Summer Is…

Summer is my favorite season. It always has been. With the exception of this summer, it means swimming, playing outside, spending warm summer evenings with friends and kids outside. In essence, it’s a time for renewal and reconnection that we aren’t afforded while we are stuck indoors on cold winter days.

Summer is a time to play in my garden and watch things grow. I love watching things grow.This year, due to my health, I didn’t even get my tomatoes in the garden and my entire garden looks like a den of weeds, as I’ve been unable to tend my beautiful pride and joy. I do miss sitting there in the mornings to have my coffee, but I hope to be able to tend it soon.
Summer is a time to spend with family. When I was growing up, I was very fortunate to be able to go on holidays with my family. We went to my family’s home in Ireland. I learned to work on the farm and I loved every moment. I not only got to meet my cousins far away, I got to have wonderful relationships with them. I have to tell you that family truly is everything to me. Growing up in a town where I had no cousins, I loved and appreciated those holidays to make the special bonds with my cousins more than you could imagine. Probably even more so since I had no sister growing up. I have only the one older brother who means the world to me, but I always longed for a sister. I saw the bonds with my cousins as if I had sisters for those weeks we were together. I know they couldn’t understand that since they all had sisters of their own, but I treasured their “sisterhood” in those summers more than anything you could put a price tag on.

One of my favorite Summertime activities is to play with my son in the back by my garden while having my coffee in the mornings. You see, he’s a secret agent and I’m headquarters. I’m base command with the computer. He’s going to save the world and sniper the bad guys with his stick rifles. Ah, his imagination. Sometimes it’s an alien invasion. It’s how boys think. You can not change that. He wants to protect and serve. I miss that this summer very, very much. I don’t miss the silly game, I miss spending the quality time with the boy I love most, my boy. He, like all boys, grows too fast. He’s my baby boy and he’s the only boy I have. He’s my youngest child. Now, he’s been reduced to getting things for me This summer. He’s been caring for me instead of the other way around. He’s wonderful too, just like his father. 

Summertime is generally healthy time. This year? Well, it’s more of a let’s not succumb to these wretched pancreatic surgery post-op complications summer. It technically is a get healthy summer, although I’m unable to swim and unable to even walk very far. I’m finally on the mend, I think, provided there are no more complications. I was even able to stay up past 9:30 PM last night. Not much longer, but I’m beginning to heal I think. 

Summer will remain my favorite season. I long to take a nice dip in the pool. I’d love to get on the tennis court. After all that I’ve been through this summer, I appreciate summer and life even more. 

—————

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence was “Summer is…” and as usual, our host is the extraordinary, Kristi. Check out everyone else’s posts! It’s always a fun read!


Ah the Green

 

40 shades of green
40 Shades of Green in Ireland

Green, the color of lush grass on a beautiful spring day.  The color of St. Patrick’s Day and the strange color they dye the river in Chicago. The color of a cat’s eyes. It comes in so many shades.  From kelly green, to emerald, to olive and mint green.  The colors are endless and bring about so many different feelings.

With the color green there are also different tags attached.  People hear being green and they think of recycling.  They think of being kind to the environment.  We think of the Green political party.  We even think of the symbol for recycling.

We think of being green with envy, or the green eyed monster of jealousy.  So many implications for one little color.  I love the color green but not under those circumstances. I’m not into jealousy or envy.  I wish being green had a good emotion attached!

green
Many shades of green

My favorite implication for the color green is all that comes from those associated with my favorite country, Ireland.  Ireland is the home of my family.  In Ireland, it is true that there are at least 40 shades of green.  The Aran Isle is one of the most beautiful and colorful places you could ever see.  This is the place that makes me happiest, besides being in Southwest Florida!

So, as you can see, green isn’t just a color anymore!  It has many connotations.  For me, I’ll always think good things about green.  I love it just like my dad does.  He even has a green front door and green carpet.  He’s a good Irishman.  Gotta love him! I do.

20141107_163830_HDR
Dad and I on a sunset cruise in Florida 2015

As We Stand In the Middle Years…

When I was young, my family seemed to be always getting together for family weddings.  I have a very large, Irish, Roman Catholic family so that means I have many cousins.  It was great to have an excuse to get in the car and run to St. Louis for the whole day.  That was how I got to really get to know my family on my dad’s side.  You see, my dad is one of eight siblings.  He had 5 sisters and 2 brothers.  If you recall from previous blogs, he is from a small country village in the west of Ireland.  Dad and 4 sisters immigrated to St. Louis area within several years time.  3 stayed in St. Louis, Dad moved to Illinois and one sister ended up moving to New York. All of them wanted to make a new life in a new world. And so they did.

With the exception of my aunt in New York, the rest of us would get together several times a year growing up.  A few times a cousin would come stay a week with us, someone would get married, a holiday gathering at one of my aunts would occur. And the food! My aunts never let you leave hungry. We had the small household of only 2 kids.  In all, I grew up with 19 first cousins on my mom’s side and 18 on my dad’s side, but I knew my dad’s side better due to proximity.   The age difference is vast though.  Some of my second cousins are very near my age but my New York cousins are my age and my cousins in Ireland are too.  That is the beauty of a large family! Confused yet? Well don’t be.  The point is this, having a big family is amazing! It only solidified me wanting to have a large family when I grew up.  There is always something happening and someone to go to if you need it.

Now that I’m in the middle years, however, life has changed.  I have my own big family, but we don’t get together so much anymore with my extended family.  Lately we seem to get together only for funerals and then it’s still not all of us.  That makes me sad.  When I was a kid, if one of the family passed away, the whole family was there.  That’s just how it was.  Now, everyone has to work.  Has productivity become such a necessary evil that if numbers aren’t crunched people aren’t doing their jobs and can’t get the day off for a beloved aunt, uncle or cousin?  I find that pathetic.  It means that spouses can’t go to funerals unless it’s at a convenient time. Regardless why don’t we make excuses to get together more often to see each other while we are still living?

Today, I trekked to St. Louis to bury my beloved Uncle Mike.  He was the last of the spouses of my dad’s siblings to be laid to rest.  He was 90 years old and the sweetest man you would ever meet.  He was a saint here on earth with a great sense of humor, a devilish gleam in his eye and the kindest, most patient man on the planet, besides my dad. He and my Aunt Nancy raised 4 boys, each of whom I adore.  I was so blessed and honored to have an uncle like my Uncle Mike and I know that my mom will be welcoming him through the pearly gates of heaven with her arms wide open and a huge smile on her face.  Uncle Mike, I know you are looking down on your family now and you know just how much you were and always will be loved.  And just for you, it was a great party!uncle mike