“Spending” the Summer | Gracious Living


As Meredith Sweetpea sits in her sunroom, writing this and listening to the June Bugs, she reminisces about the long languorous summers of her youth where time and daylight seemed to stretch from pole to pole.

When returning to school in the Fall, the teachers often asked, “how did you spend your summer?”

That got me to thinking how we are given the days of summer, like golden coins, to be spent wisely and freely.

How will you spend your gold coins?

How will you spend your coins? Will you use them to take a vacation? To rent a boat and take to the water? To nibble on shaved ice and turkey legs at a summer fair?To buy a new fishing pole? To have the neighbors over for a backyard barbeque?

When you think about it, it’s not the things you buy that you’ll remember, but the experiences and joy you’ll receive from spending your time wisely.

  • You’ll recall of going fishing with the grandchildren and teaching them how to cast off the shore, then watching their excited faces as they reel in their first ever catch.
  • You’ll talk about the new roller coaster at the theme park and recant how you were frightened but bravely went on the ride.
  • You’ll look through the beach vacation photographs and say, “remember when…”

What will you remember about how you “spent” the summer?

I remember taking the elderly couple who lived next door out for an “adventure.” I drove us all out to pick fruit at a local farm and set up chairs for the couple to sit in near the laden plants. What joy was had in eating more than we basketed and baking pies once returning home. We talked about our adventure for weeks.

I am glad we took the time to enjoy a slice of summer, because not long after this trip, the gentleman of the couple passed away. Now, instead of emptiness, I am filled with the wonderful memories of the days we spent together in all of our adventures.

Do not hoard your coins. Spend them or they will disappear.

“Things” bought will real money disappear. Experiences and memories do not. You keep those forever and can draw them up at any time to enjoy again.

You are given a summer’s worth of gold coins to go out and spend.  Do not hoard them, because like chocolate left in the summer sun, they will melt away if not used and you will be left with neither the coins nor the invaluable experiences and memories you could have purchased with them.

It is all too difficult for many people nowadays to take the time even for a two-week summer vacation. But it doesn’t take actual cash to spend the summer making memories. I call them “having adventures.”

  • Take the bicycle on a ride through a ritzy neighborhood with its well-manicured lawns and paved streets.
  • Feed the ducks at the local pond with the nieces and nephews.
  • Visit a state or national park.
  • Learn a new skill, like rollerblading or making a peach cobbler.
  • Try a new food.

Adventures don’t have to cost money, they only take time. And what else does the summer offer but time? Long days and plenty of outdoor opportunities. Time can easily disappear though, so you must consciously MAKE the time by putting “dates” on the calendar and then enjoying them. make dates with your children, your significant other, your friends, or even just yourself. (Some of my favorite experiences are when I’ve adventured out alone.) Or just be spontaneous and pick up and go. It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re making memories.

So, how are you “spending” your summer?

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