Thursday, June 19, 2008

In the Good Ol' Summertime

I think summer has finally arrived. Here in Bear Lake Valley, we feel like we've jumped straight from winter to summer. There was no spring to speak of. =) We endured a series of wintry storms during what should have been spring. But summer has arrived, and it is gorgeous. All of the moisture we received has contributed to the brilliant green color of the hills and surrounding farms. Flowers are blooming all over the place, wild and otherwise. And the flowering trees are beautiful. This is the first year that my row of lilacs has actually bloomed. I've been nursing them along for years---last year I had high hopes for them, but the blossoms froze. This year, not only did my lilacs bloom, but so did my flowering crab tree. This is a huge event in my life.

For years, I've tried to grow a flowering crab tree. My first attempt was planted several years ago. Then one winter, my boys flattened the tree, breaking it off at the base when they hit it during a snow machine adventure. They had attached an inner tube to the back of the snow machine, and as they took turns giving each other wild rides, they managed to hit my poor tree. Sigh . . .

So, they gave me a new one for Mother's Day the following spring. It flourished for a short time. Then, while we were gone on a family trip, our beloved dog, Brandy the wonder mutt, ate it. I kid you not. This is one strange dog. She loves the taste of tree sap. She has chewed off more branches than I care to remember through the years. (My family comforts me by stressing that Brandy always takes care of my spring-time pruning.) But when we returned home to a chewed up flowering crab tree, I was stunned. She had chomped right through the small trunk. It lay to the side of where it had been planted---Brandy's way of punishing me for leaving her home. (We had arranged for her to be fed and watered while we were gone. It wasn't like she was starving and had to make do with what she could find. And I'm not sure why it's always my fault when our family does something that displeases her. I'm the only one who ever suffers her wrath---chewed up trees, flowerbeds that are ruined, etc. but I digress).

The next spring, my family once again gave me a flowering crab tree for Mother's Day. This time we used a strategy. We put an ugly, high fence around it for protection. So far, this plan has worked, possibly because Brandy can't chew through metal. ;)

So, yes, seeing this crab tree flower this year brought tears to my eyes. It's beautiful. Everything I've hoped for through the years. I even received a compliment on this tree yesterday from a neighbor. I basked in the glow of what she said for hours. =)

This summer, we also planted a garden, something we haven't done for a few years. Weddings, missionary adventures, family trips, and life in general, put a temporary halt to this yearly tradition. Can I just say that I love playing in the dirt? =) Too bad my silly body doesn't agree with this practice. I have a form of rheumatoid arthritis and sometimes bending to pick weeds is not my friend. But we persevered this year. My husband and oldest son helped me plant our garden. And tiny plants are already starting to come up. (Don't make fun---it takes us longer in Bear Lake to get things to grow).

I love summer!!! I love seeing things grow, spending time outside, and as already mentioned, playing in the dirt. I enjoy picnics, fishing, and reunions. (Especially when I'm not in charge of them.) I also enjoy camping adventures, and watching my nephews play baseball. These are the fine things that make summer a wonderful time of year. I'm sure we all have lists of traditional activities that we enjoy during the summer months. And as the official day of summer speeds on by, I challenge you to do your best to savor this marvelous season.

What are some of your favorite things to do in the summer? Any fun traditions? Don't be shy now, feel free to share.

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C.L. Beck said...

Your lilacs and flowering crab pictures looked lovely. Isn't it fun when something we grow finally blooms?

As to favorite summer time things to do ... swinging in the hammock for a few minutes, while the breezes blow and the butterflies float by, is one of my favorites. Too bad it doesn't happen very often, though! :)

Thanks for a fun blog.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Thank you C.L. =)It is fun seeing things bloom for a change. ;)And I think swinging in a hammock sounds wonderful. If only my trees were big enough to cooperate with this activity. ;)

C.L. Beck said...

Forgot to ask ... along with all the other things you grow, do you have raspberries? Ooo, the Bear Lake raspberry shakes are soooo yummy.

Oh, thanks for stopping by my blog, Write Up My Alley, and commenting. I appreciate it.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Sadly, no. We've tried, but so far, we've had very little luck with raspberries. But a couple of my neighbors grow them. =)