Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer-Saying Good-bye to Another July

Really, the dog days of summer are said to be between the dates of July 3 and August 11, but that is only if I decide to be precise about things.  Which, I most usually am not.  A little literary license keeps things much more interesting.  During ancient times, it was believed that the constellation Sirius(the dog) was  brightest in the sky during these dates, therefore joining with the sun in heating up the earth, hence the dog days.  But since we have all been experiencing some extremely steamy days recently, I decided to describe this most recent set of memories as our dog days of summer.  And since the photo above is of our very majestic dog, Micah, watching attentively over the shoreline below our home, for me, these are the dog days of summer.
Our family is quite big on hugging.  Yes, we are all huggers.  If you meet one of us for the first time, chances are you are going to receive a hug because that is the way that we roll.  I certainly did not grow up in a family of huggers, but it was something that came naturally to me as I ventured out into the world on my own.  It feels good to hug.  It feel good to be hugged.  Embracing another person allows us to connect on a level that waving and saying hello or good-bye cannot achieve.  Lord knows the world can be a cold and lonely place these days, so I say HUG AWAY and if I am ever lucky enough to meet you, feel free to give me a hug.  I am absolutely positive that there is a study out there somewhere that proves that hugging can increase your life span by seven years.(I just made that up but somehow I am sure that it is true!)  I recently decided that capturing photographs of people hugging is a very good and sneaky way to discern their heartfelt feelings for one another.
Look at the body language, look at these faces.(Look at my expensive and coveted Mexican Cokes being hijacked by my children!)

Witnessing how they hug on one another makes this momma's heart swell.

Even when they are posing for me, the genuine love that they feel for each other shines through the camera lens.
Mark is so lucky to have four daughters who dote on him more and more with each passing year.  They are so lucky to have a father who loves them so dearly.  I am lucky to have them all.  Ah, this family we have created is all I really need in this world.  Well, I would not complain about also having an entire fridge filled with ice-cold Mexican Coca-Cola bottles, but maybe I ask for too much.
With summertime comes three birthdays, Angel Daughter Number One(thank you, Mark!  I cannot tell you how often I confuse my children by name, let alone, number) turned twenty-four.  And I turned...Well, we have already discussed that.  Tomorrow would have been my little brother's forty-fifth birthday.  45.   He will be forever young in our hearts and in our minds.  He was forty-one when he died.  I will definitely blast a few Springsteen songs for him just to see if I can still feel him close.  It would make me very happy to think that Rob might be partying with Clarence somewhere.  The Big Man, The Master of disaster, The Minister of Soul, The King of the World...The spirit of the E-Street Band.  Clarence Clemons' passing a couple of weeks ago, also broke our hearts.  So thinking that my brother and Clarence might be tripping the light fantastic creates a huge lump in my throat.  My brother was a huge Springsteen fan and so are we.  It is a part of our history.  A part of who we were.  A part of who I now am and will always be.  Always...
Summertime also brings with it the beautiful House Finches who always seem to nest in the same places every year.  How is it that they know to return to a place that has been secure for them in the past.  In some other homes, the front door would be an extremely precarious spot to build a nest.  In our home, the nest rests securely between our wreath and the glass on our door.  AD1 is bravely climbing the later for her vertically challenged momma to see if she is able to spot any eggs in the nest.  Each year I place a sign outside saying that there are nesting birds on our door.  I duct tape the door shut and nobody is allowed to open it.  The sign tells visitors to come to our side door and most people do listen.  The thought of that makes me almost as misty as the Finches who return every year to raise their babies.  Human Beings can be painfully kind.
This summer, we also got to meet sweet Scarlett.  Scarlett is the granddaughter of my oldest friend, Donna, who I have known since we were twelve.  Donna's Daughter, Jessica, and her adorable husband stopped by on their way to San Diego so that we could finally meet their gorgeous baby.  
We all attended their wedding, last year.  Scarlett is what is known as a "honeymoon baby".  What a fantastic souvenir Jessica and Brock returned home with!  They make such adorable parents.  

