Phase of the Summer

I’m always a little frustrated at this phase of summer.  In a few short weeks, my winter squash has gone from lush and productive to looking straggly.  Now the race is on to keep the vines alive long enough that the squash will ripen.

It happens this way every summer.  One day it’s all looking fine, a few days later, it’s not.  Already the green beans are ready to be pulled out and something has eaten a lot of the Swiss chard – enough that I don’t want it anymore.

It’s all a phase, a natural ordering of the seasons.  I can’t control it, all I can do is slow down the onset.  Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project” has a favorite saying that the days are long, but the years are short.  I see that in a condensed form with my pets and my garden.  Already the garden is winding down to fall.  My dogs are gray, my cats deceasedMy daughter celebrated a milestone birthday this year (she was so NOT happy), as did my father (also not happy about it).

The days are so long it seems.  I feel work will never be done, I will never stop feeling tired, I will never accomplish all my grand plans.  I feel like I drag myself from one thing to another, only to drop into bed to start all over again the next day.

But the years are short.  It’s already August – can you believe it?  I’m coming up on the two busiest deadlines of the year on September 15 and October 15 – again.  It’s like that Kenny Chesney song – Don’t Blink.  I’ve gone from child to new bride to mother to empty nester in several blinks of an eye.

My diaries and photos give me some control over time passing so swifly.  I reread the events that happened, look at the photos, and savor it again.  Being able to remember helps slow the time down for me.  My diaries also help me prioritize my time, solve problems, and make lists of what needs to be done, remembered, or appreciated.  They help me focus on living in the present of what happened today or happened this week.

My pictures are a sweet remembrance of a day, an event, or a phase of life.  I look at how young my mother was as a newlywed, as was I.   I relive vacations taken and places visited.  Mostly, I smile a lot as I look through them.

So it’s frustrating to know the garden has turned and is declining for yet another year.  I enjoy it while I can and soon there will be another season to enjoy, both out in the yard and in the life I live.

These two pictures were taken about four weeks apart.  The bottom one doesn’t look too different when it’s small, but when you double click and blow it up, you can see how much less leaves there are and more dead vines.  The lush growth is done.

Word for tomorrow – WAFFLE.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

15 Comments Leave a comment

  1. This is a great post!! Time does go by so quickly in big chunks. I am a big fan of picture taking, because I know it will be what I look back on for my memories. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I feel the same way about time and memories. I don’t do vegetables, although my husband does. This year, mostly he’s been providing meals for wildlife, much to his chagrin.

    • How frustrating for your husband.  I don't have deer in our neighborhood, but I do have trouble with dog damage.  

      Good analogy to time and memories.  Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. Beautifully written post! Loved how you wove your withering garden in with what’s happening with you personally, and then bringing in some wonderful reminscences of times past. Makes me think…aaahhh…such is life…which ebbs and flows…

    and here we are…another day…another cycle…life. :)

    • Thanks for the compliment – that’s exactly what I try to do with my blog (relate it to my personal life).  I don’t succeed on each post, but I keep working on it.

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