Summer is in full swing. The days are longer, allowing us to spend more time outdoors. If we can stand the heat, that is. Raleigh had its hottest day all year on Monday, followed by a “cold front” on Wednesday, with much cooler temperatures. Even the weather is unpredictable. But there are some things that are predictable. One of those is Camp Nana when the granddaughters who live in Georgia come to Raleigh for a prolonged visit. This has been a tradition in our family since Mary Grace, who is now fourteen, was one. We have not missed a summer.
Two of our three granddaughters, twelve-year-old Elsie and seven-year-old Virginia, have been with us this week, and Elsie was with us for a week earlier in the summer. Mary Grace is at Camp Merrie-Woode in Sapphire. NC, a camp her mother attended as a child. We will travel to Sapphire this weekend to deliver the two younger girls to their parents and visit with them for a couple of days after picking Mary Grace up from camp. The girls will start school next week, and we will retire Camp Nana for 2019. What a wonderful time we have had.
As I consider this, I am shocked by how fast time goes. We are already halfway through this year, and do you know how many days there are until Christmas?! I bet you do! But before we get too far along with that line of thinking, let’s focus on how to enjoy these remaining lazy, days of summer.
I have written before about not spending all of our time this summer relaxing, recommending that we should be somewhat “productive.” I believe that, and have even done some productive things, and have more scheduled. But I also believe that we should take full advantage of our time in the summer to relax, spending some of the longer days to just “be,” not always having to “do.” When I think of January and February, and the need during those months to spend much of our time indoors trying to stay warm, I want to be outside in the sun these warm months, enjoying the lazy, crazy days of summer as much as possible.
I have mentioned the granddaughters. We also have a grandson, Drew, seventeen months old this week. Drew has not yet experienced Camp Nana, somewhat due to his age and also the fact that he lives in Raleigh. But Drew was with us this week, spending the night, and doing his best to keep up with his older cousins. Seven-year-old Virginia thought he belonged to her! She fed him, changed his diapers, and played with him all day. It was so precious to watch. Nana spent much of her time trying to dodge the toys all over the floor so she (I) would not break a hip!
Lessons learned from this summer. Time flies, whether we are having fun, or not. Once gone, it can never be recovered. This is best experienced by looking in the faces of these precious grandchildren, wondering how they grew so fast. And also looking in the mirror, wondering how we grew so fast!
Each year brings a few more aches and pain, wrinkles, and age spots. I accept them all, grateful for aging when some I knew did not.
It is best to take life as it is, and not fret over what cannot be changed. There is some heartache, but also plenty of blessings. I choose to focus on the blessings and learn from the problems and the lessons they are sent to teach me.
I have also learned to take people as they are, and not try to change them. While I am still working on trying to change myself to be the person I am meant to be, I have slowly learned to let others be. I obsess less over the hurts that sometimes come as a result of living in a relationship world. I am not totally there yet, but I am closer than I have ever been.
The lazy days of summer give me time to pause, reflect, and find the joy in everyday life. For I know If I am not careful, this time will be gone, and I will have missed it.