Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer Is Fading Away

On a Sunday morning in late August, sidewalk art caught my eye.  Even though it seemed a bit crazy to do, I stopped to take a photo of an image that provided me with a metaphoric representation of a message I have been unwilling to accept:  Summer is fading away.

The faded sidewalk art must have been so bright and colorful on the day that an unknown artist brightened up a bit of sidewalk by painting a sunflower.  I imagined the artist painting the flower in anticipation of an upcoming festival at the beginning of the summer.  Since that day, many feet have passed over the painted flower throughout the summer.  Its brightness has faded as the paint was slowly chipped way to leave only a faint rendering of the original image.  

Artists do not paint on sidewalks if they wish the art they are making to last long.   As I age, I find that like temporary sidewalk art, I am very aware that summer seems to be the most fleeting of all the seasons.  It is also the season I most wish to extend.  I wish to deny that another summer is ending which means that the days ahead will be less full of sunshine, flowers, and warmth.   

Flowers can't bloom forever.  For everything there is a season.  I can't deny that truth.  I am grateful for each season of the year.  Each is needed in the cycle of life where I live.  I would not want to live where I wouldn't be able to enjoy the changes that each season brings.   I am also grateful for each season of life, but as I age, I find myself asking myself how many more summers I will have where I will be able to do all those things that make summer so special.  

Summer ~ A Time to Be Outdoors

Recently, a friend who had not seen me since spring said I sure was tan.  "Yes," I said.  "I've spent a lot of time walking this summer.  I've been out soaking up as much Vitamin D as I can whenever I can."  My summer walks have been so healing to me this year.  I find I have so much more stamina than I did before my relatively new pacemaker and a heart ablation kept my heart from beating so wildly fast whenever I tried to walk.

 I haven't hiked any mountains, but I do climb a 300 foot incline in less than a mile when I make my way up the road and around the bend of a big circle that comprises most of the walks I take with my hubby and the dog. 

Jim and Boston in front of our home after one of our walks

Jim and Boston
Our new front patio provides another perfect place for enjoying summer mornings or evenings.

Living in the foothills, I see some spectacular sights as the sun begins to set behind Blodgett Peak.  

Other days, as I walk I just rejoice at the beauty of the neighborhood where I live.  I never know what creature I may encounter along the way.  Can you see a doe poking her head between these walls and houses as she searches for food or shelter?

As I got closer to this sweet little doe, I thought she seemed so small and vulnerable as she stood behind some bushes.  I noted her skinny little legs and inquired as to her health.  She just watched me with her soft doe eyes as I passed by without making any movement.  

As much as I fret and fume over the damage the deer do, I also feel so much compassion for these beautiful creatures who find themselves living in an urban setting which is really not healthy for them.  

This summer, I attended a Wildlife Management Seminar that quite informative.  In my area of town, this topic is an important one.  I hope to write a blog post on what I learned at this meeting soon.  

Summer ~ A Time for Creativity

I began this summer with high hopes for the small garden plots I created around the house last summer.  The grasshoppers, the slugs, the rabbits, and the deer all have feasted on my plantings.  Needless to say, my impossible garden did not live up to my expectations, nor did I see my dreams of flower blooming around my house realized. I did manage to get one bouquet from the delphiniums I planted before the bucks showed up and ate the plants down to the ground.  These blooms represent a victory of sorts and my determination that I will grow flowers in this environment that seems to be set against me doing so.  

Many evenings and afternoons were spent on the back deck writing in my journal or reading.  I love summer evenings spent in the quiet solitude provided by my back deck.  

I've also spent some time with my writing group this summer.  Those times are so enjoyable and motivational.  

Summer ~ A Time To Enjoy My Man & My Dog

Boston celebrated his fourth birthday in August by gobbling up his favorite treat:  peanut butter pie. 

I do think dogs enrich our lives so much.  This special companion is so loved by us both, but there is no denying that Boston is Jim's special boy.  We love taking him for walks.  Recently, after a walk in the nearby Garden of the Gods, we stopped in Manitou Springs to buy some popcorn.  When Jim sat on a bench to enjoy people watching while he ate his popcorn, Boston was right there next to him in no time.  He'd be a lap dog if he could be.  He's not allowed on furniture at home, but takes every opportunity he can to hop up beside his dearly loved master on an outdoor bench.

