Soaking Up Summertime

photoOh, I know it’s been summer for a while, but in my book, it isn’t really, really the heart of summer until we arrive at our favorite blue house in South Haven.

We arrived last night—after Aaron’s 12 day trip to Israel and Palestine, after a flooded basement and the resulting scramble to SAVE THE TOYS, make a repair plan, etc. etc.  It always feels like a bit of a push to just get up here, but this year especially did, and we’re thrilled to be here and settled for a while after a very busy spring.

The keywords for the summer for me are words like simplicity, health, rest, family. There are a million different ways to do summer, and sometimes when we’re here we entertain like crazy—lots of houseguests and parties and wagon parades to the beach.

Other summers I’ve worked a lot, making our time here a much-loved change of venue, but not a rest. Last year, my editors came for a few days and we made major progress on Bread & Wine—I’d nurse the baby at home, and then run the couple blocks to the office where my editors had all the drafts spread out, notes and post-its and index cards everywhere.

Every year, we do it a different way, it seems, according to what we need, to what the year has brought, to what our family requires in this season. And this time around, we’re keeping it very simple. Lots of family time, lots of early nights, lots of staying in. Lots of lazy mornings and boat rides and ambling walks to the yacht club, full of familiar faces. You know how much I love summer cooking, and this morning I was so happy to pick up asparagus and cherries and perfectly tiny strawberries at the market.

It’s been a wild spring, one I’m so thankful for—rich with exciting moments and gratifying work. And now it’s time for dates with my husband, snuggles with our boys. It’s time for playing on the beach and reading novels on the porch. It’s time for simplicity, for looking into the faces of the people I love, for listening and praying with great attentiveness. It’s time for a break.

A few tiny housekeeping things: this month I won’t be mailing out bookplates, but I’ll pick that up again in August, so feel free to send your envelopes then.

And I’ll be even slower than usual on emails, because I’m intentionally spending very little time this month on my laptop. We’ve logged some serious hours together in recent months, my laptop and I, and I don’t want to look back on this month and realized I missed it because I couldn’t kick my addiction to being connected.

I promise I will try to keep up on emails about upcoming events—I know that so many of you are in planning mode for the coming year, and I’m really excited about the way my 2013-2014 calendar is shaping up. I’m trying to limit my travel to two trips a month, which is less than I’ve done in previous years, and I think it’s really going to be a great rhythm.

All that to say, even though I’ll be working less this month, between my fantastic assistant Brannon and me, we won’t keep you waiting on event stuff.

And I’ll be posting lots of photos on Instagram—this town and this season are both so beautiful that while I find I have far less to say these days, there is so very much to see.

For Midwesterners like me, these are the days we’ve been waiting for all year long—corn and peaches, flip-flops and pink noses, boats and porches. Let’s soak it up, every bit, every bite. Happy, happy, happy summer.

14 thoughts on “Soaking Up Summertime

  1. Shauna, Just got back from South Haven a couple weeks ago. It was so foggy we couldn’t see the big red lighthouse! We enjoyed our onion rings at Clementines and those wonderful cookies at Julia’s. Enjoy the summer at the lake!

  2. How lovely! Sounds like it will be a much needed restful time… I’m so glad summer is here, although I have a tendency to cram too much work and activity in this time of year, so it never ends up being the restorative time I long for looking back. This inspires me to slow down and soak it up! Thank you. xo

  3. We were just at my parents condo on the Black River last week and enjoyed every second of it – lazy mornings, boat rides, sunsets, playing for hours, and fish tacos at Captain Lou’s. The essence of summer to me is RESTful days with family and friends. LOVE. Enjoy your rest!

  4. Your getaway sounds very much like ours. Counting the days until we get there with all the fresh peaches and blueberries and live in our swimsuits and bare faces for two weeks. Bliss. Loving Bread and Wine.

  5. Love this picture of the rhythms of a place which change from summer season to summer season.
    I’m really hoping that there is some rest and family, health and simplicity in my summer as well.
    Enjoy the sun, the tastes and the familiar faces.

  6. Love this…am reading it as I help my two teenagers pack and head up to Harbor Springs to live in our cottage and work all summer. Our family has been summering there for 106 years! Like you, we long for our Harbor time and cherish every single simple moment it provides. Happy summer to you, Shauna!

    P.S. Bread and Wine follows me almost daily from my kitchen to my bedside. I’ve made several recipes and read snippets from it daily – and it will surely be going with me, when I join my kids and the rest of my family “up North”. I intend to use it for a variety of recipes but look most forward to having it help me make the best use of all the blueberries I intend to scoop up! Thank you for your words, your recipes, and sharing them so deliciously with all of us…..

  7. Heading to South Haven next week for the 4th with the whole fam, can’t wait! I love that you can drive a couple of hours NW, within the same state, and feel like you are a million miles away! The past few months have been a little tough financially for my husband and I so we are really looking forward to going on a “mini vaca” ! We have been a few places on the west side of the state but never South Haven in particular. Any suggestions of restaurants or farmers markets we should check out? One last thing, I was given Bread and Wine as a gift from a friend, we both love it! The recipes are wonderful, I am very popular when I make them. :) Just wanted to thank you for sharing all three of your books with all of us!

Leave a Reply