Friday, June 22, 2012

FLIPFLOPS AND APRICOTS

"Celebrate Summer ~ Sun drenched days and starlit nights..." ~Gooseberry Patch

Two little apricots, no bigger than a walnut, sat humby in the palm of my hand. It was all that my little tree could muster this year. 'Old Faithful', my little apricot tree, is usually so laden with fruit, I have to give most of it away. Although apricots are my favorite summer fruit, there is a downside to this species. They tend to ripen all at once, and there is a only small window to harvest these gems before the sun and the squirrels take their toll.

As I look down at my measly two apricots, I recall the thousands of gifts it has provided in the past. It's okay. The tree deserves a year of rest. We all have seasons in our lives when we just can't produce at our normal rate. That's when grace and a little personal indulgence goes a long way.

Whatever your circumstances, and however you feel about the summer months, there is certainly something to savor here. This year, I want to walk through its warm and breezy days with a little more appreciation for all the treasures it holds. I like to start with a list of ideas ~ ways I can relish these twelve weeks, and squeeze as much pleasure as I can out of them.

How about you? Need a little jumpstart? Perhaps my list of ideas will encourage you to sit down and create your own. We can survive the summer, or we can jump in and make a big splash. Ready? Set? Go!

WAYS TO CELEBRATE SUMMER ~
1. Get out and enjoy nature. Walk, hike, go for a bike ride.
2. Put bird food in your yard and wait for the beautiful creatures to come and feast.
3. Trade in those shoes for some bright colored flipflops. Give your toes some much deserved breathing room.
4. Get an early start to your day in a favorite spot outdoors and spend time with your Creator. Worship cleanses the soul and puts things into perspective.
5. Decorate for the season with fresh flowers, sea shells, and family photos taken during summer months.
6. Go to local farmer's markets and plan meals using fresh produce.
7. Barbeque, have picnics, eat outside.
8. Putter in your garden. Take time to appreciate every flower and tree that graces your yard.
9. Take advantage of the warm evenings and do some start-gazing.
10. Attend local concerts in the park ~ a bonus is that they are usually free.
11. Find a child to bless. Buy that cup of lemonade at your neighbor's house. Volunteer at a library or summer kids' program. Offer to babysit for someone who needs the help. Invest in children.
12. Build a sand castle. Play hopscotch. Grab a hula hoop. Rediscover your inner child.
Go ahead. Have fun! Afterall, it IS summer!

"Dirty hands, iced tea, fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me, who could ask for more?" ~Bev Adams

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes in the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across a sky, is hardly a waste of time." ~John Lubbock

"I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun." ~Ecclesiastes 8:15  
       

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