Saturday, February 21, 2009

summer breeze, makes me feel fine

The flakes are falling around here, big time, so I think it's the perfect time to answer Cassie's second interview question: What is your favorite summertime activity?

I absolutely LOVE summer. I live in Michigan, where winters go on forever and bring lots of cold and that nasty white stuff, so when summer comes I'm beyond excited. I don't mind the heat, or even the humidity that much. I am blessed with an air conditioned home and even a groovy little pool out back, so I can escape from the warmth if I must.

But I usually just escape to one of my very favorite places in the whole world: my backyard gazebo.

The Big Man put in a lovely stone patio a few years ago. On it sits one of those gazebos with a really nice Martha Stewart patio beneath it. Every spring, as soon as we've endured the last frost, I go to the garden supply store and buy four of the biggest, most expensive ferns I can find. They always end up being the only plants I care for consistently all summer, rewarding me with those gorgeous waxy fronds all season. I hang one at each corner of the gazebo, and AJ puts up the twinkling lights and perhaps a wind chime. It's perfection.

The only adornment it needs is me in my Mrs. Roper dress, and I don't disappoint. (I have this floral dress that is really fun and a bit sexy, and when I bought it I told my best girl friend I felt like Mrs. Roper. The name stuck.) I love sitting out on the patio on summer nights, sipping an iced tea or a glass of Winking Owl (the house wine around here. If there is an Aldi grocery store near you, get yourself there immediately and purchase this awesome stuff - only $2.99 a bottle. The Cabernet is my fave.)

Sometimes it's just me and the Big Man out there, talking about the kids or his job or my insecurities in between sips. Sometimes all the kids are there, in their bathing suits, dripping wet and eating hot dogs. Often we are entertaining our friends (love you Jim and Mary Lou!) or our pastor. Last summer Fr. Jeff "offered me the opportunity" to have him and the seminarian who was visiting our parish eat dinner with us every Monday night. Often we ate on the patio, with the pasta salad moving around the table as fast as the conversation about everything from church committees to the latest episode of SNL.

I have a small home, and summer means my home gets a whole lot bigger. My digs expand to include my beautiful gazebo and all the fun beneath it.

I just can't wait for summer to come again!


Kim H. said...

Cathy, when can I come over?....

Okay, a couple things. First, as always, you are AMAZING! Really, you make me want to stop on by and jus hang out for a while. I love ya!

Second -- ALDI, winking owl, $2.99?...Can you hear my screeching tires?...

Third -- I LOVE that Martha Stewart line from the big "K" -- I know (shudder) but she's got some good stuff. I can't help myself.

I got the most AWESOME score on one of those HUGE gazebos. Like end of season, triple-ripple (that means BIG :) DISCOUNT. We put it up so baby Molly Frances could swim in her little baby pool with some shade.

Then we used it for two more summers -- got awesome compliments from all the neighbors and friends because they are just the perfect size.

Then last fall came. And I kept saying to hubby "um, could you take down the gazebo? PLEASE. Pretty PLEASE." It just never happened.

Fast forward to new year's day morning. Picture overnight windstorm. Picture gazebo in neighbors yard. In pieces. In tatters. Picture cranky wife. Picture hubby with tail between his legs. Yep, it went in the trash. Sniff. Sniff.

AND THEN JUST LAST NIGHT -- I was in the big K to buy dog food -- you know, of course at 9:45 PM -- and I saw it. It was like a beacon in the night. They've got a new gazebo with these pull down shade side thingies. Iwantitrealbad.

And lastly, I love hot dogs -- I'm from Chicago after all. :)

Love you Mrs. Roper.

Laura said...

I feel that same love for my balcony.

SQUELLY said...

It is so nice to consider summer getting day. Thank you for making it seem a little closer

mary lou said...

We made your blog!

Bia said...

Summers are too hot down here, but I do love springtime . . .

momto5minnies said...

I love the summer breeze, but my favorite place to take it all in would be at the beach ... not sure I will get there this summer.

Your little place to escape sounds just lovely!!!!!

Soul Pockets said...

Gosh do I love summer! I don't like wine but I have purchased Winking Owl for the hubby. I recommend it also.

Where can I get a Mrs Roper dress?

Cassie said...

Just now finding time to get out here and read your answers. I knew you wouldn't disappoint! Your gazebo sounds lovely! I wish I was your next door neighbor! :-)