June 3, 2017

Even though I am in my fifties, nearing sixty, there is something about the first days of summer that has me feeling like a kid again. I start dreaming about going swimming, sleeping in, reading some good summery books, going to the beach… I pull out my white shorts, button down men’s shirts and sandals, which is my summer uniform, let my hair go crazy curly, and I am ready for whatever adventure lies ahead!

For many years I would stay in a cottage in Apalachicola, which calls itself a drinking village with a fishing problem. It is a quaint little fishing town a couple of hours away and has always been the perfect getaway. I spent my days reading on the front porch, shopping in town at the cute little shops, eating at great little cafes or finding supper at a wonderful restaurant in town. Nights were for movies, lots of wine, and sitting up watching the shrimper’s lights twinkling out on the water of the bay. It is pure heaven when you are there.

These days not so much traveling, but I can still achieve that wonderful feeling of summer here at home. My husband is getting one of those neat galvanized horse troughs for me for those cool dips in my back patio. I light candles all over the house, prepare simple dishes that are light and slightly on the Mediteranean side, watch movies like Mama Mia, Under the Tuscan sun, A Good Year, that take me to the places I dream of traveling to, without leaving home.
All in all, I feel a change coming over me… to enjoy life, maybe a slower life, and be grateful for wherever I am at the moment.

Here’s to a fun, slow summer! xoxo,


p.s. photo of Apalachicola, Florida by Shannon Lease, resident of the town and chief enjoyer of life there!

I hope this summer is finding you staying cool, enjoying life, maybe slowing down a bit. Maybe calling a few girlfriends to get together for drinks, shopping expeditions, or a movie. Usually there are only a few that you share your innermost thoughts, dreams and day to day life with. We know many, and love many, but a handful of people are who you can shed all artifice with and you know they will still love you tomorrow.

It is important to have this group because we all have the need to belong, to a tribe, it is right up there with shelter, food, etc. It is a strong current in us, we know when we are not getting enough friend time, and also when we need to pull away for some quiet time alone.  I know that when I lost my mother, and then my grandmother five years later, I felt very alone. My daughter and I were the only ones left of the Steel Magnolias that was this four generations of women. They were so much stronger than me, I thought. How can I take up the reins of the ties that bind with my daughter?  I felt wobbly, unsure of myself…. how can I do this? These women were strong and opinionated , southern to their core, I can’t do this alone!

And I found out I was never alone, my girlies surrounded me with love, support,  and they lifted me up onto stable ground. My daughter being the strongest of all. I had not anticipated the strength that had passed on to me, my daughter , and the women that I surrounded my self with. Each had a gift to offer, generosity, prayer for daily life, understanding, pimento cheese with pecans, a beach house weekend, the gifts stacked up and I hoped that I had brought as much to the table as this circle of women had for me.

So in these hot summer days, and on those cold winter nights, I reach out to these ladies for friendship and companionship, and feel blessed to be called their friend. You know who you are and I love each of you!          In Christ, Suz

p.s. I called this painting “Girl Talk”, but when my husband saw it he named it ” Girls On The Rocks”! I thought it was very fitting, and his name stuck.

Girl Talk

girl talk

Things to do with your girlfriends this summer… have a slumber party with a good chick flick movie, popcorn, and pineapple margaritas…. have an arts and crafts day together and do something you have always wanted to try….. go antiquing and then out to lunch… go lipstick shopping for new summer colors….. go on a beach day complete with pimento cheese sandwiches, cold tea, pickles and chips… and plenty of sunscreen… retreat somewhere, recently my friend Maria invited us to her grandparents cottage out in the country where we laughed, picked blueberries, slept in old iron beds with fresh cotton spreads. It was such a treat, and we saw where she came from, wonderful….breakfast at a fun little spot, where they serve french pastries and cafe au lait! Whatever you do, just enjoy and be present in your own life.

Polka Dot Bikinis

It’s officially here….. Summer time! For us in the panhandle of Florida , summer is the longest season of the year. Time to relax, shed the excess clothing, and pare down our schedules in order to enjoy life a bit more. At my home, it is the time when life slows down. The heat can get oppressive, so sitting in the shade, with a cool drink and a fan is the usual . When I was growing up summer meant swimming at Johnny Boy’s landing, going to Torreya Park to picnic , eating watermelon sprinkled with salt, shelling beans and peas, picking blackberries for my mama’s wonderful cobbler were among the few delights we experienced . These days we get really lazy taking afternoon naps on a blanket in the grass,  going to the beach and just forgetting the cares of the world. I hope that you are having a wonderful summer so far, don’t forget to slow down, breathe in the smells of summer, and taste the delights of the fresh fruits and vegetables of the garden. xoxo Suz