I learned a long time ago that the true measure of a fantastic break for me is whether or not it seemed to race by, or flow on forever. A break that raced by was usually one filled with wasted time and future regrets.
But some, like this one, just seem to flow on endlessly and are filled with memory-building experiences and satisfying projects that create hope for the future. This one measures up there as one of the best.
School starts in sixteen days, so I have about two weeks to squeeze in a few things I didn't quite get to (like beach time). But for now I'll reflect back before taking that deep breath and those first steps back into the new school year.
For now, I'll say...
So long for the summer, Disneyland.
Farewell, Wendell. We will miss your slobbery Country Bear kisses at the Jamboree. What a great venue that has been on our summer visits.
Farewell, Jamboree Donald. We so rarely see you at the park at all, and to be able to spend such relaxed mornings with you ...
and the coloring chipmunks, Chip and Dale...
and BOTH Mickey and Minnie...
has been a YEEHAW treat.
We have loved the great sound of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies.
And wasn't it a blast to SCREAM at the train as it went by!?! Great idea, Kirk!
This summer was Mom's first visit to the Golden Horseshoe to see the hilarious Laughing Stock. We both really enjoyed the shows. (BTW, I learned this year that the plans for this theater were the same ones - by the same designer - as the saloon in one of my favorite movies, Calamity Jane with Doris Day and -sigh- Howard Keel. It's always a little special delight to recognize it on each visit now.)
Farewell, summer Chimney Sweeps. I have loved your energy and sense of humor this season. I hope to see you again before the holiday parade moves in, but if not, thanks for a great summer.
A sad but grateful farewell to the 2012 All American College Band, the best I've seen in the 5+ years that I've been following you. You have been so awesome! Thanks for all your hard work and fun and energy.
Keep on movin'
Keep on groovin'
Keep on lovin'
|Farewell, Robby. You're amazing. I predict, though, that I will see you again next year.|
KEEP ON BELIEVIN'
And wasn't it a treat to end the summer season with our own limotram ride. A rare but delightful experience. Happened twice when I was with my Dad, then again on Thursday with my Mom. Yep, we had the whole tram to ourselves. Definitely feels special.
Farewell, summer garden. Wow, we had a great time, didn't we?
|The hardenbergia that I pruned back to the bare vine is coming back with enthusiasm. (Did I mention how it freaked me out that this plant has RED sap.|
|The Stephanotis is loving its new pot and the begonias are in their usual August show-off mode.|
|New and old begonia friends. 'Eunice Gray' with the white flowers is older than my kids.|
Farewell, former blue hydrangea. My, you were a glorious thing this year! Time to deadhead you and prune you back a little. Looking forward to seeing you in your finery again next summer.
Happy to see the gardenia 'First Love' recovered from her near-death experience. Nothing like a repotting and some plant food (the gardenia's version of Godiva chocolates) to give a flower girl a new perspective on life.
Front flower bed is filling in nicely. The new lisianthus along the fence are starting to bloom. I'm hopeful that they will survive and - with decent watering and feeding next spring - thrive and bloom next summer.
Farewell, garden projects. This space was filled with grass and weeds taller than I am. Now it's a hidden, function garden central for front yard projects. All the ugly stuff of gardening is hidden here and out of the fairy garden, which means space for MORE HYDRANGEAS AND BRUGMANSIAS!
Speaking of brugs, a grateful farewell to the brugmansia forest and your delectable
night fragrance. I've never been to the Middle East, but at night when I move through that aroma, the song "Arabian Nights" from Aladdin also wafts through my senses.
In a few weeks I'll have to start the pruning and clean-up for the winter season. I'm betting on getting at least two dozen brugs started from cuttings.
The hydrangea wall is still lovely, at least to those of us who like the old Victorian feel that comes with these older blooms.
'Creamsicle' is a mass of blooms right now (I stopped counting at twenty). Mom and I noticed the peach-colored one at Disneyland (at the entrance to Adventureland, across from the Jolly Holiday bakery). It must have HUNDREDS, if not into the thousands of blooms. It is, I believe, in the ground, though, while my babies are in pots, so I"m very satisfied with what I have. Feed them today, which should get them through the fall just fine.
