Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What I Learned In June

Is June really gone? Yes, my friends, it is. I am taking a small blogging break this summer, and just enjoying and trying to soak in family moments. But I couldn't give it up totally. I must share my favorite things- the "what I learned this month" blog. And getting away this month took my mind to a refreshing place of good reflections and heart's desires.
 July is sweeping in, and my hope is that it is bringing the sun and warmth it is well known for. Because, let's face it, June in Ohio has been semi-miserable with the dreary clouds and rain. It's supposed to be sunshine! But, a new day, a new month... most people do not have a favorite month of the year, but I do.
 I love July. And I am looking forward to it. July is full of beautiful memories for me. And every year I look forward to the calendar hitting that month.
  But this blog is to focus on June.
  June was a fun month.
The kids finished school. (and sadly, I said goodbye to elementary days. Now both my kids are in junior high! That goodbye and this new phase deserves a whole blog of its own)
  We took a family vacation to my favorite place in the world: the beach.
 And the kids (both of them!) were for the first time ever, both gone away for a week at camp.
   Summer rushed in , and while it may have brought rain with it, it also brought new experiences and precious memories.  So, here's a peek at what I learned in June...

 1. I like to window shop.
    The practical farm girl in me has never really been a shopper. In fact, I always actually dreaded going to stores, seeing things I couldn't afford or didn't want to spend money on, But, alas, this month, the girl in me admitted to the downfall of enjoying window shopping. On vacation, quite honestly, I found some enjoyment/relaxation in browsing all the beach front stores. But I think in the midst of the discovery of the fact that I like to shop was a deeper realization- I am a dreamer (that's not the realization, I've known that) but the fact that shopping brings out the dreamer in me, and I think that's why I like it.
   I love to buy things for other people. Not really myself, but others. And so I would browse and think about gifts I could give to others, even if I didn't end up buying them, it generated ideas.
    I enjoy browsing the bookstores, dreaming perhaps of one day finding my own on a shelf.
      Clothes of every style are fun to look at. Very few work on my body type, but that's ok. It's fun to dream anyway ;)
        Beach photos were found in all the art stores, and I fell in love with so many of them. I did not buy any, but perhaps one day I will have a beach portrait hanging on my wall. The gallery of art brought out that deep seeded desire (the dream) to one day make the beach my home (again).
   Beach jewelry was just as fun. The flip flops, shells, dolphins, starfish... all of those cute items called out to me. I bought a simple anklet for me, and one to match for my girlfriend. That was my only "beachy" purchase. Perhaps to leave the dream lingering for all of summer, garnished on my ankle.

 2. I forgot what life was like without kids.
      Actually, it's not that I forgot, I just never really experienced married life without children.I had babies young. The kids went away for a week to camp, and I thought "wow, is this what life would be like without them?" That sounds a bit strange, but I hope you follow me on this.  One evening I came home to salmon, salad and a glass of sparkling water in a fancy wine glass... a simple but beautiful gesture. Dinner was conversational and quiet both. No bickering, no belching, and no "babies". Strange. But enjoyable. We even went bowling one night. I missed them, and got teary eyed a few times at their new found independence of not needing me all week, and I was glad when they came home. But this mama won't lie- I did enjoy the week's experience of their time away. And by the way, they had an absolutely amazing time. :)

3. I'm a nerd.
   I might be a runner and passionate about that sport, but it does not, by any means, put me in the category of the "jocks". I remain in the "nerd" category. I get excited to go to Office Depot because journals, pens, empty notebooks, stationary and even pocket calendars excite me. I spend hours browsing the shelves of the paper stores. And it's rare I ever leave on empty handed. I was shopping this last week for a new notebook for a specific purpose, and my daughter asked me "Mom, why do you need so many notebooks?"
 She probably has a point, but I get happy in having a notebook in hand. I have a "thankful" notebook, a pour my heart out journal, a prayer journal, a book journal (where I jot notes from books I read), a 5K notebook, where I write every thought down I can remember about my event or what I want to do and things along those lines. I have a to-do notebook... it is silly, really. And it probably sounds bulky and disorganized.  People keep trying to get me to take notes electronically, but there's something sacred and old fashioned about a notebook.  What can I say? I'm a nerd ;) Or maybe... it means I am a writer?? One day, my kids will appreciate reading through all my many notebooks (I hope).

4. Salt Life
   I love the brand "Salt Life"  http://www.saltlife.com/live-the-life
It's not a newfound love, but I learned the entire story of the brand on this vacation. The entire story is fascinating, actually. The company originated in Jacksonville, where we spent our vacation. We visited the original store, as well as the restaurant. I am in love with this product.

5. I left part of my heart in Florida
   If you don't know my story, I will give you a very brief snapshot: I was born and raised in Ohio, a farmgirl. And I'd never trade that for anything.  But I  spent the first 7 years of my marriage living in Florida, 5 minutes from the beach, and moved back to Ohio in 2007. This (vacation) was the first time since my mom died in 2011 that my heart felt a pull towards to ocean front again. When we moved back to Ohio in 2007, I knew I left a piece of me in Florida. But over time, being in Ohio became familiar and good.  However, upon this vacation, I remembered just how much I love the salt water, the warmth, the sun, the beach, and the latin culture found there. And once again, I left a piece of my heart on that ocean front when we parted ways.  It's part of my story; part of me. The beach is my "happy" place. Maybe one day the wind will blow us there again... but until that time, I carry new memories with me.....

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