In my 61 years of life, this is the first time I didn’t want summer to end. Don’t get me wrong. As a child, I relished summer vacation. Growing up in a small Midwestern town, we were free range kids when school was out. The world was as immense as our active imaginations, and our territory was as far and wide as our bikes or mosquito-bitten legs could take us.
I remember putting on shows, draping a blanket over a clothesline to serve as our backdrop. And sitting astride our backyard fence with my good friend, pretending we were on horseback, surveying our ranch.
And there were the times I went with a friend’s family to Bean Lake. I wasn’t actually invited, or given permission to go by my mom, so I snuck into their car. All of us kids were giggling as her parents pretended like they didn’t know I was back there hiding. Yah, I was that kind of kid in the summer.
But fall has always been my favorite season. I love the crisp feel of the autumn air, scented with fallen leaves and wood smoke. Fresh apples from the orchard. Football game day celebrations at the local university. I just feel better in the fall, full of newfound energy, ready to take on the world. It’s the time of year I look forward to for nine months. Until this year.
I think it has something to do with a 3-year-old girl who has stolen my heart. Maeve. Our daughter Kelly, her wonderful husband Britt and Princess Maeve are renovating their house this summer. Instead of them living in sawdust, we invited them to stay in the cottage next door to ours until their house was completed.
When the sweet little house next to ours came on the market a few years ago, we snatched it up, and my mom moved in. Since Mom passed away this spring, it’s been empty. So Dan and I thought it was the ideal spot for Kelly and crew.
Needless to say, we have been over the moon about Maeve since she entered the universe. I didn’t think she could bewitch me any further. But something happened, having her next door, seeing her every day. I can’t imagine not ending the day hanging out by the lake with Kelly and Britt, and our wild little warrior. Playing Maeve’s Rules croquet. Chasing across the lawn.
But I think there is more to it, this not wanting summer to end, than just granddaughter worship. Dan and I have lived at Innisfree for a few years now, and we’re settling into our new community. I love the slow, relaxed pace of life here. How people take time for one another. In the summer, we’re all outside, and it feels like my neighborhood growing up.
And, I just think I’m finally getting better at savoring moments. Being present. Being thankful. It took a few years. But I’m glad I’m finally here.
So, here’s to summer. To long, hot days by the water and the cool of the garden shade. To dining on the deck with friends, savoring food fresh picked from the garden. To brilliant sunsets, played out to a symphony of singing frogs and humming cicadas. To the belly laughter of our children. And, a quiet cuddle with my tired grandbaby, who smells like cut grass and sun.
Next Week … A fall picnic.
Julie @ Creating This Life saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 8:09 am
Lovely pictures and lovely words. I can completely relate to what you’ve written. Fall has always been my favorite season – and still is – but the older I get the more I appreciate being in the moment and I’m less inclined to wish summer away.
Kelly Alexander saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 8:24 am
Beautiful! The pictures and the sentiments. I’m so glad you are enjoying your new space and had such a special summer with Maeve. It’s a blessing to be able to be present in the moment.
Jean from Georgia saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 8:29 am
Beautiful post. I share your thoughts exactly regarding grandchildren. I was present when my second granddaughter was born, and we have bonded from that day forward. She lives a few states away and I miss her dearly, we speak eye to eye, we craft together and she shares with those thoughts that are private to others. This will be a summer of memories you will cherish forever.
Susan D White saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 9:54 am
Well said. We too, know the gift of having time with our grandchildren and appreciating everyday to the fullest extent. Glad you have had this opportunity. Blessings to you in remembering your mother. She sounded to be a beautiful, caring person whom you resonate in character.
Joyce saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 2:26 pm
Really like your post. May you continue to savor and enjoy that grandbaby. They are so, so precious and life is definitely too short to let the moments pass!
Marilyn saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 2:40 pm
Loved reading your sweet post about your granddaughter. I just found out that my daughter is expecting and this will be my first grandchild. I am so excited that is all I think about. Unfortunately, she is in Kansas City and I am in Fort Worth. I am determined to move up there!! I am Zillow everyday checking out real estate in KC!!!
kathybrs saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm
What a beautiful post! So sorry to hear about your Mom. I’m sure having the “kids” next door has helped. I love the picture of Maeve sitting on the dog looking out the window. You will not want them to go back home. Enjoy!
franki saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 4:20 pm
Oh, my….I could just FEEL your melancholy…written from the heart. Your childhood sounds so similar to mine…again, it was telepathic. Our daughter and son in law just purchased the cottage next door to ours…elation!! franki
Beulah saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 7:53 pm
I love this post also, it almost made me cry, thinking how the time has past so fast with my granddaughter seems like yesterday she was two now she is 13, so savory ever moment with your Granddaughter.
Susan saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 11:30 pm
Mary Carol…did you ever think your home on the lake would be as special as the one in Atchison? When I read your posts I am ever reminded to appreciate what I have…two precious grandsons and a family to love and enjoy. I love your posts….please keep posting about the simple things in life.
Traci Bray saysSeptember 11, 2017 at 11:51 pm
Maeve is gorgeous. Love how she and your Golden have bonded. I’m very sorry to learn of your Mom’s passing. Life forever shifts. The photos in this post are splendid. I recall awhile back you posted on downsizing… this post would be a great addition entitled ‘Blending’. You’ve written beautifully Mary Carol.
Janice Waddell saysSeptember 12, 2017 at 5:18 pm
I loved every word you wrote and will save it so that I can read it many more times. Thank you for a lovely post.
Nancy saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 6:04 am
Picnics, plays, princess parties, puzzels, pizza and more! Our granddaughter, Sadie, is also three. As she says, “Warm hugs and sweet kisses”…there is nothing like them! Sadie’s sister, Maisy, is two months old. Maisy, who is cooing and smiling. Wow! We look forward to her hugs and kisses, too. We certainly give her plenty. We also have a fifteen year old grandson who is totally smitten by the little girls in his life (as he is to the older variety). Isn’t life grand?! That is what makes the seasons, ‘life’ in all it’s glory, spring, summer, fall, or winter.
Mark D saysSeptember 14, 2017 at 2:25 pm
Your ol’ buddy Mark D here…Kiss that girl for me!!
sandy mc kenzie saysSeptember 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm
Oh Mary Carol, you are a treasure for the world.
Robin Frank VISION INTERIORS saysSeptember 18, 2017 at 11:46 pm
LOVELY …. Here’s to you my friend …….Breath it in !!!!