Wednesday, August 31, 2011

farewell to summer...

When I think of June, July, and August I don't think of books and travel and work but family and home. Here are a few candid shots from our summer...

We had a bumper crop of raspberries in our garden this year. Oh, what a joy picking a fresh bowl nearly every day...

My humble flower barrels, one of them...

Love the sound of splashing water, even in a little fountain...

Wyatt and the garden...

Paul and his fiddle...

The big hike ~ ropes are needed to scale the heights to the beach...

Paul swinging in his beach swing...

I call this the "Robinson Crusoe" shot:)

Lots of islands on the Pacific coast. Makes you want to row out to one and investigate...

My camera shy Wyatt. Pardon the shirt!

Paul took this last picture before going to sleep the final night camping...

What summer memories are most memorable for you?


  1. That first picture is truly a dream. Is that really outside your window? I think I would move except the winters would be outside my reality. I've never camped on the beach but it looks fun!

  2. Looks like you had a great summer.

    Love the rocky beach and the lonely island in the sun picture.

  3. It looks as if you and your family had the perfect summer! Will you send some of those raspberries my way? LOL. There's nothing like homegrown fruit.

    XOXO~ Renee

  4. Wonderful photos, Laura! Did you take that photo of the raspberries? It's beautiful! I love all of the other photos, too. It looks like your boys had a great time on their beach trip. : )

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your summer!

    We made a couple camping trips this summer, and celebrated my son's 8th birthday. We enjoyed lots of reading and lazy family days, too. In a few days were celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary with a trip to San Francisco (all five of us!). We're about an hour an a half away. Would you believe I've lived in CA all of my 39 years, and I've never been to see the Golden Gate Bridge? I know! It's truly pitiful! ;-) I am so looking forward to it! Can't wait to get some photos with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, taste some sourdough bread at Fisherman's Wharf, and take in the sites and sounds of the city. Even as CA natives, we don't get to SF very often (it's not one of hubby's favorite places, but he's going to indulge the kids and I).

    Have a wonderful Wednesday, Laura! I look forward to checking in tomorrow to see if the new changes have taken place here. : )


  5. Beautiful photos Laura....thanks for sharing...
    It is has been a wonderful summer for our family....lots of camping, kids, grandkids, and many relaxing, lazy days. I am incredible blessed and try to never take if for granted.
    Most of my first garden in our 'new to us' home is winding down. The tomatoes just don't seem to want to quit, and we are still reaping some melons and citrus. My first try at gourds will have to stay put until our first hard frost. Though it has been a great summer...I am looking forward to getting out my fall decorations and starting a new season.
    Blessings to you!

  6. Oh, what great pictures! Thank you for sharing them with us, and I'm so glad you had a good summer. :)

    I had a fabulous summer with my family, as well! I know I could have had a job or done something like that, but it was such a blessing to spend this last summer before I graduate with my family - on vacation and at home. We made some grand memories!


  7. Beautiful photos of your special memories! Thanks for sharing them with us.

  8. I love seeing your summer memories! Love the Robinson Crusoe shots! I know you have some other special memories with your trip in PA, as I have on my trip to VA. What a beautiful world our Creator has made with such fascinating places to visit.

  9. Gorgeous photos Laura! We had a family reunion this summer where all four of us girls and our children were able to be with my mom for a week (only 1 of the sons in law could come, but all my sisters were there). That was memorable.

    Other than that, my summer memory from this year is that we had a nice quiet summer at home. We didn't have a lot of set plans, we didn't go a lot of places. It was nice and laid back and my boys both said they loved it. I did too!

  10. Beautiful photos, Laura! The raspberries look delicious. I love your water pots.

    The highlight of my summer was probably seeing my cousin and his wife back in July. The majority of the time I see them, there's a death in the family, so it was really nice to see them without a funeral. I do like both of them, and enjoy the little bits of time I spend with them. They are the ones who live in the RV year-around.

    I can't believe summer's almost over. Then again, I noticed last week that Kroger has caramel and candy apples. That's a clear sign it's almost fall. I'm looking forward to the cooler temperatures.

  11. I love the Robinson Crusoe shot! :-) As the end of summer comes, I have to admit to myself and my friends that I am not going to be able to make ACFW this year. I'm so disappointed not to be able to join you for our historical dress parade. But wisdom had to win out, and I'm on a tight deadline (again) for the third novel in the series. Next year, I'll be there with full regalia!

  12. Summer has gone by so fast. I loved being on Lake Michigan with Dennis and the kids. What a beautiful state I live in. It was after a big storm that we ventured toward the beach. The waves were 4-6ft. We had a blast wading in and jumping the waves. My Anna only has next Summer and then she will graduat high school. I am holding on to these precious memories.

