Claim Summer

“It’s a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do.” Walter Winchell
What are you going to DO this summer? Besides stick to your chair? Won’t you share your summer dreams and plans with us?
Summer arrives officially June 21st at 1:16 pm Eastern Daylight Time, don’t you know. Yep, June 21st is summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the shortest night.
Summer’s here.
So summer’s here. Let’s claim it! Let’s make it our own the way we used to do when we were kiddos.

“Summer’s here, I’m for that, got my rubber shoes, got my straw hat…” James Taylor
Remember the last day of school? You stood in a circle of friends and excitedly rattled off your list of everything you were going to do this summer: “And I’m going to see Grandma, and I’m going to learn to dive off the high dive, and I’m going to camp for a week, and I’m going to build a tree house, and I’m going to read Little Women, and I’m going to visit my cousin, and I’m going to go camping with my parents to Washington D.C., and I’m going to learn to do a wheelie on my bicycle, and I’m going to picnic every day, and I’m going to canoe, and I’m going ride the biggest roller coaster at Six Flags, and I’m going to….”
“When I was a little kid, of course, I was brown all summer. That’s because I was free as a bird-nothing to do but catch bugs all day.” Roy Blount, Jr.

So let’s claim summer that way. Let’s make a list of everything we want to do and post it somewhere. And I don’t mean expensive or fancy plans. I mean simple, meaningful rituals, activities, visits, celebrations. Obviously we have to work now; we can’t just catch bugs all day, but we have to make time for summer play. Even if it means stepping away from the computer. gasp.

Let’s make sure we have some things to write about when our essay assignment comes in September: “What I Did This Summer.” So how are you going to make this summer yours.
(Seinfeld fans, remember the “Summer of George” episode?)
I’m working on my list right this very minute. It starts with celebrating Summer Solstice. I’ll start summer beside a campfire, watching lightning bugs, looking for familiar constellations and eating s’mores.
Summer flowers.

“Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun.”  Kahlil Gibran

This is a volunteer sunflower. I didn’t plant it.

Some squirrel or bird gave me this one. Thank you, squirrel or bird.

I took this picture, and the sunflower was gone the next day.

Completely eaten. No trace.

That’s the way it works I guess. Some squirrel or bird planted it; some squirrel or bird enjoyed it. 

Summer music.

“In summer, the song sings itself.” William Carlos Williams

Summertime has its own music.
Mine is Jimmy Buffet. The Beach Boys. Bob Marley.
And obviously, of course, without question. James Taylor. For all seasons.
Do you listen to different music during the summer?
Summer food.
Each season has its own distinct flavors.
Summer food means fresh from the garden or the farmer’s market.
Summer is cold watermelon.

My uncle was a traveling salesman whose territory included south Georgia and north Florida. During the summer, when he’d drive back home, he’d stop by a roadside stand and buy watermelons from a farmer. He’d always bring one to us on Saturday mornings. What a treat that was. My Mom would take her sharpest knife and newspapers. She’d spread the papers out on the lawn, and we’d close by and eat fresh, cold watermelon slices. I still cut my watermelon the way my Mom cuts hers.
Summer is cucumbers.
And tomatoes!
And squash and corn.
And lemon.
Summer is grilling.
Summer is home-made ice cream in the electric churn. Strawberry is my favorite.
Summer is salads. Macaroni Salad. Pasta Salad. Corn Salad. Lentil Salad. Rice and Feta Salad. Cucumber Salad. And of course, regular old salad Salad with home-made dressing using fresh herbs from the garden.
I’ll be sharing summer recipes this week at, starting with a Corn Salad that is summer splendid: healthy, refreshing, easy, and delicious.
Summer reading.
Here’s the book that’s first on my summer reading list. It won’t surprise you, if you’ve been here awhile. Put James Taylor on the cover, and I’m buying the book. Period. (Works with DVDs too.)

Summer Theme.
Each summer, the arrival of summer means something different to me. Each summer has a different theme, a  certain vibe.

This year, give your summer a theme. I think mine has already emerged.

