The Suitcase Lady


September 1, 2020, 8:56 am

As Labor Day approaches, summer starts to wind down. And just as every day is different, every summer has its unique character. Wanting to keep the essence of this special season, I feel the need for a summer summary.

We did not let Covid spoil our summer, in fact, the opposite occurred. June, July and August brought many good surprises from friends, family and the natural world.

As much as my husband and I love road trips, long-distance journeys were not advisable. As a result, we began exploring places much closer to home and discovered many new trails, beaches, waterfalls and parks. This effort was aided by several neighbors who kindly told us about their own close-to-home favorite places…all were lovely and uncrowded.

In addition, since all my summer library programs were canceled (except four virtual ones), I found myself on a sabbatical. Time is a gift, and I used this time to work on one of our most interesting 24-year projects, the creation of a small prairie. We added more native plants, three of which have intriguing names, Boneset, Ironweed and Switch grass. And time was also spent weeding invasives, an ongoing but necessary battle.

I must also say thank you to the weather goddesses for being so cooperative these past three months…we only had to use the sprinklers once. Just as one of us would say, “It’s getting a little dry out there,”  a rainstorm conveniently would come along.

All the rain made the prairie flowers bloom profusely which turned our yard into butterfly heaven. Monarchs and giant yellow swallowtails were the most numerous visitors, but other butterfly guests also fluttered in…red admirals, red spotted purples, American ladies, whites, fritillaries, black swallowtails and mourning cloaks dined and danced.

I loved the temperatures this summer as well. For me it was a Goldilocks summer, not too hot, not too cold but just right. My husband, who seeks heat like a lizard, would not agree with me on this point.

Even with ample sun and rain, the sunflower seeds I carefully planted behind our deck on Memorial Day did not germinate…except for one seed. However, I looked over the edge of our cliff the other day and spotted seven huge sunflowers blooming halfway down to our lakeshore. It was if Mother Nature was saying, “I can do better than you can.”

We never have had success growing vegetables, either. Fortunately, friends who are more talented gardeners have kept us supplied. These gifts, plus more time to cook, bake and experiment with new recipes have made summer dining something to look forward to each day.

Of course, some of our traditional summer joys could not happen this year. We missed eating out on Chicago restaurant LaCreperies’ little patio, a true summer delight. And this is the first summer in 39 consecutive years we have not gone to the Santa Fe Opera. Hopefully, the singers and the crepes will return once more in summer 2021. In the meantime, life has been good.

Special thanks to my husband, the technical wizard, for joining the music and pictures for our summer video. (Click below)

4 Comments for this entry

  • Jane Pflughoeft

    Thanks for the wonderful video-it has been a good summer!

  • Marilyn

    Before raccoons destroyed all my bird feeding, there used to be sunflowers springing up beneath the feeders full of sunflower seeds. The mower cut them down in their youth. They self-rooted in the grass.

  • a Weiss

    Beautiful video and music. Good to see you and Russ.
    It has been a good summer. Hoping for a great fall too.

  • Elizabeth Levins

    The silver lining to covid 19, much time to spend outdoors, gardening, eating and even having our very own lawn concert. can’t complain!