cousin sounds like so much fun - don't you just love people like that, that you can just pick up right where you left off? And she's family, so even better! ♥

  3. I think it's always so nice to get together with friends and relatives you haven't seen in a long time. How fun it is when you can pick up as if you saw them everyday.
    I enjoyed reading your post, as always.

  4. I grew up reading all the Anne books several times a year and never did get tired of them. I even brought them out here to MO to read while I have hardly anything else I can do.

    I read your guest post. Thanks for sharing such a persnal part of your life.

  5. Honestly, I had a tinge of jealousy when I read your blog today. I am still far away from having the harvest in. We are still picking squash from the garden those, plus the beets. We'll just keep plodding on and it will be done before long. Gotta remember how good they'll taste in January and February.

    Your writing on Saloma's blog was very powerful and a good reminder to us all.
    The same lonely feelings you have had are felt by so many. My husband and I have worked with children from "dysfunctional" homes. They are frightened and lonely and in many cases act out to challenge those who would look down on them or their families. No matter how bad the situation is inside the home they will defend their families.
    The love of God is the only thing that can break through that tough shell they have built. It makes such a difference when they know someone understands and cares for them. Just like your young friend who embraced you during a hard time. In Jesus, they have someone who will NEVER leave them or forsake them.
    When THAT light goes on in their heart, no one can turn it off.

  6. Monica, thank you so much for sharing a difficult time in your life. How terrible that you had to go through this, but what a beautiful way you have overcome your pain! I always sensed rhat you were a deep person, and now know that you are one of those rare souls who has been through the fire and come out more compassionate.

  7. Thanks for sharing your guest post and the challenges you faced growing up. I am blessed by your example of seeking the Lord and not growing bitter from the difficult experience.

    I know it would have taken time and wisdom to write. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thank you for being open to sharing painful memories. That you didn't become consumed by bitterness is a testimate to your faith and God's greatness!

    I'm glad you found Anne, if you haven't read the others after the first book find them...they're wonderful! I read them as a young girl, and they are still ranked high on my favorite list. I'm excited for the day that my daughter's will read them or let me read them to them!


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