Things I love about summer.

I’m glad the prairie is a place with seasonal change — there’s something about that seasonal change that is invaluable for perspective. And while each season has its high points, somehow I’ve settled into a strong preference for this one. It is missing some good things (*cough* school *cough*) and has some annoyances (ugh, humidity!) but overall, summer has my heart.

I love pasture visits. Jeremy’s cows, calves and bulls spend the summer southwest of us about 20 miles. He gets to go every week in the summer to make sure everything is OK, and more often during musk-thistle-spraying time. The rest of us get go a few times a year. It’s my favorite place in all of Nebraska, although I concede there are some other spots that come in very close to tying. It’s in the canyons, and I’m pretty convinced that any flat spot up on top would be a great spot for a house. No road, no electricity — no problem. I’m a hermit anyway. May as well firm it up with some solar power and a dirt track.

The cows were mildly annoyed that a gaggle of human girls displaced them from one of the few shade trees.

Green. Summer is green. I love green beyond what’s really reasonable, and summer has all the green. Aside, in college, I had a pair of Levi’s SilverTab jeans in green. Best jeans ever. I used to secretly (now, I guess, I’m giving it away) challenge myself to wear green from tip to toe every day for a week. I could easily do it. I need today’s fashion industry to realize that teal isn’t green and jeggings are not jeans, and then they can sell me some new green jeans in a post-five-kids shape.

Green jeans! And a green stretchy velour shirt! Recommend. Also, Farah — recommend. This was the Snake River in Idaho (um, clearly not the prairie, but a very beautiful spot) on the great road trip of 1998. Photoshop was a thing, barely, but all I had was photos, scissors and colored pencils with which to stitch, so there you go.

On the topic of clothes, I like that in summer, a person doesn’t have to walk out the door with shoes and a coat every single time. I know some people enjoy freeze-your-nose-hairs cold, but this is adamantly not me. T-shirt and jeans for the win. Socks optional. Bonus points for kids wearing short sleeves and shorts/skirts which generally reduce laundry volume.

There’s a little less alarm clock pressure (*cough* no school *cough*) , so there’s an extra hour of sleep, and when I wake up, the sun is either up or nearly so. That extra hour is definitely my friend. The long hours of light are also my friend.

Why, good morning, Mr. Sun.

Likewise, there’s a little more flexibility at the end of the day. The fact that I’m really bad at calendar and time and distance means that sometimes I lose sight of the nearness and length of necessary children’s bedtime ablutions. Like, it doesn’t even cross my mind until I’m finally putting supper on the table and it’s after 7 p.m. In summer, this failing is of less consequence. They have to be up by 9 a.m. regardless, house rules, but that’s plenty of sleep even if we’re late to bed.

In summer, I get a whole lot more help inside the house. “No homework” sounds a whole lot to me like “time to clean the bathroom” and “you can mow the lawn” and “freedom to help do dishes.” This is a know-yourself-better solution for me. I know there are many efficient parents out there — my own mother included — who during school can enforce chores during the week and also enforce homework, but I stink at that. Summer is the compromise. Summer is when we learn to be tidy humans once we are on our very own. Heh.

Speaking of which, I do also love our chore grid. It’s helpful. It’s been consistently helpful in summer, and it was super helpful during pandemic school also. Once in a while the dang wheels fall off the chore grid bus, but usually, it keeps a lid on things while I work.

But ultimately, I love harvest most. Wheat is my favorite, but most harvest makes me happy. Alfalfa baling. Radishes and spinach from the early garden and cucumbers and tomatoes from the later garden. Silage harvest. I like that there is harvest of all kinds, all summer long.

This stand of alfalfa was planted last year but last year wasn’t a great producer. This year’s first cutting, though, seems pretty fair.

Thus and therefore, summer. Amen.

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