Angel Daughter Number Four decided that pink would be the color of the summer.  Maybe not the entire summer because her hair is now blonde, but much of July.  Not exactly sure what colors are left for her to try but I am sure that she will come up with something.  I cannot complain.  AD4 is such a wonderful, responsible, and very mature-for-a-seventeen year old child(Believe me, after having made it through "17" three times before, I could not ask for more).  Her loving and compassionate nature make this momma proud down to the very core.
A little bit more Scarlett.

The Fourth of July was a fun day around beach central.  Our home is fairly close to Camp Pendleton which makes our area very proud of the young men and women who choose to serve our country.  Encountering these wonderful individuals on a regular basis makes me very proud to be an American.  Mark and I make it a policy to thank each and every individual who we come across wearing a uniform throughout the course of our days.  It never ceases to bring a smile of pride to their faces and a bit of a bounce to their steps.  
On the eve of the Fourth, we sit on our patio and watch the firework show that is put on off of the San Clemente pier.  If the wind is blowing, we get quite a bit of smoke.  This year was not as bad as some years have been.
Angel Daughter Number Three and her boyfriend, Jacob, invited a couple of their friends to join us for the weekend.  We made a fire and they made s'mores while the fireworks exploded in the distance.  Not a better seat in the house.

This was one of my favorite parts of the evening.  Fireworks cascaded down from the pier and lit up the water in such a fantastic display.  Look at all of the folks down in the water!  Not sure that I would be brave enough to watch the show from their vantage point, but it must have been quite a perspective.
The next day, I spotted the boys doing what kids seem to do no matter where they are, fiddling with their phones.  Not exactly sure what we did before the invention of cellphone!
The dog days of summer also brought us together for a little shopping.  Can you guess which Angel Daughters these are?  I know that one is pretty easy to discern.
I have heard that the next week will bring back milder temperatures here in Southern California.  I hope that wherever you are, the same will be true for you.  I prefer cool ocean breezes to being able to fry an egg on the sidewalk!
Since I began this with one of our dogs, I will wrap up the month of July with two of our cats.  Yes, they have enormous ears and yes, their coats are different from that of a domestic cat.  They are Cornish Rexes and in many ways, they are much more dog-like that cat.

Being that we are only going on to the end of July, it seems as though there is a lot more summer left to enjoy(depending on where you live).  According to astrological folklore, there are even two more weeks left to the dog days of summer(just hopefully not the extreme heat).  I wish for you celebrations and fireworks, and if not fireworks, then definitely shooting stars.  I wish you sun-filled days that never seem to end, but blend down into the night.  I wish you bird nests and s'mores and babies, if you are lucky enough to be able to find one that you can hold for a while.  I wish you family who you like spending time with, friends who are family if you do not, and maybe a Mexican Coke or two.  But most of all, I wish you hugs.  Lots and lots of hugs.  Because in my mind, there is nothing quite as validating, quite as life-affirming, quite as energizing as an honestly gifted and well-received hug to remind us of how truly important we are in the lives of one another.

So much love.


tj said...

...(((HUG))) Angel Deb, you. Are. [singing the word] A-w-e-s-o-m-e! ;o)

...What a glorious family you have and baby Scarlett? Oh my. *swoons*sigh* She's adorable! And AD4 with the pink hair makes an adorable sidekick too! :o)

...Yes, the dog days of Summer. What can one say 'cept it is Summer after all and before you know it it will be gone, so just try and enjoy it while it is here. The only thing I don't like about extreme heat or extreme cold is that it is hard on our elderly and animals too. Just this morning on the news they told of a 79 year old woman and her two dogs found dead in her home from the sweltering heat. What was really sad was that her home had a working air conditioner... :o(

...I love it that you all are huggers! I too am a hugger and I come from a family of huggers, I am proud of it and I give hugs freely. Amen. ;o)

...That last photo of your cats is just too cute! I LOVE those ears! There's something about a photo of cats taken from behind, their ears and body language always speaks of curiousity, peace and just living in that moment. I love cats and we have two of them, both are rescues. :o)

...Such a beautiful post Debra! A perfect way to start my day - thank you friend!

