Tuesday, 3 June 2008

A Summer Meme

Ruth tagged me with this meme for summer. Since it has been raining/overcast all day this is probably not the day to do it, but here goes. My answers to the set of questions are:
1. What first tells you that summer is here?
Well, it's not the merchandise in the shops. Christmas stuff appears about September and Easter eggs appear virtually as soon as Christmas is over, so they're no guide. I suppose it's the clocks changing, light nights, the blossom being gone from the trees but the leaves being in full strength, and the change in school activities (this is the term of school sports, trips, reports, summer dresses for the girls).
2. Name five of your distinctively summer habits or customs.
Have I got five? Summer can be a fleeting experience in Scotland! There isn't necessarily time for five habits or customs to develop.
I do, love:
- to be outdoors and tend to feel if I personally am not outside on a sunny day, then the sun is going to waste (a pathologically arrogant point of view, obviously).
- picnics and barbeques.
- our summer caravan holidays. Caravanning's one of those things you either get or you don't get. I get it and I love it. I grew up with it and now we have a touring caravan. For summer we favour a site on the west coast of Scotland. The last time we were there, two other families and a couple we know came along and one night all of us, and five other people we know who live in the area had a wonderful barbeque on the beach. I can't explain how much I enjoyed that, especially the randomness of the group that were assembled (their only common thread being that they knew us).
- a cold glass of cider in the hot sun.
- not needing a jacket. Leaving the house is quicker and easier with four kids in the summer, and the laundry's easier when it's shorts and teeshirts.
3.) What is your favorite smell of summer?
Well, it's not sun-tan lotion. I don't like the smell of it much. I do like the smell of cut grass, and a barbeque can smell pretty good, or then again sometimes it's too smokey. I've noticed at barbeques that no matter how many people there are and how spread out over a garden they are, the smoke ALWAYS makes a beeline for me, no matter where I stand. I first noticed this at Girl Guide camp fires.
4.) What is your favorite taste of summer?
When I was a kid, it was a huge treat in summer to get an Ice Cream Soda (ice cream and American Cream Soda in a tall glass). It was the only time my mum ever used those glasses and I can still picture the pattern on them.
Now, I suppose it's a close run thing between strawberries and cream (oh, my mouth's now watering) and the long tall glass of cold cider in the sunshine.
5. What is your favourite summer memory?
I don't really have one favourite. I've had lots of lovely summers. I'm very very blessed, when I remember to notice.
6. Extreme heat or extreme cold? Which would you choose and why?
Being cold makes me feel depressed. Being too hot saps my energy. On balance I'd think I'd rather be depressed than have no energy.
7. What books do you plan to read for the season?
Noddy recommended a book, or series indeed, and I vaguely intend to see if I can read them. I bought a book today about a Scottish criminal, a true story, so I ought to read that. Usually on holiday I read mindless chick lit novels which I usually find on the second hand bookshelf at the caravan site, where I deposit the ones I previously read. I also have a book called "Teenagers" by Rob Parsons which I probably ought to read fairly urgently for domestic wisdom. And I have started a book by Eugene Peterson which I must finish first.
8. How does the summer affect your faith? Is it a hindrance or an ally?
When I was a kid, I found my faith got weaker over the summer when I didn't have the benefit of the youth activities that ran during term time. Now I think it's the opposite. In the summer, there's more time to still myself and think. The wonders of creation look their best which inspires me to a worshipful attitude. And the light, the physical light of the long day, compared to Scottish winter greyness, lifts my spirits enormously.

I'm not tagging anyone with this, at least no one in particular. If anyone fancies doing it, then I hereby tag you now.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Thanks for playing. Your strawberries and cream look fabulous. They make me think of Wimbledon. (My husband is a huge tennis fan, and every year we skip church to watch the Wimbledon men's final.)

Did I ever tell you my niece was born in Scotland? My ex-sister-in-law was from Glasgow. I've only ever been to Edinburgh, which I loved. My husband wants to go to the Outer Hebrides someday, and we'll probably visit Edinburgh then too. None of this is relevant to your summer post. I just think these things every time I see you mention Scotland.

Tom Burger said...

Great "Everything Summer" list.

It is 95 degrees with scorching sunshine here in Charlotte, North Carolina today. Fairly miserable. reading your lists make it bearable.

AnneDroid said...

Oh Ruth I hope you do - and if you do, please let's meet up.

Tom, on the same line as Ruth's comment, I keep meaning to say to you that a friend of ours has recently gone from Scotland to be senior pastor of a church in Greenville, South Carolina. (I have no idea if that's near or far from you).

Fred Shope said...

Anne, I wrote my answers to the summer questions. And, Greenville is about two and a half hours from Charlotte.

Tom, I'm in Rock Hill. Small world.