Our ordinary days

A golden summer moment at Amy's home in Winnweiler, Germany, August 2005

A golden summer moment at Amy’s home in Winnweiler, Germany, August 2005

“Summer weather, like being in love, is a philosopher’s stone which turns our ordinary days to gold. But not the whole day… For it is never the whole day, never all our life which is transformed in any happiness, but only the exquisite moments.”
Nan Fairbrother

More than any other season, summer seems to promise more than it can deliver.  We exit springtime with all sorts of ambitious notions about what we’ll do, see and accomplish during the long hours of sunlight.  We’ll have time for fun reading. Picnics and maybe trips to the beach.  Tending the lawn or garden; maybe growing tomatoes?  Getting that garage or closet cleaned out, once and for all.  Perhaps some lazy mornings sleeping in.

As July draws to a close, most of us look back on the past eight weeks with amazement, wondering where it went and what became of our plans.  The delightful warmth of early June has become the sweltering heat of August, our petunias are beginning to fade or grow leggy, and the back-to-school advertisements catch us off guard.  Already?!  But it feels as if summer just began…

Despite its ephemeral presence, summer almost always leaves us a new cache of memories to keep and treasure.  Such fleeting moments are fitting symbols of the summer itself, which shares their brevity.  As the summer begins to wane, I hope you can look back and find some exquisite moments to remember, when the magic of summer’s alchemy turned the ordinary to gold.  If you have none so far, you have a few weeks left to discover some.  Happy treasure hunting!


  1. Julia, you should take a look at Story shucker…Stuart M. Perkins He is a delightful writer…also from VA.

    • Thanks, I will definitely do that!

  2. Those ordinary days are always often the most one we do remember with a smile indeed.
    Have a lovely day!
    groetjes, Francina

    • Thank you Francina! I hope you have a day to remember. I appreciate your visits here.

  3. Eric

    A line from a song by “Five for Fighting” has always touched something deep within me: “There was a man back in ’95 whose heart ran out of summers, but before he died, I asked him ‘man-what’s the sense Life?'” As the song continues, the man’s answer contains a riddle: “there’s a reason for the world -you and I.” Perhaps “the reason” for your exquisite day in Germany was the same for that blinding snowstorm, on the same day, in Chile.

    • Wow, I didn’t even realize there was a snowstorm that day in Chile. I do like what few songs I know from “Five for Fighting.” Amy and Steve’s home in Germany was lovely and we enjoyed walking around their village. 2005 was a year that started and ended with much difficulty and even tragedy (I lost a dear friend to suicide on March 15 of that year) so I have always felt that the many wonderful experiences that came in between the difficulties were somehow meant to help us survive.

  4. Where we live, we get 4 very distinct seasons and summer has always been my favourite. Summer generally seems more carefree and a time to nurture your hobbies or enjoy other things like walks, biking, bbq’s. Even chores around the house seem fulfilling. Since we are in transition between homes, it feels a little ‘off’. So I’m really connecting to your quote today, as it’s all about the ‘little’ moments this summer. Looks like a nice moment you’re enjoying there too. I remember looking into Buddies loving eyes, he’d enjoy a chin scratch or head scratch like it was such a glorious thing. Just life broken down to the sparest thing. All you need it love, true that.

    • Yes, those really are the things that stay with us. We saw lots of wonderful sights on that trip but what I remember most fondly are the times we shared with our friends. I am betting that summer in Canada is more like spring in the southern USA – probably never as hot and sticky as it gets in the deep South where I grew up. BUT even with the heat, summer does have a magic all its own and it does seem like “R&R” time. The long days trick me into thinking I have more time, so I tend to TAKE more time for stuff that gets pushed aside in the other seasons.

  5. Beautifully said, Julia. I have to say, I fell in love with your photo. It screams summer in so many ways, but further, you looked relaxed and happy. Love the pooch!

    • Thanks, Alys. Amy’s sunroom was wonderful in the cool climate of Germany. Dreyfus (the dog) was a real sweetheart. He’s passed on now, but Amy’s family has another Golden Retriever that is just as sweet as Dreyfus was – I didn’t think that was possible! Maybe it has something to do with getting lots of love from the family!

  6. WOW!! A photo that could not possibly have been taken by YOU!! It is a sweet photo. You look happy. I loved that porch. It was the best part of the house in so many ways. We used it all year. I CAN NOT believe how quickly the summer has gone. Almost time to take my boy back. An exciting end for you GRANDMA!! I love calling you that. Have a wonderful start to August. Thanks for the post.

    • I can’t remember who did take that – was it you? Aaron? Jeff? Drew? In any case, I love it. Very happy memories. I have another one taken off the balcony adjacent to the bedroom where we stayed – I look very happy in that one, too! 🙂

  7. Sheila

    Julia, I think the weeks between the 4th of July and end of July do seem to fly by and goes from a midway point to almost over. Your description is so accurate! Amy has a lovely porch. So glad to read that she got another Golden. Hope your Monday was good! How about Baby Grady? Thinking of you this evening,Sheila

    • Sheila, Drew wrote this morning to say Grady had shown no signs of arriving, and they were considering changing his name to “Godot.” However, the doctor intervened; they admitted Megan to the hospital tonight and plan to induce labor early tomorrow morning. We’ll keep you posted! I’m sure that Wrecker (the precious golden retriever) will show up on the blog eventually. He’s just too sweet not to share him. Hope you have a great week!

  8. kjyaccino

    I love this photo; the lighting is very pretty. I’ll be anxious to hear your news tomorrow!!

    • Thanks Kathy; hopefully we won’t be waiting too much longer!

  9. What a totally gorgeous “sun room”!!! Fabulous!!

    • Thanks, I felt so lucky to be a guest at this lovely home! I’m glad you enjoyed the photo.


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