It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy…

Ride on, dude. Enjoy the summer while it lasts!

Say to yourself, at least twelve times today, “It’s July.  It’s almost the middle of July.  It’s summer.  It’s summer.  It’s summer.”

Early morning, Portage Canal

Maybe I’m just talking to you folks in northern climates.  You know who you are.  You know where you live.

If you live in those places where snowflakes will float lazily down from the sky in three months (if we’re lucky.  Hopefully not earlier than mid-October…) we must gather the spirit of summer close to our hearts.

We must truly be present to it.  We must drink it in before those six-foot snowdrifts return.  We must.

Ripples on the canal after a boat passes by.

Some years the summer months speed by in a blur.  You blink; the summer is gone.

Don’t let that happen to you without thoroughly saturating yourself in the knowledge that it’s summer.

Remind yourself that it’s summer.  Soak in the sun (OK, wear sunscreen if it’s mid-day and the sun is fierce) and laze on a lawn chair.

“It’s summer,” remind yourself. 

Sunlight illuminates leaves

That trick usually works for me.  Usually about mid-July we northwoods folks start to thaw out from our nine months of winter.  We’re feeling the heat.  We’re swatting mosquitoes, sure, but at least there’s sun and warmth.

We’re singing under our breath, “It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy…”

Lilies and unexpected blue

Enjoy the heat, dear friend!  Baste whilst thou can.  Your winter coat and hat and mittens shall soon be your dearest companions once again…

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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28 Responses to It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy…

  1. Thanks for the soft reminder it is summer….

    I love the spider web!!


  2. Artswebshow says:

    wow. these shots are amazing

  3. Carol says:

    My man was just reminding me that not long ago I was whining because it was still cold – and for the past couple of days I’ve been whining because it’s been in the mid to upper 90s. Although, truth be told, I think he’s whined more than I have. I’ve just stayed inside, and commented that the gravel we had delivered will have to wait to be spread. Now? I’m enjoying a lovely breeze,my glass of wine, and your post and pictures, both of which are always wonderful!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh yes, Carol, we humans do seem to get into that whining thing when it’s too hot or too cold. That’s why we must remember Winter in the middle of Summer, and Summer in the middle of Winter. It’s that yin/yang Zen thing, I think. Do you have to spread your own gravel? That would be worth a whine in the upper 90’s!!

  4. Jeff Stroud says:


    It has certainly been summer there! for the past week it has been in the 100’s. today it has rained for first time in weeks maybe a month! I enjoyed walking in it and I had to go to Philly to drop of my photographs for the exhibit diving through the rain…. challenging but grateful for the rain and the exhibit…

    I love the second two photographs, two of your best!
    Yes we may wish to be present for each day as it comes, honoring the weather in whatever form it presents for each moment is blessed with its gifts

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Kathy says:

      I guess if it’s in the 100’s, Jeff, you don’t have to keep reminding yourself it’s summer! How exciting that you have your photographs in another exhibit. Way to go!

      thank you also for liking the photographs. And for honoring what the moment presents… Love to you!

  5. Kathy – Ripples on the canal after a boat passes by is the one that really got my attention. And then scrolling down and seeing the lillies at the bottom of the VERY UNexpected blue — what an eye-popping contrast!

    We’re not as far north as you. You’re in God’s country (we’re just in demi-god territory). We’ll have our first itty-bitty flurries on (or just before) Halloween. We hope to be riding our bicycles through the ENTIRE month of October this year (we’re not laying any bets on it though).

  6. absurdoldbird says:

    Ooh – how, HOW did you manage to capture summer in this post? I can feel the heat of the sun rippling off the screen at me!

    Oh and – I got a good close up look at the top photo and see it’s easy rider and snoopy!

    • Kathy says:

      Really, Val? Can you really feel it? Oh how wonderful!

      Barry absolutely loves this motorcycle picture. It’s actually a stuffed MOOSE on the back of his motorcycle. (The U.P. is known for moose…) He also had the word “Sisu” on the back of his bike. It means fortitude, courage in Finnish. We also have a lot of Finns who settled in this area.

  7. Karma says:

    Nice reminder Kathy! I try to do this on a daily basis, knowing that all too soon, school will begin again (and I’ll go back to 6th grade again, LOL!) and we’ll be wistful for those easy-livin’ days. I especially try to do this when I get my one week at the beach in Maine in August – savor this, savor this I say to myself.

    The photo with the spider web really surprised me! I was admiring the ripples and leaves and the very top of the next shot was visible before I scrolled down – I thought maybe it was going to be a fireworks or sparkler shot – then I realized it was the plant looking virtually like it was on fire! Wow!

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, you are one of those folks that HAS to enjoy summer to the utmost before that lively class of 6th graders stakes its claim on you once again. Oh your beach vacation in Maine sounds magnificent! May I come too?

      Isn’t that an interesting shot? It truly does look like the plant is on fire! That’s the power of the sun for you. Wow!

  8. Susan D. says:

    The second photo is a swimmer’s dream … drawing breath, arms longing to reach out for gentle propelling through that calm, cool water … I can hear myself swimming. I can feel it. I LOVE that shot.

    And the lilies against the blue. It looks so Mediterraean (sp) …. I want Greek olives, grape leaves and Feta cheese.

    Just wonderful … thank you…

    • Kathy says:

      I just put that photo on as my desktop, Susan. It feels liquid, doesn’t it? Those soft dawn ripples. Of course, it probably–in actuality–would feel cold, wouldn’t it? Maybe not if we swam gustily.

      Where can we get that Greek salad? Do we have to go back up to Houghton? I can show you where the blue/lily shot was taken. Right past the bridge before you get to Hardy’s. See if you notice next time you’re up there.

  9. barb says:

    Believe me, I take your advise. I’m thinking “summer!” ever day now. Love the ripples (on the lake, not on the motorcycle guy).

  10. Tammy McLeod says:

    ahh yes, water and ripples on water. They certainly are a cause for relaxation.

  11. Oh, yea, summer is hot, humid and hazy but it’s much better than white, freezing and getting 30 inches of snow from a Lake Effect storm. I am enjoying the bounty lately with sweet corn, raspberries (strawberries are done already), salt potatoes, tuna salads and cooking on the grill.

    I never let summer past without enjoying it. I know you will, too, Kathy! Enjoy!

  12. quietpaths says:

    Sweet, sweet summertime… now I have the Janis Joplin version going on in my head.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Christine~~singing along with you~~
      It’s summertime and the living is easy
      Fish are jumping and the cotton is high
      Your daddy’s rich and your mama’s good-looking
      Hush, little baby don’t you cry
      don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry
      no no no no
      don’t cry, don’t cry

  13. Cindy Lou says:

    You’ve expressed my feelings about summer so well! “We must gather summer close to our hearts…” I tell myself so many times a day – ‘Remember this verdant green against that blue, blue sky. Feel the heat baking into you and remember this in the depths of winter.’ Ahhhhhhhh…..the livin’ is indeed easy!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy Lou, wonder if we northern folks feel this more acutely than those with more temperate climates? Just think how easy it is to run outside barefoot or without putting on coats. We are gettin’ so spoiled…

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