Sometimes, I’m just struck by my life. I do something ordinary, something I do everyday – say, taking down the towels off the line, folding them, and walking into the house with the basket overflowing with stiff, fresh clothes. Then, walking to the bathroom and the pile of towels (most of them similarly stiff), I can’t help but hold them up against my face, scratchy and stiff though they are, and take a deep breath in. It’s the same sort of breath I take with my daughter’s fine, grimy hair against my nose, early in the morning when she wakes me with a request for a “loney sammy” or because “I wet!” It’s the exact inhaling that brings back crystal-clear memories of growing up at the camp and that will someday remind me of the babies who will spend too short a time in my arms and in my house and in my care.

Walking out of the bathroom, the fresh smell of line-dried towel lingering in my nose, I started thinking of all the smells that send my mind to thoughts of summer. And, in the midst of doing evening dishes and getting our silly summer Sunday dinner/picnic thrown together, I had to jot down a few things, so that I can have them here. In about three months, I’ll be all full of fall and new baby and other things, and I’ll have summer tucked far away in a cedar chest somewhere. But now, in the height of the heat and the humidity of mid-July, I want to savor this life RIGHT NOW. I want to live in the present moment and smile as I’m doing it (though that voice in my head may complain in subtitles anyway).

Freshly cut grass

Tassled corn

Tomatoes growing

Manure spread

Hay – cut, baled, stacked ceiling-high in the barn

Iced tea

Clothes just off the line

Lilies and lavender, petunias and peonies




A new book




Roasting marshmallows

Grills full of red meat

Baked beans

Hot asphalt

Diesel fuel from tractors hard at work

Cotton candy

Deep fried anything and fair food