...And I didn't know if you received my email but you have a replacement jar of coleslaw dressing on its way to you, it should be arriving there today. The jar is without a label as I am revamping (is that a word?:o) the label at the moment. I am sending two jars off tomorrow to a Silent Auction to benefit a Southern Calif. rescue group, The Ark Animal Rescue as part of a 'cooking' basket. :o)

...(((hugs))) to you Angel Family!

...Blessings :o)

Angella Lister said...

you do live in paradise. but it is one that you lovingly created. i am happy for you, dear deb.

WV LeAnn said...

I envvy you so and you are so BLESSED! So enjoy your readings and pictures. Have been with you for almost two years and can't help but to check in EVERYDAY! Take care Deb.

Kathleen Botsford said...

I loved this walk through your July! As always, the love shines through each and every photo. And those fire works were fabulous! xoxo

LauraX said...

so much joy...my heart feels full with your pleasure and sweet life my friend!

Miss A said...

Such is the life that I aspire for. You have created this very serene, fun, quirky family. I see the love, I see how close each of you are to another. I see your HELLO HOT HOT GORGEOUS HUBBY ;)
This is a beautiful gift to share with us, with me, especially today. Because this is all that I want. Not more. But not less. Bless you beautiful momma of her angels.

Desert Dreaming said...

Wow...I just came across your fabulous page, I must say you have totally inspired me today. I was a little down today, which I usually try to avoid, and reading this post just changed my whole mood. I love upbeat people, positive people with a beautiful outlook on life and all that it entails, and I found that here. Such beautiful photographs. I am now a follower, and look forward to your next post.

God Bless, and have a great rest of the week ahead, and weekend.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful pictures of beautiful people and scenery. Huggers are the best. My family is big on hugs too and I wish we had more huggers in the world...a hug can do so much for someone. Precious baby! Glad to see your dog and cats. I really enjoyed this post. Hugs sweet Debra

HalfCrazy said...

Hey there!

Aww, these photos warmed my heart. I'm not much on touching, hugging, or kissing, but I miss being touched, embraced, and kissed. I am actually jealous of people who can do it without reluctance. I really hope to overcome this.. I don't know, insecurity? Haha!

SCarlett is such a cute, fat, and big baby. LOL! I'm actually planning to name my baby girl in the future Scarlett Jessica. But that's like, a decade more away. Haha!

I LOVE AD4's hair!

I'll see you around! :)

Melissah said...

I just discovered your lovely blog and I look forward to popping by again for some more inspiration! I've just put the finished touches on my new blog ‘Coastal Style’ It will have lots of inspiration on beach houses, resortwear, summer food, travel and anything ‘beachy’. I had a lot of fun putting it together so maybe you would like to check it out if you have a spare minute.

Catherine Holman said...

Big hugs to you and your beautiful family! What a fabulous view you have from your home and what a lucky lady you are in many ways!!!

Mark said...

First of all, can I have Scarlett? How did you not kiss her face off? Seriously, those cheeks! So beautiful. And listen, I'm a hugger too. I would have no problem hugging you upon first meeting you. And p.s. I would have no problem hugging Mark either. Wink! Wink!
I'm confused with the ADs and their numbers. I thought that the one blowing out the candles was AD1 but you wrote AD4. I'm so confused. Please line them up for me and number them, okay?
Seeing your daughter's ever changing hair lets me relax a little bit over my own children and letting them experiment some. I might even let Claire dye her hair one day. I might cry, but I will let her.

Debra said...

I really love and appreciate all of your wonderful comments. It makes me very, very happy to hear from you!

Mark, thank you for catching my AD mistake! You are absolutely correct! AD1 is blowing out the candles and she is definitely my oldest! I swear sometimes I even call them by the dog's names before I get to the right one. OY!

Love and hugs,

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