    PS...You are good photographer!!

  13. Oh, it's wonderful waking up to all these comments on a very foggy, cold September 1st! I feel I'm a bit late to my own party as I was a little under the weather yesterday but better today and happy to see you:)

    Adrienne, I am wishing for some of your sun this morning! That's what I miss being outside of the south. My mom moved here recently and she said she hasn't been warm once since she came! She goes around wearing a sweater/coat and I want to RUN back to Kentucky. We can't grow tomatoes worth a hoot either! Beach camping on the Pacific coast is fun but again, it's so different than the Atlantic with all that white sand and warm water. One of the funny (not so funny) things that struck me when I first came out here was the big beach signs that say, "WARNING! Beach logs kill!!" The surf is so thunderous that it churns up huge logs and debris and tourists have to watch out. And you'll notice all those rocks in the pictures - definitely for the hardy types, of which I am NOT;) Enjoy that sunshine!!

  14. Loree,
    Thanks for looking and commenting:) That's my favorite, too - there's something so majestic and beautiful about it. I can see God's hand in creation so easily at the beach. Bless you today!

  15. Renee, Those beautiful raspberries are fading fast, sadly, though Paul managed to find a handful or two this week. The peak is July-August though we have several different varieties - and everyone tastes different. You're right - nothing like homegrown fruit. Now it's blueberry time:)

  16. Michelle, Happy anniversary!! 18 years is HUGE! We're right behind you at 17:) Good husbands just improve over time, aye?! I had to chuckle at your comment of being so close and not seeing the sites. Same here. So many of the locals don't get out to the lakes and mountains but leave that up to us transplants:) I hope your time away is wonderful, the weather fine, and you see God's hand everywhere. When traveling I love to think of Michelangelo's quote - Lord, let me see Thy glory in every place. I'll look forward to your pics when you return!

    So glad you mentioned the new website/blog. I just heard from my webmaster and, bless her, she has edits on her own book and also is recovering from a health emergency and trip to hospital so the revamp has been pushed back to October. I told her to take all the time she needs as she has so much happening! I always admire webdesigners as I'm truly clueless in that department. But once it's up, I'll be anxious to see what you think! It's SO DIFFERENT!!

    Bless you as you and yours travel, Michelle. Thoughts and prayers go with you!

  17. Debra, Oh, I love hearing about your garden as you grow some wonderful things we can't! The melons and tomatoes sound delicious - and I have quite a fondness for gourds and have used them in my books - Lael's story, for one. They are surely one of His most interesting and useful creations:)

    Your attitude struck me as so fitting - I needed the reminder that each day is a gift that I need to be thankful for. Lately I've viewed life as a glass half empty rather than full. You're heart attitude is so right - we should never take what we have for granted. Bless you so much for saying that!

  18. Amber, I'm so glad you were able to just soak up summer. You have the rest of your life to work, I think, so why rush:) Family is so important and it's good to take time for them when we have the chance. Plus I think it helps prepare you for what sounds like a very busy senior year in college! I can hardly wait to see where you go from here. Something tells me it will have very much to do with writing:)

  19. Renee Ann, You've been on my mind this week as it's your first week back in school, if I remember correctly! I took my boys down early this morning as it's Wyatt first day of high school and Paul's first day of middle school. Praying their day - and yours - is blessed!!

  20. Well said, Carla. It's a wonderful world - who can doubt His hand in it all? I'm already wishing I could go back to Pennsylvania - the autumns must be spectacular there. Our leaves are beginning to change a bit but since we mostly have evergreens/Christmas trees, there isn't much color. It's great to start fall having been on a trip. So thankful for that. And so happy you're back!!

  21. Holly, I think the best summers are the laid back ones - your boys sound like my boys:) Sometimes they just want to be free to play and be boys and not rush. Me, too!

    How neat that you have so many sisters!! I don't have a one, just female cousins. Your time away with them and your mom sounds priceless. I bet you have lots of great pics. Such good memories you're making.

    Thanks for stopping here - you bless me!

  22. Michelle, You mentioned 2 of my favorite things - candy and caramel apples:) We made a big batch one fall for our church harvest party and the boys put gummi worms on them and they were so cute! Washington State grows huge apples so these looked a bit like bowling balls. And I think people ended up halving them to choke them down:)

    Your cousins live such an interesting life - can you imagine taking your home wherever you wanted and changing locations in mere days? Heavenly! Randy and I have had some serious discussions about that. I'm thinking you need to go along with them on a trip;) Only you might not come back!

    Enjoy that Kentucky fall. I do miss those so much.

