10 Things I Learned in July

1. Peaches ruled my kitchen in July. I guess that’s what #75 of juicy sweetness will do. Peach jam, peach pie, peach popsicles, peach sauce, peach pie filling and bags of sliced peaches are stacked in the freezer. In January, I’ll be able to taste summer on my oatmeal and it will all be worth it. And I’ll share them with Hudson, my peach-loving grandson.

2. Green beans still grow out of PB’s ears. When the kids were little, a strange phenomena occurred every time we had green beans for supper — a bean would be seen hanging out of their dad’s ear. They never caught him sticking one in there, so they were convinced he had some magic power every time he ate greenie beanies. A few days ago we discovered Opa still has it. Two year old Evie was amazed when she spied a legume peaking out of her grandpa’s ear.  Our grown up son smiled, shook his head and said, “I never have caught him in the act.”

3. Writing 1000 words takes me about 40 minutes. I challenged myself to 1000 words every morning in July. I’m cutting back to 500 in August. Because I need time to shower and brush my teeth in the morning.

4. Celebrations add joy to life. We celebrated a lot this month. Fourth of July, Ruby’s one year old birthday, Charlie’s three year old birthday, a bridal shower, a church fun night, an evening of friends on the porch, a wedding. That’s a lot of partying for an introvert.

5. Sailboats really do make that creaking sound, just like in the movies. PB and I got away for a few days and spent some time in Door County. On our last night we took the sunset sailboat cruise in a boat that sailed around the world three times. We went about fifteen miles, which was enough to romanticize a sea-to-sea trip without leaving Green Bay. The creak of the sails and masts was enchanting.

6. Jazz is messy music. I’ve never been a big fan of the jazz style because it doesn’t seem to have any organization. But we happened on a concert in a barn performed by the best jazz artists in the country and we loved it. The music was played with incredible joy and with so much crazy technique that we were in awe. I think I like jazz now.

7. One of the best things about vacation is going to a church where we are nobodies. We walk in, we sit down, we listen, we walk out. That’s a treat for us. Since it only happens once or twice a year, PB and I like to try out different places of worship. Unfortunately, we found out last week that some churches don’t open the Bible or mention the name of Jesus. The guitar riffs were awesome and the lights and smoke were impressive, but we left feeling empty. It made us long for our home church. We’ll be glad to get back to our sanctuary next Sunday.

8. Baptism is a holy sacrament. We’ve seen many parents present their babies for a sprinkling, and that is special and sacred. But there’s something about an adult coming to be immersed that carries a distinct blessing. A group of us gathered at a shoreline and one by one, seventeen people waded in to have PB dip them under and lift them back up. There were cheers on the beach, tears in the eyes and joy overflowing.

9. “Hamilton: An American Musical” is an education. PB and I listened to the whole thing while on the road. Before every song I paused the music and read the annotations from Genius.com about the history behind each song. We brushed up on our American history and couldn’t get those catchy tunes out of our head. Warning: there are some explicit lyrics in some of the songs. But still, wow.

10. There’s no place like home. Spending a week away from home is good. Coming back is even better.

hello August

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