The Promise of Another Golden Summer


The view of our beloved Pike's Peak on a morning walk with Joy, downtown this week.

 Chattering as we go, measuring our 10,000 daily steps, camaraderie and belonging, bubble over in all of our walks in the wild near our home. A circle of us around a card game, sitting out on the deck for dinner with candlelight, sleeping on the back porch under the clouds, sitting out under the stars in the front yard, or our daily walk on wild paths, are some of the rituals we keep every day as we continue to talk, giggle, pontificate and are awash in the golden moments of our lovely Colorado.
I am always and always tired and weary when I get to late May, early June. It used to be ending a school year with myriad activities. Now it seems to always be mounting high, idealistic adventures with our adult kids' dreams and projects and for the last several years, another book deadline. May 30, one more book written! :)
Sarah will be home soon to find a wedding dress, and make final arrangements for her wedding in August. Nathan has just visited for two golden weeks while writing our book about out of the box kids, and a webcast to share some of our heart with you. Joel and Joy here for the time being, working to save for their schools in the United Kingdom next year, (Joel getting his Masters of Conducting and Choral Music in Cambridge and Joy a Masters of Theology of Imagination at St. Andrews),  and we have so many wonderful memories ahead to make in one more Colorado summer. We mark our lives by one more meal or tea time we seem to be eating all the time in summer when everyone comes together. As the kids said at the conferences this year, we are all hobbits. If we didn't walk every day, we would be 900 pounds big and happy.
Our favorite snack meal--(especially if I make home-made bread or buy some from a friend!) fruit, chips, hummus, cheese, sandwich meat rolled up, popcorn, and whatever we have in the cupboard that is already made. This helps when I don't want the kitchen to get hot because we do not have air conditioning. The rare days that the temperature is over 90, we just wait through the days, as at 7250 feet high, we just live with the windows open and sleep with fresh mountain air every night.
Now that everyone is older, I make each child (all adults) cook one dinner meal during the week and wash all of the dishes on that night. Then they have 5 other days of the week totally off. All of us have become pretty good cooks--and all of us are natural, organic types, so it is great fun to feast together.
Many of you loved this recipe in the past and I have had new requests for it.One more easy meal that even the boys make was begun by Sarah. So it became:
2 Turkey sausages sliced thin
I whole onion, chopped
a heaping tablespoon of garlic
1 large can (29 ounces?) tomatoes (I like the chopped)
1 full can of water--or a little more to taste
2-3 thinly sliced zucchini
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can beans (navy beans preferred--but we didn't have them last night so we used pinto)
1-2 teaspoons salt to taste
1 heaping tablespoon Italian seasoning
Saute sausage, onions and garlic in olive oil in a large soup pan. Add the tomatoes, water, salt and zucchini. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the zucchini is soft. Add the beans and seasoning and salt. Simmer another little while (I think it tastes better if you just leave it on to simmer while you are doing other things--the tastes blend together better.)
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and a small dollop of sour cream on top and enjoy!
This was a great summer treat for us last year that Sarah made up on the spur of the moment! I had to repeat it this week to be sure I knew how! It is a real pleaser.
The pathway behind our home--awash in beautiful blues, gorgeous--everywhere!
Every once in a while, life seems at peace in all areas.
 It does not happen often, but when it does, I have learned to cherish each moment and store up the goodness of it for future times.
Walking with Joy and the boys last night in our nearby national forest. God smiling from heaven.
Finally, after all the weeks of travel, turning in 2 books, hosting friends from afar in our home,   I am putting rhythms into our lives--for my sake.  We all feel called to minster as a family and to speak and reach out and do what the Lord has put on our plates to do, but really, we love home--the comfort, the meals, the fellowship and the life.
So every day that we are able to cherish this life is a gift.
Clay is in his element with most  of us home to talk and have fun--soon to be everyone--and life will be wild but good. Sometimes with all the noise he retreats to his man-cave, but we feel happy to be together again.
Giddy about Sarah's upcoming wedding in Oxford. Can't wait to have Nathan come back to shoot a new film, soon after Sarah's wedding. We are all such pals and I will deeply miss all of the fuss and fun when they all leave by fall.
This, after all the seasons of living through the stages of younger children--those times when you wonder if your children will be friends.
And wonder if you have more conflict in your home than others do--but I have to say, if you are raising your children to be confident, independent thinkers--there will always be a little tension.
Since I know my children don't come home for as long now, when they want to talk, I drop everything. When they say, "Hey, Mom, fix me breakfast--it always tastes better when you do it." Then I do it and enjoy it, knowing sometime soon, they will be gone. But also knowing that it was being available to make many such memories and serving them so often when they little boys and wee girls, that makes them want to come home one more time.
So happy to be full into summer warmness, at least we have hit the 60's, and leaving the duties of the world behind.
I wish you a golden summer with room to breathe and beauty to enjoy.