Since August has arrived in the Midwest, it seems happy to continue July’s sweltering, humid, rainless days. This summer has seen record-breaking high temperatures and a drought that has parched fields, yellowed gardens, and turned once green backyards to dust. As these summer days continue to unfold, no matter how hard I try, it seems I’m continually moving in slow motion.
However; last night brought the rumble of thunder and distant flashes of lightning…perhaps the promise of rain was coming. Too many times we’ve watched darkening clouds filled with rain pass just to our north, leaving us without a drop. This time it was different…soon we were filled with grateful hearts as we watched the rain begin to fall. It fell steadily most of the night, continuing well into the morning. At last, a break from the sweltering days…a blessing of 3 inches of rain had come bringing with it a cooling breeze and beautiful sunset of robins’ egg blue and shades of orange.
Even during these dog days of August, there are simple pleasures all around the farm. Our garden is overflowing and just-picked tomatoes are one of my husband’s favorite summertime delights. The kids each have their own little gardens to tend, and they’re filled with juicy watermelon and cantaloupe, sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, and marigolds. The new beehive is buzzing with activity and our little flock of hens cluck with delight over treats of cucumber, lettuce, or zucchini. Yes…life is good.
And while it’s been a summer filled with family fun and sweet memories, I’m sensing these summer days are numbered. Maybe it’s because the cicadas are humming throughout the heat of the day, while at day’s end I notice the sky darkening just a bit earlier. Maybe it’s the back-to-school advertisements in every paper, or maybe it’s because, even though the heat is intense, I really don’t want summer to end.
So while there's still time before school begins, we’ll keep having as much unplugged play as we possibly can. We’ll can tomatoes and grape jam, splash at the local pool, catch fireflies, stay up late, and make as many memories as possible. These days only come once…just a few special years, and I don’t want to miss a single minute.