The other day it was so chilly that someone made the comment about how it was such a wonderful fall day – for the month of August. And just yesterday someone posted a photo on Facebook from their backyard and asked, “What was wrong with the picture?” What was wrong was that the leaves were starting to change color already! It is only the beginning of August, folks. I hope we still get some nice Michigan summer.
When I was a kid, summer used to last forever. When my own children were youngsters, we relished the summers. I remember, however, my unintentional motherly way I tried to sabotage one summer. Our wonderful city of Trenton offered so many activities for kids to sign up for in the hot summer months. From the library reading program, to swim lessons, tennis lessons, and other activities, I once signed my kids up for all kinds of things – thinking it would for a summer of fun-fun-fun.
It wasn’t fun.
I was so busy hurrying the girls to all the activities that we started resenting having to go places. They couldn’t sleep in some days since swim lessons were early in the morning before open public swim. And sometimes, in the middle of playing at home with friends, we’d have to hurry off to somewhere. I never planned a summer like that again. We were all happier with summer being spent in its’ simplicity. That meant sleeping in, playing with friends, running through the sprinkler, riding bikes through the park, finding cool in the shade on a hot day, and just spontaneously letting summer happen. The school year always came soon enough with all its’ structure and responsibilities.
I think I prefer the simple life that long lazy hot summers remind me of. And I see a trend these days to returning to that simpler life style. I’ve seen so many articles about people down-sizing to smaller homes and purging all the clutter that fills closets and spare rooms. People write about making do with less. And our children do not need tons of costly, fancy toys either. The classic example we’ve all seen? The amount of fun a child can have with an empty box! One fall day, my own girls got a hold of an empty appliance box and drew a house interior in the inside and played with it in the backyard for hours. Jillian even found another smaller box to smoosh her butt into! Simpler is, well, easier, and … simpler. If I see a picture of a delicious new recipe, I pass on ever making it if the ingredient list is more than six or eight items. And I am just not a knick-knack person – all that clutter just means more to dust and too much to look at. Fashion often dictates that “less is more” and warns against over-accessorizing. Life is just more tranquil when there are fewer flavors to choose from, fewer decisions to be made, an extra hour or two to sleep, a simpler hairstyle to ready in the morning, less pieces to put together, and when life in general is less complicated.
The other day I ran across a bible verse that just may be my new favorite. Ecclesiastes 3:12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. There you have it! Basic instructions for life. We need to be content with life and to do all things good that we can. Amen. I like simple instructions and that just about sums it up.
I hope the rest of your summer, where ever you live, is simply the best. Remember to be content with all the blessings you have.
Keep it pure and simple.
Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.