Sunday, August 14, 2016

Numbering Our Days

   Like most of the country, we have been experiencing an endless heat wave. For all of the discomfort, I rejoice for the sunshine. 

   One of the delightful oddities of this garden thermometer is that the minute the sun hits the glass, it gives a false reading of 120 degrees. This is true whether it is August or February. It's kind of comforting when it happens in the winter. But here it is, on a day when the heat and humidity are debilitating, giving a true reading.

   We are getting ready to pack and have some much-needed family time together, something that has been carefully planned for months. During the year, we don't get nearly enough of it. Months can go by where The Mister is so over-extended that he might only have two full days out of a month to spend with his work-widow and little boy. I will admit that it is a blessing to have a husband who is so needed by his employer that the hospital calls to ask him to come in when he's already there.

   It is also a blessing to say no, and make a commitment to family. It's never really about finding time. It's really about priorities. Rearranging our priorities is more refreshing than a new coat of paint but without all of the labor and clean up. 

   One of my earlier summer projects, before travel and food storage kicked in, was putting my good dishes in my new-to-us china cabinet. Back when I was a new bride, I imagined hosting gatherings of our extended family with my better dishes and a thoughtfully crafted tablescape of interesting finery. Then, I got back on my unicorn and flew over a rainbow into a blue sky of that glittered with dew. In reality, I inherited most of my good dishes only four years ago and we bought the perfect china cabinet for our space only six months ago. We purchased it from a lady who was downsizing, and I had watched it online for about a year as the price dropped lower and lower. The journey of pulling my dishes out of storage (the barn at my in-law's farm) and rediscovering them was time-consuming but fun. One item I wanted to display was some of my grandmother's vintage handiwork on these tea towels. I actually used a few before discovering how fragile they were, and then decided they would be decorations. 

   When I look at her tiny stitches making up the words that spell out the days of the week alongside the vintage pictures, I wonder, where did she find the time?  I admit that time management has never been one of my strengths. I was late for my own birth and not much has changed since. 

   I like to think that it got done because she made it a priority to sit in a chair one Sunday after church and allow herself to be soothed by the quiet meditation of a needle and thread. As she carefully criss-crossed the word "Tuesday" into a linen, she planned for the future while sitting by the still waters. 


   I strive to be that kind of time manager. I have been picking, pickling, and chairing my own personal sunflower appreciation committee of one. I am making the most of my time, putting away food and books for the winter. Yes, I stock books, too. Although I am growing fonder of my space-saving Kindle, I look for used book sales and put my treasures aside for a dark winter night. Soaking in my own still waters, planning for the future, one hand still firmly on the plow. 

August is my favorite month. 

What are your priorities this summer?

Used book sale, Lancaster, PA. Oh, the heat!


  1. Books are what I store away for winter nights, too!
    Where in Lancaster County is that book sale? It will have to go on my list. I love the Clay Book Store in Clay, Pa.

    1. Megs, that is the annual bookworm frolic at the Historical Society. It happens once a year in August. I haven't gone in years and this year it was so hot you could hardly read the titles on the table for all the sweat in your eyes. Do you mean the Clay bookstore in Ephrata? I visited the Clay bookstore once and really liked their selection. I hope to get back there again, sometime.

  2. Ah! My priorities this summer....were...
    1. Clean and organize the house, room by room, 1 week at a time. Didn't happen.
    2. Harvest my vegetable garden...but when we emptied the above ground pool, there must have been some residual chlorine hiding from the test strip, and I killed my corn, squash, peppers, tomatoes, the 2nd picking of beans and peas. I still have carrots and onions.

    3. Be creative and clever in arts and crafts for the many kids that came through the summer camp program. SUCCESS!

    4. Start a summer Sunday School class for the children in our church. Attendance was small, but we learned and grew our faith!

    Love your blog... always.

    1. Peggy! Those were some lofty goals! I love your optimism. ;) I'm so sorry about your vegetable garden. That must have been such a disappointment. You can save #1 for the fall, and I'm glad 3 & 4 were a success. What a great summer.


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