Summer ~ A Time for Travels Both Big and Small

Summer has been a time when we have taken a few trips.  One was to New Orleans.  I have yet to blog about that wonderful trip.  

There have been a few medical procedures that I have had this summer, but all have had wonderful outcomes and results.  In late July, I had to have a pancreatic procedure in Denver.  That test provided us great news.  Problems with a duct from three years ago have been resolved, and the pancreatic cyst is stable and has not grown.  All of this was great news.  

Because we traveled to Denver for the test, and because I might have had to spend the night after the procedure in the hospital, Jim treated me to a wonderful stay in a great hotel across the street from the University of Colorado Hospital.  I'm grateful to have such a thoughtful and generous husband.  Side note:  I love the slippers that came with the room!

When the tests all came out well, Jim and I drove to downtown Denver for dinner.  After the endoscopic ultra sound, my throat was very tender.  For dinner, I wanted something easy to digest and soft on the palate.  All I could think of was the wonderful trout dinner at the Brown Palace Tavern, so off we went to one of my favorite places.  What a treat.  The dinner did not disappoint.  It is always a treat to step inside the Brown Palace and enjoy the ambiance.  

And, it is always great when a mini-vacation is squeezed out of a medical appointment.  That is what I call finding the silver lining behind every dark cloud.  We just have look for those silver linings.  I've found that I usually can find them in every situation.

Summer ~ A Time For Some Interesting Weather

The end of August has brought much rain our way.  I read where many of you need rain.  I wish we could share some of ours.  At the foot of the mountains, we seldom have gentle rains this time of year.  We have thunderstorms instead.  Those storms are sometimes quite violent and scary because of the torrents of rain that fall and create rivers out of streams or dry creek beds.  We also have a lot of lightening and thunder.  Sometimes, we have hail.  Yesterday, we had one of the worst hail storms I have ever seen.  Thankfully, it missed our house, and thankfully I missed driving in it.  I was just three blocks way from the site of this video about 15 minutes after the worst of the storm passed through.  I hope you can access this video.  https://www.facebook.com/KOAA/videos/10154554272333939/

Summer ~ A Time for Limited Structure to Schedules

In summer, I find I return to the types of schedules I liked to keep when I was teaching and summer vacation finally rolled around. I like to read fluffy novels that keep me up late at night.  I love going to bed late.  I like sleeping with the windows open so I can feel the cool mountain breeze flow down through the valley where we live and through our bedroom as we sleep.  I love being awakened by the chimes from Mount St. Francis a mile from my home.  I love not having a strict schedule.  I have purposed having a healing, relaxing, and mostly stress free summer.  I have mostly accomplished that goal.

 I hope to return to a more regular schedule soon.  I hope to again also have a more regular schedule of posting to my blog.  Summer has meant that this year,  I did not blog.  Forgive my absence from reading your news.  I hope to get caught up with you all again soon.  

I hope your have had a good summer, and I hope you enjoy these last few days before the Summer of 2016 fades away forever.  

Sally- Summer 2016


Barb said...

Sally, what a great photo of you and your wonderful smile. Your two "guys" are also very photogenic. I love that cloud pic! It does remind me of a silver lining. I'm afraid to tell you this but I have 3 Delphiniums blooming right now, and they're about 4' high. (I'm afraid when I look out tomorrow, they'll be nibbled to the ground.) Actually, the deer usually don't come into my gardens - I have no idea why not, but I hope they continue to stay in the forest! Enjoy these waning days of summer. We had to put heat on in the Great Room last week - it was just too cold by morning. We are also getting storms nearly every afternoon, sometimes with hail but nothing like CO Springs experienced yesterday. We're lucky to be surrounded by such beauty.

Kay said...

Hi Sally! I've been away for such a long time. With all our guests and then our trips to Kauai, Chicago and D.C. it was hard to get to the computer. I love your home. What a beautiful place to live. And your patio is so pretty. It really is a lovely place to relax. Yes, summer is leaving and for us it's hurricane season again. Sigh...

