Visiting a beautiful garden, Cora cools off near the fountain

As Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off summertime, an eagerness springs forth in our house to experience all things that are so uniquely summer.  We are getting excited to do all the activities that, although somewhat possible in the other nine months of the year, are favorite pastimes and traditions specifically reserved for that sweet trio of June, July, and August.  

Typically on Memorial Day weekend (depending on how chilly the spring has been), our good friends, who live across the road from us, open their pool for the summer.  We look forward to spending our Sunday evenings lounging on the deck or in a pool floatie, surrounded by great company.  We usually fill up on salty snacks and fresh watermelon, but before we can relax too much, someone is likely to start a splash war!

At the end of May, the haying season has begun at the farm, which means often long work days for Justin to make the most of the extra hours of sunlight to mow, rake, or bale hay for feed.  And there’s no busier time at the farm because other crops have to be tended to, and wheat harvest will be just around the corner at the end of June.  Though all this busyness means our farmer will be away from home most evenings, it also means it is time for Cora and I to get in our “buddy seat” time in the tractor and combine. 

As July 4th arrives on our calendar, I’m ever so ready for another holiday and another day off of work to celebrate with food, family, and friends.  When I was growing up on our small family farm, as a little girl I remember the 4th of July being a time to soak in a much-needed day with our family and especially my dad, who had been working long hours in the field leading up to it.  Even today with my own family, there are so many similar elements to this mid-summer event.

Birthdays!  In the summer we celebrate both Cora’s and Justin’s birthdays; each occasion is special in its own way, but one thing we’re sure to have for both is plenty of ice cream. 

August is always open-ended for plans except for one week we reserve early; it’s so hot and the school year is around the corner, so that means it’s time for vacation!  In the past we’ve taken long-distance trips, as in the years when we’ve traveled with our extended family to places like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Gulf Shores, Alabama.  Other years have involved short trips to areas like southern Missouri where we’ve stayed in a cabin and floated a river in a canoe.  Although the three of us are considered bona fide homebodies, it is such a delight for us to plan and go on a summer vacation.  The memories we’ve made being together on these trips are something I wouldn’t trade for anything. 

In recent years, I’ve started compiling a bucket list throughout different seasons, and this summer, it’s helping me plan our weekends around checking off all the boxes.  From DIY projects like making homemade boats we will sail at the lake, to having slumber parties with cousins, our list has a lot of variety!  It’s been fun to create a bucket list with Cora’s input, learning what she finds special in different experiences, and we look forward to all that we will have the opportunity to do this summer.  It makes me happy as a mom to think of what new summer traditions will evolve for my family in the years to come.