The nursery is filling up. Mostly begonias and peach-colored brugs now.
A clean slate. DS2 asked to plant some banana trees here, but I said no. I'd prefer rotating vegetables and butterfly nectar plants through here. The currant is looking fried, but this is what happens to my hydrangeas, and they usually come back with leaves more appropriate to their new home. The currant does have new, smaller, tougher leaves so I'm not going to panic just yet. (But I am going to follow Plan A with the second currant plant and put it in a large pot at the end of the Fairy Garden where it won't get quite this much sun.
'Mrs. Percy Slocum' ("changeable" lotus) is settling in quite nicely. TWELVE new leaves since I put her in here less than a month ago.
Native hummingbird sage. Did NOT like the hot sun. I brought her back and she really seems to like this part of the garden, so I decided she will live in a large pot right here.
My first crop of cultured milkweed seedlings. DS2 and I are going to try to grow enough milkweed to have one morning at the farmer's market next summer. This is the first batch of Aesclepias tuberosa. I have five more packets of milkweed seed (different - mostly native - varieties). Will also order some nectar seeds from some of the heirloom seed companies to see if I can get them going, at least for our yard, if not for the market.
Farewell, summer craft projects. I didn't get as many done as I'd hoped, but it is difficult here between the lack of space and the crazy dog. Am happy, though, with my Christmas jacket, especially with this new addition.
ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER! I told my mom that my jacket needed a little bling and that I was going to look for a zipper pull. She said, "We should get something at Disneyland." I immediately flashed on the wonderfully gaudy ones I have with my pin non-collection and said, "Ummm... nnooo... I don't think so." When we got there Thursday, she said, "Don't forget the zipper pull for your jacket!" So, to humor her, I went over to the zipper pull wall and - as I expected - there was nothing appropriate. I returned to her and said, "No, nothing, but we'll go check out the jewelry store to put your mind at ease before we give up."
And found the perfect zipper pull. Christmas red, hearts for love, hidden Mickeys - couldn't have been more perfect. Thanks, Mom!
Sixteen days. Still stuff to do. Dentist on Wednesday. Education training Thursday morning. Still have to finish the massive organization project (hard stuff is done) in the family room. Want to finish three of the books I started to read before getting distracted by another. Next weekend will be a final three-day with my Mom: Dinner at Red's, Saturday with her and Sis, then Sunday Sis and I will go to see Nic Vujicic (Life Without Limits). The next week will include that trip to the beach but will mostly be moving into my classroom, writing lesson plans, and getting caught up on everyone's summer adventures.
I'm so lucky to teach with people I actually look forward to seeing every day.
A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to cross paths with someone who set me on a path of personal growth that blossomed - much like my garden - into physical and spiritual growth as well. At one point he teased me about how much time I spent on facebook, and commented that he knew how powerful a program it was, but that he hadn't explored it. I remarked back, "You have a great big life," and he responded, "Do you imagine that you don't?"
That questioned proved to be a life-changer. If I did, whose fault was it?
I was reminded then of a dream I'd had twenty years earlier. I was in my eighties, in bed, not quite ready to fall asleep but was comfortable, relaxed. Somehow the dream me knew that I would not awaken the next morning, and I smiled and settled in peacefully to look back over my life. At that point I woke up in my real time, but the dream made me think. When my time on Earth is over and I look back, don't I want to look back with joy and satisfaction? Don't I want to look back at a great big life?
Absolutely! And happily, this summer - with its trips with Mom to Disneyland, garden and household projects, the great summer session teaching creative writing, the stitchery and quilted jacket projects, the trips to the I AM Sunday Mornings Coffee Talks and Connections meetings with Tom Shadyac and Nicolle Pritchett (and David DeRothschild and IN-Q and Roko Belic and Seane Corn), the summer writing and reading - all adds up to a GREAT BIG LIFE kind of summer.
Definitely worth repeating. In fact, worth maintaining. Toward that end, I've got a date in about an hour with DS2 for a nursery run so I'd better get moving.
Enjoy your great big life. Be back soon.