Sunday, June 21, 2015

Solstice and beyond

Today is the longest day of the year and I love it. For the last several weeks the days have seemed endless here in the Pacific Northwest. It's light two hours before I get out of bed, and there are nights when we go to bed when it's still dusk. Used to be I'd get discouraged right after the solstice because I knew the days would be getting shorter and then the shadows would get longer and then the rains would start and it would be dark. Now that we live in Tucson in the winter, I'm able to just enjoy the long days of summer light.

Our garden is at its peak for vegetables and the fruits are coming along. We're picking bowls of strawberries and raspberries and blueberries, and the grapes will be ready in a month or so. Unbelievable numbers of grapes this year.

We've been home for two and a half months with only an overnight trip to Spokane for me. In ten days we leave for two weeks on the east coast. It will be hot and humid there, I know, but fun. We're attending a very large convention in Atlanta over the 4th of July weekend (65,000 attendees or so), and the following weekend we'll be at my all-school reunion in North Carolina. I haven't been back to Camp Lejeune since my 20-year reunion in 1986.

We'll be going to Oregon for four days in late July to attend a wedding. The bride is the daughter of my ex-husband's sister Patty; Bridget was born after my ex and I split up. I'd never met her until last year, in Tucson, when she and her fiancé Gilbert met up with us for dinner. Art calls us "outlaws" since we'll be spending time with my ex's family, but they are good people and it will be fun too.

And at the end of August we're flying to Prague for a 16-day tour of Eastern Europe with the Rick Steves (Europe Through the Back Door) travel company. We had to cancel our April cruise because of Art's medical appointments. He's stable now and the doctor has said it's fine for him to travel. I spent hours this week making travel plans for before and after the tour (want to get there a couple of days early to get over jet lag before the group meets up), trying to get British Airlines to give us credit for our cancelled April flight, and deciding on how much and what kind of travel insurance to buy. Last week my energy was quite low and I didn't get around to much of this, but it waited patiently for me and now I'm nearly done.

I love the traveling. Summer is the best time of year, weather wise, where we live, but sometimes the timing isn't perfect. And once we get to Tucson in late fall we will probably stay put for the winter.

I have finally started watching Downton Abbey and I am hooked!


Olga said...

I know exactly what you are saying about the days shortening. For me it usually didn't really sink in until August. Then I would see a few leaves turning yellow and--gobsmacked with depression. One of the things I really like about Florida is how much the ratio of light to dark stays fairly consistent through the year. Sunshine at 5 a.m. is a complete waste of daylight as far as I am concerned.

DJan said...

All that travel sounds tiring to me, but I know how much you love it. I am just the opposite: these days are so long that I go to bed when there's still light out, and right around the equinox I'm happy again! :-)

Arkansas Patti said...

I am glad you are enjoying the long days. They wear me out. Glad Art is good to travel since you you have a pretty busy schedule ahead. Don't envy you the" HotLanta" spell but I am sure you will have a fun time.
Have safe and fun travels.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I love the long daylight, even though I'm not awake for the early morning part of it. Glad you are getting your energy back--travel planning can be tedious but it's also exciting. So much to explore, so many possibilities! Have a great week.

Deb Shucka said...

It sounds like you're having a perfect summer. I didn't realize you hadn't gotten hooked on Downton before. Lucky you to be enjoying it all right now. Your Eastern Europe trip sounds wonderful. I'll look forward to hearing about it in October.

Sally Wessely said...

Reading about your berries made me jealous. You are having a busy and productive summer. Enjoy the days at home. Can't wait to hear about your travels.

Debbie V. said...

I really like watching Rick Steves - he's got a good sense of humor. I used to watch him all the time. You are so lucky to be able to take this tour with him.
I've really enjoyed Downton Abbey but I'm ready for something new :) The part I like of Masterpiece, including Mystery, is the setting, clothes and hair. I love the details. I get a little tired of the drama sometimes. If you haven't watched Endeavor (Masterpiece Mystery) it's excellent - 1960's UK. I'm pretty sure it's on Netflix.
I agree - all those berries sound so refreshing and sweet.

Linda Reeder said...

I like traveling too, but not in summertime. This trip to Mississippi and Louisiana was just too uncomfortable. We really like to be outside and walk all over cities and explore out of the way places. The weather made that tough to do.
Now it;s too hot here at home, but at least it isn't humid.
Enjoy your travels.