Q: What is outside all summer and is Irish?A: Paddy O’Furniture
I never thought it was possible, but I’m beginning to like summertime better these days. Having lived in Florida for more than 50 years, it’s about time, huh? A central Florida summer is practically an 11-month gig, and I’ve had a longstanding love-hate relationship with it. I love those few weeks when the temperature is below 70, and pretty much hate the rest of it.
However…my attitude is experiencing a long-overdue adjustment. It could be my wife’s encouragement to be content with the climate where God has placed me for half a century. Perhaps I’ve decided to “join ‘em rather than fight ‘em.” Maybe there really is something to this Global Warming thing, and my body is acclimating. Or, conceivably, it’s my mid-life crisis – and a positive one at that!
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not jumping-up-and-down excited about summer, and I don’t believe I’ll ever enjoy 95-degree days, however, I am beginning to think it’s not so bad after all. And besides, I shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because I have a self-proclaimed allergy to hot weather shouldn’t give the entire season a bad name. For instance…
From a work perspective, the days are a bit different. They’re still very busy and there’s always a lot to do to advance the work of an excellent Christian school, but the pace is just not quite the same as during the school year. It seems to be a refreshing change for a few months.
Q: Why do watermelons have fancy weddings? A: Because they cantaloupe.
The summer’s fruit and vegetable yield is reason enough to love the months of June through August. Now, I realize you can walk into the produce section of Publix year-round and find most any favorite foodstuff. Their availability seems to transcend time at this wonderful supermarket.
But there’s just something special about those crops that are specifically associated with summertime. My favorites are:
- Cherries -- especially the large, sweet Rainier variety – expensive, yes…but the best!
- Blackberries – particularly the ones growing wild just across the street from my Tennessee mountain home
- Watermelon – definitely seedless, and I prefer those distributed by my good friend Steve Nichols with Global Produce Sales
- Blueberries – the dark chocolate of fruits…I consume them for enjoyment as well as for health reasons
- Peaches – My go-to summer fruit! Can’t wait for trips through northern Georgia when the aroma from a basketful of these beauties fills our car
- Corn – the only vegetable making my summer list – nothing compares with the classic, super-sweet Silver Queen…grilled!
And what sports fan doesn’t feast upon the bounty of major sporting events each summer? Even though we all complain about the lack of football this time of year, we can still enjoy quite the smorgasbord -- U.S. Open golf, the NBA Finals, Wimbledon, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, the Stanley Cup Finals, the Tour de France, The British Open, U.S. Open tennis, the PGA Championship, and the Little League World Series. Summer sports aren’t so bad after all, are they?
Dad: You’ll never amount to anything because you procrastinate. Son: Oh yeah? Just you wait!
Then there’s Father’s Day. Pardon the pun, but it’s the granddaddy of celebrations for men! We get to pick our menu (or restaurant!), choose how we wish to spend the entire day, and, of course, watch the final round of the U. S. Open golf tournament on our television of choice. This year, we had the added bonus of ending the night with Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
What a day, though, to honor the men – or the memory of those – who serve as our earthly fathers. Among other things, my dad modeled hard work and provision for his family. Through his labor, we had all we needed at that time.
And what a blessing to be the father of three ideal children and the grandfather to two perfect grandchildren! No bias here, of course. Seriously, it is a high privilege to be Dad to Daniel, Mary Beth and Jeremy, and Pops to Bryce and Connor. What a grace from my own Heavenly Father. I pray I will look to the Lord, daily, for clear guidance in leading my family well. And I look forward to what I will continue to learn from my grown children, and even from my grandchildren.
God has also blessed us with certain wonderful things we wouldn’t see or enjoy if there was no summer. The long days are great for all manner of outdoor activities. For me, it means extra time for yard work, or – better yet – for late afternoon/evening golf. A friend from Michigan called this afternoon to say he began his round at 8:15 p.m. last night. What a treat for my friends from the north!
The warm weather also brings an explosion of crape myrtles and other fabulous summer blooms, such as hydrangeas, marigolds and magnolias. Favorites in my mountain landscape are the black-eyed Susans and Tennessee coneflowers.
Q: Why was the firefly mother so unhappy? A: Because her children weren’t very bright.
And, speaking of my mountain place, nothing sets summer apart in that neck of the woods like the nightly appearance of fireflies! These luminescent insects have fascinated me since the time I was old enough to notice them on our summer vacations. In fact, I still maintain a childlike awe of these marvelous creations of God. Even though I don’t catch lightning bugs in jars anymore, I still stay outside well after dark to watch their show.
Can you begin to see why I might become a bigger fan of summer? I haven’t even mentioned weekend trips to the beach, blockbuster movie releases, and just extra time to float around the pool. Oh, and there’s also my summer birthday…even though I’ll hit double-nickels this July.
So, even though the sweat glands are working 24/7, I guess this season isn’t so bad after all. God has provided more blessings that I can count during these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing between now and the beginning of another school year –
- Have fun!
- Enjoy all that God supplies,
- Appreciate the beauty of His creation,
- Spend quality and quantity time with your family,
- Read some good books, and
- Be faithful in all the means of grace, including Bible Study, prayer, preaching of the Word, and fellowship with one another.
Above all, may your “summer attitude” far exceed that which mine is slowly becoming!
And, finally, my apologies for the lame jokes…
Mr. Steve Wilson is the Director of Advancement at Lakeland Christian School. To reach Steve, you may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net