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!