Linda Reeder said...

Thanks for sharing your summer. It does sound very peaceful and relaxing.
We had an easy going summer too, lots of days just spent at home, walking and working in the garden and reading and keeping up with politics and Olympics and family.
We need rain, but not that kind! We may get a bit this week, but then we return to mid 70's. Just right.

Olga Hebert said...

Summer always seems to go so fast, even for me and I mostly live in perpetual summer mode.

Jeanie said...

What a treat this post is! Oh, it IS summer, with travels and dogs and flowers (gorgeous delphiniums) and more. Good for you with all your walking and tan! I'm very impressed.

I love what you said about the mini-vacation in conjunction with the doc visits -- my parents did their best to do that on the way to Mayo clinic in MN, driving from Michigan, when my mom was going through treatment for her cancer. The way home was sometimes a bit dicey but they would leave early and enjoy road trips and side excursions. Those were wonderful times for them, all the more precious because they were the last vacations they would have together. It is a sweet reminder.

Margaret Adamson said...

A lovely post and an especially beautiful shot of you. Boston is handsome so wish him Happy Birthday. Love the shot of the little doe

Terri Tiffany said...

I love catching up on your life via your blog. Your photos put me right there. Plus I really liked that sidewalk art the way it is now! And your home is gorgeous with wonderful relaxing places. I'm so glad all your tests turned out good too!! Hope your fall is just as fulfilling.

DJan said...

I enjoy this time of year the best. We are heading into fall and the long dry days of summer are leaving us. We got some rain and will get more yet again, this time on our hiking day tomorrow. I don't mind a bit. It sure is nice to hear you are doing so well. Sending you hugs! :-)

Tom Sightings said...

Love your photos. You remind us that, every year, summer seems to fly by faster and faster. So I'm running up to the pool today, to take advantage of the last of the 80+ degree weather.

troutbirder said...

Fascinating theme for a fascinating post. Summer is indeed to short. Boston is a beautiful Golden Retriever and a gentle dog I' sure as most hunting dogs come that way. I also wanted to respond to your comment about "In The Garden Of the Beasts". Yes I did read it about a year ago. Actually I think all of Erik Larson books. He has a very special talent for turning somewhat obscure events and situations into highly readable novel like history books. And becoming "best sellers....:)

Lin Floyd said...

it is amazing how fast summer goes, though this one seemed longer and hotter. At last the sun is moving south and not so intense...I love fall!

Arkansas Patti said...

I know how you feel about seasons. All of them are great in their own way. I lived for 40 years in Florida where we had two seasons, tourist and hurricane. Now I am enjoying all 4.
Wonderful news on your test results. I really like how you have taken charge of your health and are doing your part to enjoy each day in a healthy manner. Too many of us rely solely on the doctor to do his job when there are so many lifestyle things we can also do. Keep up the great work.

LC said...

Great news on your procedures and your determination to keep moving, to find silver linings and to rejoice in precious moments. Summer does indeed fly by. I remember those childhood summers that seemed to stretch deliciously forever. Now Hubby and I are thankful for AC and look forward to cooler nighttime temperatures that we hope will arrive at least by October.

Your New Orleans adventure is another thing I anticipate. We only live about 90 miles east of NOLA, but we usually limit our visits to cooler months between October and April.

Rose said...

I love seeing all the photos of Boston; he is such a handsome fellow. We have a Golden Retriever Sophie who is the same color as Boston, so I have a soft spot for these loving dogs. Summer has indeed flown by, but by September I'm always ready for fall. I love all the beautiful flowers of summer, but I can't stand the heat, and this summer it seemed as if we had very few cool days. I'm looking forward to autumn and hoping it lasts as long as last year's. Good to catch up with you again, Sally; you always inspire me with all your activities and positive outlook on life.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

My summer began with a trip to UK to help with our daughter's first baby. Then In early July it was a rush back to pack and move and unpac, my rest is just now back in UK with Buddy and hubby. I do not like less daylight at all for it limits my vision too much.
I am happy for your super summer. I love your self created routine and am glad your health tweaks were good ones. Hugs