Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

kayak river light water

I spent the last evening of August kayaking on the Charles River with a friend. The waves were high and choppy, and we got soaked, but the light was truly stunning.

An apt metaphor for this summer, and a wonderful way to end this month.

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charles river light boston summer

This is the summer of yoga in the morning, unrolling my green mat in the dining room and going through my stretches and sun salutations as the sunshine slants across the wood floors.

This is the summer of tall daylilies and pale pink peonies, of vivid multicolored hydrangeas, of cheerful, leggy yellow sunflowers wrapped in burlap at the market or in a blue Mexican vase on my kitchen table.


This is the summer of warm evenings on the Charles River, sitting in the front of a bright pink kayak while my friend Adam sits in the back, finding our synchronized paddling rhythm and stopping to watch the geese and ducklings.

katie adam kayak

This is the summer of writing it all down – on the blog, in the journals splashed with my messy handwriting, in daily texts and occasional emails to friends.

This is the summer of mornings at Darwin’s, drinking chai or ginger peach tea amid the sunset-colored walls, nibbling on a scone or a breakfast sandwich, typing away on my laptop amid fellow solitary workers and groups of chattering friends.

darwins cafe cup

This is the summer of so many mysteries: Lady Georgie, Bess Crawford and Daisy Dalrymple. It is the summer of smart, engaging nonfiction, a little chick lit, a couple of powerful novels.

This is the summer of evenings on the front porch, sitting in a battered lawn chair with a book, sipping lemonade and admiring my red geraniums as the sunset sky changes from blue to pink to gold.

ana of california book geraniums front porch

This is the summer of Harper Lee: rereading To Kill a Mockingbird (again) before picking up Go Set a Watchman, tracing the evolution of the characters I thought I knew.

This is the summer of small adventures: trying a new restaurant in our neighborhood, driving up to Maine for a long weekend, seeing the sandcastles at Revere Beach (north of Boston) and tossing a Frisbee by the water afterward.

revere beach sandcastle

This is the summer of easy cooking: tossed salads, bruschetta, chicken burritos, shredded zucchini quesadillas, soft pitas filled with chicken and tomatoes, eaten with strips of bell pepper dipped in hummus.

This is the summer of Modern Family, sitting beside J on the couch under the window, howling with laughter at Cam’s antics and Phil’s corny jokes, me imitating Gloria’s thick Colombian accent while I sympathize with type-A Claire.

This is the summer of all the stripes: dresses, skirts, T-shirts, sandal tan lines on my feet.

stripes silver flats

This is the summer of lunch at the farmers’ market, piping hot tamales made by a fellow Texan from Corpus Christi, topped with fiery salsa and eaten off a sheet of tinfoil at a table in the shade.

This is the summer of all the berries: red and blue, crimson and black, tart and sweet and juicy, eaten straight from the blue cardboard pints bought at the same farmers’ market.


This is the summer of lots of ice cream: tart fro-yo from Berryline, mint-chip gelato from the freezer at home, a batch of Ryan’s homemade vanilla ice cream in the backyard a few weeks ago.

berryline froyo sprinkles strawberries

This is the summer that marks five years in Boston – an adventure I could not have predicted, which is still in full glorious swing.

This is the summer of being awake, trying (always trying) to pay attention. To notice these hot, humid, lovely days, to be grateful for their gifts and challenges. To be brave and gentle at the same time, and to be here now.

brave stripes

What does life look like for you this summer?

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I’ve recently discovered the work of Jen Louden – and loved her recent post about a “thimble list.” I’m a big believer in small, beautiful ways to celebrate and savor each day (see the subtitle of this blog!). So here’s my current “thimble list.” I love her idea that these are one-time pleasures, not a new list of “ideal life have-to’s.” I always set myself up for failure when I try to do the “perfect life thing.” But pleasures to savor – even once? Yes, please!

1. Listen to Sarah’s latest mixtape
2. Reread the entire Betsy-Tacy series for the sheer joy of it
3. Eat Haagen-Dazs fruit sorbet (so delicious)
4. Sit out on the porch – writing, eating or just being
5. Write a long, long email to a friend – because I love to write long emails
6. Read poetry or something equally inspiring over breakfast
7. Knit something with that delicious green yarn I bought last week
8. Laugh at a favorite TV show
9. Sew something by hand

What’s on your thimble list?

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1. Take walks on Wollaston Beach.
2. Buy another pot of basil, since mine finally gave up the ghost in early February.
3. Eat lunch outside on Boston Common.
4. Go to some author events around town. (Already begun.)
5. Buy myself a pair of TOMS.
6. Host some friends for a week in May.
7. Get ready for Bethany’s wedding. (Dress, shoes, gift and plane ticket already bought!)
8. Go back to the Copley Square farmer’s market (when it reopens).
9. Eat more fruit, less chocolate.
10. Eat dinners out on the balcony.
11. Walk outside hatless, gloveless and eventually coatless.
12. Admire and enjoy every single flower and growing thing I see.
13. Take great sniffs and lungfuls of fresh air, like Mary and Colin in The Secret Garden.
14. Take a class at Grub Street.
15. Try some new, springy recipes.
16. Get rid of at least half a dozen pieces of clothing/shoes/accessories.
17. Sit outside at various cafes.
18. Open the windows.
19. Enjoy some frozen yogurt.
20. Do some spring cleaning.

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