As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Gathering the Moments of Summer

To me, Labor Day marks a change in the seasons, and although the autumnal equinox is still few days away, my heart and my home have begun to shift. No pumpkins, no mums, no Indian corn at my house yet. In fact, there are still some summer-weary geraniums at my front and back doors. But  I have packed up the beach bag, put away the sun screen, and sent the few seashells and starfish back to the summer decor storage box. The changes are coming, ready or not, and I plan to relish the days of autumn, my favorite season.  But before I bring on the pumpkins . . . 

I am going to pause and gather the moments, not of a month this time, but of a season. 

It was a summer like no other, this summer of 2020! 

It was the summer of the pandemic. 

It was the summer that our newborn grandson Caleb suffered a medical crisis and, thankfully, fully recovered

It was the summer that I lost a beloved aunt

It was the summer that our neighbor lost her mother and her longtime boyfriend to covid, both within three weeks' time. 

It was a summer of limiting time on the internet, because social media was filled with angst and anger and complaining and rants.

It was a summer in which I had to lean hard on the Lord, learning to keep a quiet heart in the middle of the angst. It was a summer in which I began a new Bible reading program and read through the New Testament. (That will quiet your heart!)

In spite of everything, we found joy. Joy in time with family and with friends. Joy in gathering with God's people. Joy in meeting our new grandson. Joy in God's creation. Joy in the slower pace. Joy in the Lord and His faithfulness to us. 

Let me share some glimpses of our summer . . . 

Prior to our trip, we had stayed very close to home, determined not to take any unnecessary risks that would prevent us from meeting our new grandson. But after we got home, we began to gather with our church family in person (rather than online) as well as with family and a few friends.

Ladies' Bible study via Zoom

Manzy was curious about these visitors in our backyard . . . but there's a screen separating them.

From the sun porch, you can see the fence that Ron worked on this summer.

July began with Caleb's illness, but by month's end, he was in full recovery mode and I had been blessed to spend some precious time with them. Lots of other life happened too! 

Oops! Where's Paul?

Everyone loves Ryan and Sarah's little foster baby!

Down south to spend a week with Kati, Andrew, and Baby Caleb!
Happy mama, healthy baby!

Ryan carrying on the homemade ice cream tradition.

We hosted three of our grands for a few days while their older siblings went on a "big kid" trip with their mom and dad. 

August is our month full of anniversaries and birthdays, and much of our activity revolved around those events.

When lunch at a friend's house ends with three desserts . . . 

Got to see these sweet girls (my great-nieces) when we visited my sister.

Look at those chunky legs! He doesn't look like he was so sick only a month before this.
Thank you, Lord!

Grand Game Night!
(This photo was taken before the games and the cRaZy fun began!)

At the beach, there was a hole with some very strange, smooth, muddy sand. The kids started calling it ooblek and it became one of the highlights of the day! 

Barbara and I celebrated our birthdays (only five days apart) with our first PSLs of the season!

September begins with another birthday, but then we get a five-week birthday break. 

The annual Grand Summer Sleepover had to be rescheduled when I went to visit Kati and family, but we were able to fit it in before summer's end. It was worth the wait! 

And on Labor Day weekend, we said good-bye to Gavin, our oldest grandchild, as he headed off to begin his first year of college. (What?! How can this be?)

And so, this crazy summer of 2020 has passed. How have we (how have I) spent this time? 

When Caleb was in the hospital, a very dear friend wrote these encouraging words to me as I struggled . . . 

"It's so hard to watch our children (and grandchildren) go through challenges! Yet, we know from our own life experiences, that walking with our Father through the hard places develops and strengthens our faith! They (kids) are building their own 'monuments' to God's goodness and faithfulness!!" 

Oh, how that helped me! Her words put that truth in back in focus for me.

I pray that these hard days that all of us are living will find us walking with our Father, showing love and grace to those around us, and building "monuments" to God's goodness and faithfulness! 


  1. What an excellent summer! So much family fun!

    I’ve stayed off FB most of the summer, though my IG posts there. Trying to be light, in the midst of crazy.

    Can’t wait to see you in person!

    1. Thank you, Deanna! Looking through all my photos multiple times as I prepared this post made me even more grateful for all of the good gifts from God!

      I am looking forward to seeing you too!