My summer theme this year is 1970.
Do you remember what were you doing in 1970? What was your life like? How old were you? (Were you born yet?) I was in between the 1st and 2nd grades. 1970, the world was churning, volatile. Yet, I had no idea.
I grew up in a small town that had a very active hippy community, originating at the college in town. Head shops, communal living, free love. I had no idea. This summer I’m going to do some research into the hippy environment in my home town. Plus, I’m learning to play the guitar, I have a long flowing peasant skirt, a tie-dyed shirt (you saw it under the book I’m reading), and big peace sign earrings. I’m all set for 1970.
Summer Promises.
In years past, I’ve spent the summers complaining about the heat and humidity.
I’m melting, I’m melting…” The Wicked Witch
“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.” Jame Austen
Guess what? This year—starting now—I’m not going to say a negative word about the H-O-T weather. I’m not going to go on and on and on about the inelegance of sweating.
No, for real. I’m serious.
I hereby pledge to not moan and groan about the temperature or the stickiness of summer. Girl Scout’s honor. Wow, I’m really biting off a lot on that one, but I’m committed.
“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.” James Dent
So tell us—how are you going to claim this summer?
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

Peace, Y’all.

  1. Kristy says:

    I am starting a quilt. This one is "taught" at my local quilt store. The pattern is Merry Little Christmas and is by Crab-apple Hill. Part of it is traced (and until now I did not know that you do not need a light box to trace a drawing on fabric) and colored with Crayolas with the wax ironed in.

    I am also taking my grandchildren to my local library for the summer reading program, the library offers a reading program for adults too. (May I recommend The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter.) And in the afternoons, I am taking them swimming in the municipal pool.

    These activities may seem somewhat laid back, but I am retired. Still learning but definitely retired.

  2. diana henretty says:

    For the past 12 yrs. I dreaded summer in the Ozarks.
    Especially when the temps and humidity hit the 90’s-100
    at the same time!
    Then we made raised beds, in fact, new ones go in every year,
    and I set my alarm and get out at sunrise to watch the sun
    come thru the pine trees on the top of our mountain.
    Sitting out on my patio to watch my gardens grow starts the day off right.
    In the heat of the day, I quilt and sew.
    Then, evenings are spent outside again around our homemade
    fire pit to watch the flames and fireflies.
    Yes, the heat is still here, but I love summers now here,
    and wish I had dug deeper sooner into what is important
    and made the best of the heat!!
    Best wishes from Noel Missouri!

  3. Joan Price says:

    Ah summer – unfortunately there has been a lot of bad weather already so the garden has been planted completely – twice – and oh the flowers have been beat up badly – BUT – always the faithful optimistic farm girl – it will come back and look beautiful for the local Garden Tour in July of which my garden is listed. Had a garage sale – the grand children contributed – did real well and now they want to spend their earnings – that will be fun. We have plans to do as much FUN as possible – visit family & friends – look for bugs, bird watch & read about the birds.
    Ah the love of God to give us all this nature to enjoy.

  4. JoEllen says:

    We are just getting some sun after months – and I do mean months! – of rain. I am not going to complain about the heat either — it is treasured and welcomed. My vegetables will grow and ripen, I can wear some new home sewn cool blouses and sandals will come out of storage. I am so ready for "inelegant sweat"! I’ll take hand sewing out to the back yard under an umbrella while sipping cold tea and nod off if I want. Summer sun — shine on our neck of the woods more than a day or two!

  5. CJ Armstrong says:

    My daughter, who is also my best friend, and I are so looking forward to the Women of the Wild West/Farmgirls on the Loose Road Trip. The "Kickoff" is officially set for next week, June 29th at the home of Farmgirl Michelle in Baggs, WY.
    We will be experiencing the pleasure of meeting up with Farmgirls all along the way, camping together, sitting around the campfire . . . and I intend to laugh until I cry as often as I can.
    The official "Finale" for this road trip will be a TEA PARTY at MaryJanes Farm in Moscow. What a treat that will be!!! Some of us will be staying at the Farm B&B . . and I look forward to a long, relaxing soak in one of those outdoor tubs!!!! Ahhhhhhhhh . . .
    The best part? Taking this trip with my only daughter, Robin . . enjoying our friendship and our farmgirl-ness, meeting new friends and building relationships. I’m so very thankful for the opportunity!!!!!

