August 29, 2010

Long, Hot, Busy Summer

Posted in Holidays tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 3:53 pm by Liliana

Walking by the lake

Walking by the lake

This has not been a summer to sit in the hammock and relax – not for my family, nor for me.

It has been a wonderful, eventful and adventurous summer.

But it has not been the kind of summer I have always idealized – long, lazy days of idling, reading, talking, napping, cooking, swimming, thinking. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had that kind of summer since I was seventeen years old. But I always have it in the back of my mind, a vision to relish and idealize.

These are some of the things we did do this summer:

I am sure that I am forgetting something, but right now, I can’t think of anything else.

The fact is, I am on vacation this week. I am at our cottage near Lake Michigan, relaxing and idling to my heart’s content.

This is how I hope to spend the time.

  • Sitting on the front porch for hours, drinking coffee and looking at the birds pecking seeds from the bird feeder.
  • Walking by the lake in the early mornings or at sunset.
  • Swimming in the warm lake water.
  • Talking to my daughter about the newest books she’s read and the latest songs she’s been singing.
  • Reading.
  • Buying fresh produce at the farmer’s market.
  • Cooking something new and unexpected.
  • Congregating at the long dining table with my family, eating a beautiful meal.
  • Talking.
  • Watching a good movie at the old movie theater, eating tons of popcorn.
  • Walking to our favorite ice cream store on a hot afternoon. Eating nothing but coconut ice cream.

Happy Summer to all!


July 4, 2010

Blue Sky

Posted in Weather, Women tagged , , , , , at 7:22 am by Liliana

Blue Sky

This is what I want to do this morning: sit outside, under a warm blanket, with a steaming cup of coffee, on the front porch of my cottage, in the fresh morning air.

I will hold very still. The bird feeder is too close to the porch and any movement startles the birds. The bravest birds are the little sparrows, nothing seems to frighten them. But the cardinals, morning doves, blue jays and robins are very skittish. I will not move a muscle.

It is a cool morning, surprisingly cool for the beginning of July. It is sunny, and the sky is blue with not a cloud in the sky.

Happy 4th of July!

June 6, 2010

My Front Porch

Posted in Children, Family, Holidays, Home tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:51 am by Liliana

Front porch

Nicky painting; Grandpa and Sam playing chess

Sitting on the front porch of my little cottage near Lake Michigan is one of my favorite activities.

The porch is spacious enough to hold a large wicker sofa that we got from my friend Jan. Next to it we have placed an old blue bench that we cover with soft cushions. All around are chairs – from rockers to cheap IKEA models. In the middle of this grouping sits a little table just waiting for that coffee cup or a tall lemonade glass.  My husband Jeff had put the table together from a hand painted metal platter that my friend Ann gave us as a housewarming gift and a metal base that I found in a junkyard. They fit together beautifully.

On the other side of the porch, there is room for a large old farm table that I actually paid money for in a moment of sentimental homesickness. It reminds me of Serbia. The top is painted light pealing green, the base is black. It is beaten, uneven, and uncomfortable for big people because there is no room for their legs. The tall man in my family hate it, but the girls love it. The table is surrounded by a flock of light, cheap, black IKEA chairs.

My favorite activity at this table is to clean green beans. I don’t know why. Maybe just the idea of sitting there on that lazy porch, having the time to clean green beans that I have just purchased at the farmer’s market that morning invoke for me the idea of a perfect summer moment.

Other things I like to do on that porch: sit on the wicker sofa and read; take a nap in the sunlight; sit there in the morning before anyone wakes up, drink coffee and look at birds; serve Turkish coffee on a pretty platter in small cups in the afternoons; sit with family and neighbors in the evenings with a glass of wine or beer, and talk about everything.

We had a large group of family members at the cottage for Memorial Day weekend. The front porch was everyone’s favorite place to assemble. My father played countless games of chess with his grandchildren.  My niece, Nicole, painted the scenery. We ate our meals there. We had our drinks there. We talked. We talked more. And early on Monday morning, we watched as the Memorial Day parade procession passed by our house.