  2. What an amazing summer for your family! Looks like lots of fun and good food. Ours has been quiet. First Covid-19 for me in early July (mild case - PTL!) with lots of isolation, then I spilled hot tea with honey on my computer keyboard (started working after a month - another PTL!) and this past week and yet now smoke from fires in CA, WA,and OR. This, too, shall pass - supposed to get better today. What amazing words from your friend that spoke truth and reminded of our own kids' learning to lean on the Lord.

    1. GrammaGrits, what a summer you have had . . . lots of challenges! I am grateful with you that your Covid case was mild! The fact that your computer started working after a month seems pretty amazing. It hurts to think of all of the devastation represented by that oppressive smoke. Trusting God, because we can always see His hand of grace!

  3. Those are great words from your friend. I really enjoyed your look back at summer. Got to see some new views around your place, too. Love the photo of all the grands on the beach! Enjoyed all the photos and now I'm real hungry. You managed quite well to gather the moments of summer despite COVID. Look at little Caleb!! So cute and thriving. Love seeing that. I'm looking forward to Fall and for the Smoke season to be over!!

    1. Thanks for enjoying these moments with me, Ellen! (I know I posted a gazillion photos in this post, so I feel like anyone who hangs in there should get some kind of prize.) It's good for me to look back to see God's faithfulness!

      Praying that Smoke Season is over soon! It's sure been a crazy year, hasn't it?

  4. Your photos certainly show many blessings of good times during this summer. What an abundance of joy and happiness. It is so good to see that baby Caleb is doing so well. Your friend surely sent you mature words of comfort during trying times.
    I so enjoyed seeing all the grands in your home. They will always remember fun times with you and Ron. I wish your eldest grand great days ahead as he continues his education.

    1. That's one thing I love about photos, Martha Ellen . . . they record the story of the good times. It makes me smile to look back through the moments. We are so very grateful that Caleb is healthy now!

      I hope that you're right . . . that the grands will always remember good times at our house and know that they were loved and cherished.

  5. I have so enjoyed your postings. Full of real life and joy. On another note, the color on your front door is just beautiful. Would you mind sharing the color? Thank you. Have a blessed day!

    1. Thanks so much for reading and sharing with me the goodness of God. (I am still thinking about your story that you shared on the post "Caleb's Bumpy Ride." Amazing!)

      About that door color . . . I will get back to you after I find the can. I know that it was a color match because we did not have the paint that the former owner's used. I'll share the formula when I find it. :)

  6. Of course, I think the people are the most beautiful; however, that photo looking through the door at the rain is wonderful. It certainly was a summer of ups and downs as all of life is. So happy that Caleb is doing so very well...really enjoyed seeing those chubby legs. 🧸

    1. Thank you, Vee! And you're right . . . all of life is ups and downs. I couldn't do it without the Lord!

      Oh, those legs! 😍

  7. I LOVE this post!!! SO like life sorrows, trials (scary ones!!), joys, celebrations, and gathering!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! <3 ~tammy

    1. Thanks so much, Tammy!! I guess we can all identify with the ups and downs of life!

  8. What a lovely visit and to see these wonderful photos. I loved your dear friend's words to you, oh my, they are a blessing, aren't they?! "...Yet, we know from our own life experiences, that walking with our Father through the hard places develops and strengthens our faith! They (kids) are building their own 'monuments' to God's goodness and faithfulness!!" BEAUTIFUL!

    Wishing you a pleasant weekend and Happy Fall when it arrives in earnest.
    Brenda xox

    1. Thank you for visiting with me, Brenda! (There were SO many photos, but I couldn't leave any out!) Indeed, those words from my friend were (and still are!) a blessing!

      Happy Fall to you too! Just read your recent blog post and was reminded that you're an autumn girl too!

  9. I don't know how I missed this wonderful post. What an event filled summer you have had. So glad Caleb is doing well now. I know all your grandchildren will have happy memories of being at your home. It appears you had a lot more freedom to get together than we have had. Still not able to visit here. You have a very wise friend to write that to you.

    1. Thank you for peeking back at my summer with me, Kathy! There are so many events in our large family during the summer!

      We have taken advantage of the freedom that we have within the guidelines. At church, when shopping, in public places . . . we practice social distancing and we wear our masks. But within our own family (and extended family), we feel free to live normally. With friends, we do what they are comfortable doing. It's a strange time, isn't it?!


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