June 16, 2015

"Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Isn't that a pretty view?  We "discovered" a new state park last weekend, and to our delight across the water was our beautiful state capitol, cloaked in a fine mist.  I imagine the view is spectacular on sunny days, but I enjoyed the mysterious shrouded look as well.  And we were a little embarrassed to discover  this jewel of a park only minutes from our home!  I'll be back to take more pictures on a different day--on Saturday we were too busy celebrating my daughter's birthday to do much exploring.

My very thoughtful son-in-law threw my daughter a surprise birthday party close to our home so that her high school friends could join in the fun.  Two of her brothers and their girlfriends were also able to join us, and in spite of rather dreary weather we all enjoyed chatting and eating the delicious dishes everyone had prepared.

The birthday girl and two of her brothers

Twenty four years ago we hung the "It's a Girl" sign on this cross-stitched door to celebrate our daughter's birth, and today we're still celebrating!

Birthday girl and her husband, plus a really delicious cake!

Family fun continued on Sunday, with a visit from our oldest son and his family.  We were tickled to watch Lily while he and his wife ran errands, and let me tell you--you need to be on your toes with Miss Lily now!  She's running everywhere, and quite the curious little girl.  Go, go, go Lily!  Grandpa introduced her to our neighborhood:

but the rest of the afternoon was spent chasing her!  She was eager to make friends with Willow, although I'm not sure Willow felt the same way...

And we finished our lovely weekend with a Sunday dinner that brought back memories of my grandmother's kitchen after church...fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, and, of course, sweet iced tea.  A special thank you to my mother for the pretty white tablecloth!  Recent rains have wiped out the peonies, but I did manage to find a few pink roses to grace the table.

Here's a sweet poem by Jayne Ferrer about her recollections of Sunday dinnersSweet tea, attention and lots of hugs...may all our days be filled with the joy of these simple things!
Thank you, God, for days like these—
when lifelong memories take root
in simple scenes.
There’s Grandmother in the rocking chair,
my sleepy toddler on her knee . . .
a quartet of dads stretched across the porch
trading sports tales and stock market stories . . .
cousins—size small, medium, and large—
bounding through the house
and across the lawn . . .
meanwhile, we women flit
from one room to the next,
bequeathing those things that are vital:
second helpings, sweet tea, attention,
and lots of hugs.
Let my child know many of these moments, Lord.
Let her delight in the joy of spontaneous laughter,
rejoice in the comfort of sorrows shared,
wallow in the knowledge that she is loved
just because it’s her birthright.

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