  23. Rosslyn, You're so thoughtful to tell me. And I understand completely. Last year I rec'd my edits right before leaving for Indiana and it was pretty stressful. I can only imagine (after all your travel for your first book) what a respite home has been to you this summer! Being a homebody myself, that has enormous appeal. Am trying to mentally prepare for St. Lou.

    I'm not going to be able to wear my dress this year, either. But it's fun to think we might meet next time in full regalia as you so fittingly put it! The pictures will be so memorable if we do! Thanks so much for stopping here.

  24. Stacie,
    I've decided you are a girl who knows how to have fun!! Jumping those waves must have been wonderful. And I can second your statement about having a beautiful state. YOU DO! The summer I worked on Isle Royale and went into the Upper Peninsula was so amazing. Hubs keeps telling me he wants to go back there. And then there was that incredible historical lodge that was in the movie, Somewhere in Time. Can't remember the name. We didn't stay there but spent the day there.

    Your Anna must be so excited - and busy - her senior year!! Bittersweet for Mom and Dad. That's how I felt when I took my boys to school this morning. Bless you and thoughts and prayers with you!

  25. Beautimus photos, Laura. Looks like a fun place to spend a summer, your neck of the woods. So funny that you and I would probably rather trade our summer weather. I awoke today around 4:45 to temps in the 40s, am warming my hands with my tea mug, and wearing my favorite hoodie sweater for the first time since last winter. It's like wearing a hug. Of course, it's forecasted to be 101 degrees on Saturday. But I'm loving this first taste of fall. Bring. It. On!

    We've enjoyed our huckleberry picking again this year. The crop is abundant (compared to last year's dearth), and if we only had more freezer space we'd be up there again this weekend to pick more. It's one of our favorite end of summer things to do. Except for our dog losing his collar and license tag somewhere in that vast tangle of berry shrubs, the little rat (as my husband calls him; he's actually a big 70lb rat). :)

    Thanks for sharing your summer beauty with us. I do adore our rocky, islanded coast. Oregon looks very much the same. So much character.

    PS: I was a bit under the weather yesterday too. Here's to feeling better today for both of us!

  26. Laura,

    The Grand Hotel is the name of the hotel on Mackinac Island..I had the privilege of staying there once. We have visited the island many times. When you come to Michigan I will be your personal tour guide :)

    Glad you are better!

  27. You have a huge garden to tend, Laura! Great pics! I hope the fall is as wonderful as your summer seems to have been!

  28. I accidently deleted your comment on my blog post of The Colonel's Lady. I would love for you to repost it. I so appreciated it.

  29. Glad you're feeling better, Lori - me, too:) And I would so love to trade you weather. It's STILL foggy and cold here at suppertime. But I hear (but don't quite believe) we have 8 days of sunshine coming with temps in the 80's. I think NOT!

    I remember huckleberry picking in the Cascades way up high - yummy little berries. I bet you use them all sorts of ways. And I know you're a fine baker!

    LOL about your little rat;)

  30. Stacie, YES, Mackinac! One of the loveliest places on earth! And so historic. Thank you:) I remember thinking how ideal it would be to set a novel there. Quite romantic! And I must say you would be THE BEST tour guide!! I may well take you up on it when I visit Revell in Grand Rapids and Ada:)

  31. Eileen, So glad you're here:) And I must confess hubs is the master gardener now - his thumb is much greener than mine - though I do help when I can. I miss my canning days. Miss the look of an Amish pantry in my kitchen:) I hope the fall is wonderful, yes. And I hope/pray yours is as well!!

  32. Nancy,
    I'd be delighted:) I thought I was the only one who deleted comments! Be right over...

  33. What beautiful green!! I'm so glad your summer was wonderful and I pray for an easy transition into the Fall for your family. Your land is so beautiful...must help you in writing all your lovely descriptions.

    This summer, wow, interesting to say the least. We will always remember this summer I think, one surprise after another. Starting with my gallbladder and Chris' blood issues and ending with Chris at a new job at breakneck speed (really where he's wanted to head careerwise for years) without even looking and more blood testing on Thursday...and a new responsibility for me on the homeschool co-op board here. It hasn't been the most fun summer we've ever had but we've really seen God work in all these things this summer in unexpected ways. I hope that's not too much blabbering :)

  34. Julia, You're so right - it's vividly green here from all the rain:) Great writing weather! I never think of you as blabbering but if this is it, please do more:) I know this summer was very hard in many ways with lots of "cliffhanger" moments for you as a family. But like you said, you can see God's hand and His faithfulness. I always love when you stop in as you always end up pointing to Him:) Praying your fall is memorable for all its blessings.

  35. LOVE LOVE all the pics! Gorgeous! Wish I could come out to visit you this fall! Hoping all is well with everyone. :)