Summer is my least favorite month in the mountains. The constant heat saps my strength, clouding my mind, making it difficult to accomplish much at all. Summer is also a time to rest, to kick back and allow time for "vegging" -- for doing nothing. With my online class at Brave Writer completed, I am taking this week as a bit of time-off before I start preparing for the start of our new school year that begins in less than three weeks, on August 24.
It's been an odd summer for us. The kids and I have been tired and lazy. Half the time the kids stay in their pajamas all day, forced inside by the 100-degree temperatures and dust-blown winds. After a very busy school year, none of us have felt much like doing anything. The boys take their turns with their ancient X-Box, playing Star Wars Battlefront and a few other games. In the heat of the afternoon we sometimes watch movies. It's indeed been a summer of resting body and soul, of regathering strength and enthusiasm for fall activities. The boys have been watering the flower beds only, so our front "lawn" has become dirt with patches of dried grasses, weed seeds from the expansive meadow outside our gate always blowing in and nestling into the soil. It's so hot all of the time that even typing seems draining, that moving at all seems like too much work. Perspiration clings to the back of my neck at all hours unless I pull my hair into a ponytail clip which provides minimal relief.
The boys are in Sports Camp this week, so each afternoon at 4:15 they hop on their bicycles and head to the park where the Pine Valley Community Church hosts their version of Vacation Bible School (VBS) each summer. Each child aged 4-12 chooses a sport: soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, or, new this year, cheer. Timothy is older this year, so he has elected to help the younger kids as an assistant coach. The first day, yesterday, all three boys had chosen soccer, but today both T and B are considering changes, T to help with basketball and B to learn baseball. Intermixed with the sports coaching are singing songs, prayer, and Bible lessons. Many kids who aren't involved in church at all come along, eager to spend time with friends and play sports. All participants sport T-shirts, learn memory verses, and on Friday evening after the last day of camp, all the families gather for a dinner and award night in the town hall. So for now, the boys are active in the afternoons at least, and E and I enjoy some welcome quiet.
Elizabeth is preparing for our long-anticipated yard sale this Saturday at Keith's sister's home in El Cajon with boxes strewn across the living room floor this afternoon as she goes through all the stuff set aside over the past year. I am also looking forward very much to this yard sale as I'm hoping that we'll make enough money to pay for most of the kids' textbooks for our next year of school. More than that, I will be ecstatic to have all those boxes out of the bottom of my closet!
So next week I will dive more enthusiastically into school planning, but this week is my week to kick back and relax a little. This school year will be far busier than I like to think about, and I hope that a little resting now will make the busy-ness a little easier to bear. I wish I could get away for a few days to someplace quiet and restful, but it doesn't seem possible at this point to do so.
Meanwhile, the sunshine glints off my parked Corolla and my flower garden fades in the afternoon heat. We still have fire season ahead of us which experts are predicting will be a bad one. This summer is our eighth in the mountains, and three of those summers we have been forced to evacuate because of fires endangering our town. Fires and earthquakes are both facts of life in Southern California, especially so here in the mountains where we are surrounded by fault lines and extremely dry conditions. I don't believe that we have received our average rainfall of 15 inches since moving here, and even if we had the funds to pay for watering our lawns, we wouldn't as the town wells are lowering too rapidly. The city of San Diego is also experiencing water rationing as well as expecting a bad fire season. With the infamous Santa Ana winds that often whip up in September and October to 60-100 miles per hour pushing from the mountains toward the coast, the city is in as much danger as we are in the mountains.
Prayerfully I wait for the soaking rains of November and December to halt the fire danger and bring some welcome green in place of sundried browns to our mountain palette.....