  6. Julie says:

    Aw, you guys are making long ago summers and I like that….didn’t even think of that. Thank you.
    We will be walking the dog early in the morning as she doesn’t like the heat – like her mommy. I announce that I will not complain about the heat either.

    When not working I’ll continue to teach myself how to sew, get back to card making, photography and spend evenings outside on my beautiful brick patio reading and yammering to my husband. He likes when I do that..;)

    So, I guess my theme is back to nature. Even if it’s hot and I become inelegant….;0

  7. bonnie ellis says:

    Ah, summer. Time to sit on the porch and drink sun tea and enjoy the cats sniffing the air outside. I’ll read and crochet and quilt and smell the amazing things growing in the garden. I’ll eat fresh food and enjoy my husband and family. Since in Minnesota it seems like the day after the state fair (end of August)is Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For now, let go, and dream. Enjoy farmgirls. Bonnie

  8. Barbara Lavell says:

    I, too, am in Minnesota & the weather has tried to keep me from my gardening but, I shall persevere. In addition, I will spend time with my six year old great-grandaughter (she loves to garden with me)& enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer. I’m taking a quilting class so I will spend time quilting as well as sewing & knitting. I’m really looking forward to spending time in the northwoods relaxing by the shores of Lake Superior.

  9. Leslie says:

    I live in California where folks seem to think it’s always summer but truly it’s not. We have been in the 90s and dry this week but I have paid attention to you, my cold wintered sisters….Iced tea is a comfort and a necessity when one lives in a coastal desert. My tomatoes and herbs and lettuces are growing on my patio and I’m happy this solstice. It’s a new season to explore.

  10. Margarida says:

    Summer Summer it is so good I go to the garden every morning and have my cup of coffee it is so Peaceful I thank God for that feeling

  11. kimberly says:

    Summer began on Monday with mushroom hunting in the mountains nearby, cooked over a campfire and s’mores for dessert. Yesterday summer was found out in the pasture with a patch of daises after following a deer around. It’s in the kitchen today with iced tea brewing in the sunny window and the goat’s milk I milked from our goat this morning churning itself into ice cream. It’s our first summer on our little farm and we’re making the most of it!

  12. Debbie says:

    Love your Summer theme idea! We are not that far apart in age and I also remember the 70’s! This summer seems to be taking on a slow and easy theme. Maybe because real summer weather has been slow in arriving… So,I’m sticking with a Slow Summer theme filled with plenty of time for daydreaming, reading, writing, time with the teens and music… Lovin’ bluegrass these days and our daughters piano playing! I’ve made my summer book list and devoured several already! Food wise… salad and seafood are high on the list and precious time in my garden and at the beach!
    Happy Summer Rebekah!
    Deb ( Beach Farmgirl Blogging Sister)

  13. Brenda says:

    summer so far it has been alot of rain here in Indiana but the garden is starting to grow. I notice how the lighting bugs or fire flys what ever you call them are lighting up the night skies and my cats are dancing around to try to catch them. I can remember catching them and putting them in jars letting them glow like christmas lights. I guess sitting on the swing with a glass of tea will be one of my favorite thing to do this summer.

  14. Kirsten Deane says:

    Summer was on a monday this year here in quesnel, but thats not stopping my family and I going camping, enjoying our potted garden and all the lovely wild flowers…that don’t seem to mind the rain. I’ve always found that one must embrace what ever weather comes and not let it set you back. Have a great summer and always be creative and embrace.

  15. MaryFrantic says:

    Kirsten Deane, do you live anywhere near the Frances Wisebart Jacobs Park?
    It is such a small world, I thought I’d ask.

  16. Shery says:

    LOVE the W. Winchell quote…Oh So True. Have to gently peel your thighs out of your seat :o)!!! Too funny.

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