How Did The Summer Elude Me?

As I sit here on the back porch this early Saturday morning in August, and think back over the past few months, I wonder just where did the summer go? In our neck of the woods we were met with an entire month of rain to kick off the season, which continued intermittently throughout July. Gardens went in late after much trial and error with seedlings (another story for another time!) and it has been all we can do to keep up with the overgrowth of grass and weeds in our yard and gardens from all of the moisture. Truth be known we have done very poorly with those activities, as well as the numerous projects that were on our slate for the warmer months. Many goals have not been met, save for a much needed and largely unsuccessful yard sale!

I had no idea that various squash (and weeds!) could overtake a garden so drastically! I had no idea that various squash (and weeds!) could overtake a garden so drastically!

Do I feel like a failure? Not fully. Working full time outside of our home for a great non-profit that is rapidly going national, and vastly touching the lives of children, is certainly a worthwhile effort. But when I look around our home? My goodness. Where do I start!? So many things I want (read: need!) to do and simply not enough hours in the day to do them.

At this point in the season (though I have not yet given up) I must be thankful for what I have accomplished and strive to complete what I can get done before school starts and the weather turns crisp.
So, looking back, what have I actually managed to do this summer? I have become quite deliberate about simplifying my life. My number one endeavor. Sure it is a process and will take time. But I’m changing the way I think about some things and that is undoubtedly the first  step in any lifestyle change. I started this blog – and though I hope to reach a point where I can write more often – I am not beating myself up when I can not. I’m working on losing those feelings of guilt in my life.
Four gardens are in and producing vegetables, herbs, and perennials. We purchased a new vehicle which will allow us to haul more items to complete all of those projects. We went on a simple, relaxing family vacation to a favorite spot – Presque Isle – on Lake Erie – and in our own state. The lawn tractor is fixed, fruit is growing on our trees, our daughter was able to enjoy summer day camp at our church, and has begun to attend youth group this year (she will also serve as a teacher’s aid for the 3-5 year olds on some Sunday’s starting this fall).

I am working on decluttering (my recent, passionate project!) Ridding our home of outgrown and unneeded items. Stuff that no longer fits into our new home and lifestyle. A place for everything and everything in its place.

I am making a conscious effort to downsize, produce less trash, recycle by more re-use instead of simply tossing in the bin for the truck to pick up, and making smarter purchases. I’m supporting local businesses and farms, attaining more natural and sustainable products, or dabbling in making them myself. Hubby is studying up on windmills and seriously considering the idea. We live on a hill with a great breeze and lots of sun. Perfect for natural energy sources like windmills or solar power.

Okay, so admittedly some of these things are simply ideas… The start in our effort of moving forward. But I do find a sense of accomplishment in the way our lives are changing. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Living Simply overlook
<em>Overlooking the valley</em>

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