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Simmering Summer

August 23rd, 2011 by judytalks

It’s still super hot here in Arizona and we have another month or more of triple digit weather. Though I try to find ways to escape the scorching sun, it reminds me that I always loved summer. As a kid growing up in the Midwest (Wisconsin), sunshine couldn’t come too soon. It meant no school for three whole months, lazy days, vacation with family, and endless hours to goof off.

Although I always had a summer job, I never felt any pressure to get things done. Time moved slowly, schedules were kept to a minimum, and I could just go with the flow most days.

Whatever happened to that luxurious sense of easy living in warm weather? Just going on vacation for a few weeks takes endless preparation and an urgency to fill every day with meaningful activities.

I’ve accomplished a lot this summer, things that needed to be done. Lifestyle changes, focused projects for my writing, and some important business goals. I feel I’ve jumped a hurdle and landed on both feet, but somehow I forgot to lie in the grass and watch the big, puffy clouds of summer move across the sky.

I think summer was invented to give us respite from the endless tasks we perform and the rigid schedules that have to be met most of the year.

All too soon, cool breezes will brush across the landscape and there will be a chill in the air. I’ll be able to sit on my screen room in the morning, sipping coffee and watching fall put in its appearance. Meanwhile, I’m going to hold on to the last rays of blazing heat and remember going barefoot for three whole months.

Have some dream time,

Is it time to ornament the tree?

December 2nd, 2009 by judytalks

 I keep my Christmas tree assembled and covered with a sheet all year, alongside the 4 large boxes that hold the rest of the Christmas stuff. My assortment includes items I’ve made myself, gifts from others, and a box of ornaments, many of them made by my children when they were small. All of them are put on the tree every year, where guests and family alike can ooh and aah or just wonder “what in the world is that?” We have ice skates made with paper clips, reindeer fashioned from clothespins – you get the idea. There also are beautiful glass balls, feathery birds, and the whole array of images that grace a tree. The act of decorating my tree each year is the beginning of the Christmas celebration. My memory bank brings to mind the giver or maker of the ornament, its age, if it has suffered any calamities – a little Elmer’s Glue- and how many years I’ve been decorating a home for the Holidays.

Many years ago, I took my youngest son, then about 8, upstairs to the closet where my boxes were kept and said, “Guess what we’re going to do?” Of course, he knew what time of year it was and said, “Is it time to ornament the tree?” I’ve thought of it that way ever since.

When I lived in Minnesota, I appreciated snow on the tree branches and a nip in the air. Now that I live in sunny Arizona, I still keep up all my traditions and have resisted the temptation to decorate a cactus, as some here do.

Fun and festivities are for everyone, but they are especially magical for children. The wonder of stories, sparkly stars and brightly decorated trees light up their lives and make troubles disappear.

That’s true for grownups too. Psychology tells us that when people have something to look forward to, it eases the burden of loss, sadness, calamity, or just a really down day. So keep your cherished keepsakes close at hand. It doesn’t have to be Christmas to ornament your tree.

Here’s to angels with string hair.



May 25th, 2009 by judytalks

It’s a national holiday today and I’ll be singing, having lunch with neighbors, and just plain relaxing. Celebrations commemorate an event. It calls for acknowledgement, fun, and usually food. I plan to do it all.
What’s the point in remembering? Well, events are important. And if we don’t make an effort to celebrate, our mundane lives will miss a chance to connect with people just to have fun.
So celebrate today, touch base with family and friends, and relax. Food is optional.

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