Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Every month I decorate our house with items and flowers.
I have themes and events, different aspects of nature to learn about. Many of our things have come from our families and our children. I attempt to create a mood with the different tabletop scapes. We have all sorts of collections. As the year unfolds I bring those out so we can enjoy them. My teapots and coffee servers are usable. As I find ones I like, at prices I like, I buy. July has one.

The flower presses will stay out until I have them full of leaves and flowers. I have ideas on things I want to make this year. They make a nice collection.I need spots to store garden produce. I want every area in the house to be beautiful. These bins work. Will be beautiful when filled!

Each month we do different things too. I try to set out the things we will need for our activities. July doesn't seem to have many activities.

We often have traveled in July. Perhaps that is why July doesn't have very many things to decorate with.

While setting things out yesterday I was disappointed. July was not looking as beautiful as past months. I struggled. I read the journal and tried to do the same things I did last year but still I was not pleased. The house looked so-so, not the beautiful I like. As I looked around I did not see one area that made me gasp! I could not seem to put things together in a beautiful way.

Often, when this happens, I just need to get flowers and light the candles and once again the countertops and tables look pretty. I went out to the yard and looked around. Not many flowers to choose from.

The carrots are in bloom. They are beautiful. Some have started to set seed too.
Lots of the stems are hanging over onto the garden path.

I decided to cut a few for the dining room table.
I ironed the linens. The vintage look tablecloth, of a map of the U.S.A., looked good. Could be an interesting theme. We have taken road trips in the past in July. I have the scrapbooks and photo albums of those trips sitting out. They are fun.

I did not have a candle holder for the table so the table did not look "right". I wrote that down on my list of needs, which is growing!

Sometimes I need to let go of items. I went around and took down anything I was not excited about, the non treasures. I filled another box to give away. My husband calls this, "culling". I culled and culled some more.

Even with the flowers I was disappointed. I did not feel inspired. I could not see the beautiful.

July has no special events. We do not do very much for the 4th of July. Once in awhile we will watch fireworks. We used to go to the Lake. I have a few photos of the kids with sparklers and black snakes, those I have framed and they sitting about. Those are fun.

The journal did not have much to build from. Most of my categories are empty. No ideas. No calendar of events. As I was moving things around I began thinking about July. Trying to come up with ideas on what July meant to me. All I could think of, was it usually is hot and humid and I am waiting for tomatoes and peppers!

I do like the Red Geranium and the Red Poppy motifs. They just are not a popular decor item. My friend did a watercolor for me last year of a pot of red geraniums which I framed. I do love it. When I see it I will be reminded to send my friend a blessing.

We had our supper. I discussed the ho-hum of house with my husband and the lack of inspiration I was experiencing. He thought maybe I could do some shopping and encouraged me not to give up.

My July journal was too filled to write 2006, in. I needed a new journal. I checked my journal supply. None that would work. I poked around in some of my stuff and did find a green, large one. Maybe I needed to add green to my color scheme and take out the idea of "red, white and blue". Maybe July needed to be about something other than Americana.

I went out to the deck. It was early evening. I had my iced coffee and the new journal. A storm was coming in. The thunder and the cicadas were entertaining. Some children down the street set off a string of firecrackers. I began to laugh. Once again I was inspired. The sounds of summer. Perhaps I can let July unfold. Perhaps this year, July can be a month for serendipity. I have a blank journal. I can be ever so present in the now. Each day I can experience what is here, in my own back yard. It will be fun. I can relax. I can enjoy.


Sprite said...

Dear Q~

I just love the idea of remaining open to possibility!

Your blank journal says it all...

You have inspired me to write about my Julys (in my youth) and summertime fun.


Sprite said...

"Red Rover, Rivers, & Revelry"

I remember when I was young, in July we always had family reunions, with lots of family, food, fun and the game "Red Rover."

When I think of "Red Rover," I am reminded of my 'special' cousin "Tommy." Everyone wanted Tommy on their team, because he was a big and strong youthful man. Whoever had "Tommy" on their team would win the game. I loved Tommy. He passed on a few years ago, and had lived a good life.

We all need "Tommy's" on our team, don't you think? A person who doesn't care about winning or loosing, rather just having fun. A person who can just hold the strength for us, even if they don't have complete understanding of what that strength means in bonding and relationships. I think about all those arms interconnected and the 'tickle in the tummy' of getting ready to run, knowing that I would land with a thump on some arms that would just swing me back and forth and then drop me in the clover. I have such fond memories of cookouts, picnics and potato salad. Running and sliding down the hill on the watery 'Slip-N-Slide," and water balloon fights. Now that would cool us down quick!

During those hot Julys in days gone by, we would often spend time on the farm. We'd enjoy canoe trips down on the Pomme de Terre River, and sometimes we'd take the johnboat out on the Big and Little Niangua trolling for "I don't know what" when I was too young to remember anything but holding the lantern steady for the way ahead. Now that was one big adventure! I lived for adventure! We'd come home and sing songs and roast marshmallows together by the fire in the moonlight. Later, we would drink sugared ice tea and play cards 'til early in the morning.

Some nights, living so close to a river - the fog would roll in. Our upper land ran right along side an old graveyard, and at night the play of fog and light against the stones would cast shadows in our field. These lightplays of shadow on fog looked like many many people wandering home. Many stories were told these nights about who they could be, and where they were going. There was always a sense of mystery in our family. Storytelling abounded, and we all participated. I still get chills thinking of the cool evening, when the blankets were wrapped tight, and we were shaking in our boots from stories of the ghosts in the fields. Then we would run as fast as we could to grandma's featherbed, jumping under the covers and piling pillows all around our head so we were safe, sound and soon fast asleep.

Sometimes we'd get up early and we would go down to the river and take our raw eggs, onions, potatoes and ketchup and build a fire and cook them up in on old iron skillet on the river bank. We'd sit on quilts and have breakfast, and watch the fog lift, and the sun rising higher in the sky knowing it must be midmorning. We might climb the bluff across the river for a while, and come back to where the old rope swing was hanging over the river on the deep side, and grab the rope and run flying into the air just to drop into the nice cool water. Pretty soon it would be time to dry off and head back to the farm house. July holds such wonderful memories for me.

Now, thinking about how families grow older, I see the youth in the next generation. One can always draw from the times we were 'carefree' in our youth, and we felt the most safe. It's a wonderful memory for me of summertime fun.


Q said...

Hi Sprite!
Thank you for sharing some of your memories of July days and nights as a child. All of us need Tommy!

The fog and the mists sound ever so delightful! Grandmother's feather quilt is so cosy.

The river and the fields, the bluffs and the time of play are charming reminders that childhood can be with us every day. Being open to the experience of now helps us keep that wonderment of childhood.

Thank you for your inspiration.

Anonymous said...

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