4 things I’ve enjoyed this summer and some things I’m looking forward to
It’s time to lighten things up.
So I thought I’d offer up something lighter with this article. It’s simply about things I’ve enjoyed this summer and a few more things I’m looking forward to. I hope it inspires you if – like me – you sometimes need a break from the more serious aspects of work and life. Enjoy.
1. Synchronous fireflies.
My absolute favorite thing I’ve done lately is trek up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – twice – to see the synchronous fireflies. Each year in early June these fireflies synch up and treat visitors to a light show — sparks of light followed by total blackness, sparks of light, total blackness. For years, I’d been wanting to see it and had been entering a special viewing event lottery. Tired of never winning the lottery, I decided to go up on my own, and … It. Was. Magical. And because I went after the official event, it was much less crowded. My dog, Stella, and I ended up going twice, in fact. It was glorious.
2. Nature through hikes and photography.
Speaking of nature, I’ve been enjoying getting out to hike, often with my camera in tow. I go up to Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, north of Charlotte, a lot. I recently went there to see some ospreys, but they had moved on, so I took photos of butterflies instead – the pictures you see with this article, in fact.
I love to bake and to occasionally go all out making things that take all day – or even several days. My favorite chef to follow and attempt to emulate is Vivian Howard, who’s also a cookbook author, cooking show host and restaurant owner from Deep Run, North Carolina. (Check out “A Chef’s Life,” the 13-episode PBS series on Howard.) Her recipes are outrageously time-consuming but worth the effort. One of the best days I had this summer started with me going to the farmer’s market for peaches so I could make Howard’s peaches and cream cake. It took all day to make that delicious cake. But sitting around with my friends enjoying it that evening: perfection. No, I didn’t take photos. And, yes, I absolutely should have. Next time.
I also love to read. And I have two recommendation for you. First, “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab is the best book I’ve read this year. I love mysteries, and this is sort of a mystery but also different than anything else I’ve ever read – different in a very good way. I don’t want to say too much and spoil it. I highly recommend it. Second, check out Lisa Jewell’s “Then She Was Gone,” which was my book club book for July. Fellow mystery lovers will enjoy this one.
Other things I am looking forward to: my cousin’s beach wedding, coffees and lunches with (vaccinated) friends and colleagues and an uptown concert this winter. I’m also looking for volunteer opportunities, especially for organizations and groups having to do with nature and animals.
I’d love to hear what’s going on in your world. Please drop a comment here or send me a message or email. Thanks, y’all.