i love summer.
summer is my sweet spot. the sunshine makes everything in my being feel good. i feel more alive in summer. summer always brought the best memories. mama had her summers off from teaching. which was such a blessing. we had pool days and lazy days. my friends and i ran wild through cul de sacs and ice cream was a staple food. vbs was my very favorite week to look forward to + i loved visiting my family + swimming with the cousins. we caught lightning bugs at dusk + left all the windows open all night.
we spent every july at sunset beach in north carolina. my entire life we basked in the sun at my favorite place in the world. everything about being there brought healing and it felt like home. the car rides to and from were filled with james taylor + michael w smith music + holding our breath in the tunnels through the mountains. sunset beach - get ready - after a 2 year hiatus for weddings + all things alaska - the taylor gang is coming back in 2018.
in junior high my 3 best friends and i - along with our moms adventured all summer. zoos and cedar point. pool days and matinees. we must have gone to geauga lake 5 times that summer. [ rest in peace geauga lake ] i remember loving every moment. i remember laying in bed at night exhausted - yet filled to the brim with happiness + still feeling like i was on a roller coaster. [ ya'll know what i mean. right? also: why does this happen to us? ] i loved that summer. i hope to never forget it. i hope to never forget any summer.
i love the laid back - no schedule feeling that summer brings. i love being outside in my bare feet + tank top. i love being sun kissed. i love dinner on the patio + spontaneous picnics + having bonfires with the people i love the most. theres something special about it for me. i love hanging out with your friends + the feeling you get when the boy you had a crush on talks to you at the bonfire. i love sitting on front porches playing cards + going to drive ins + cleveland indians games. theres just something about it. i love heat lightening and warm thunderstorms - the ones that made you crawl in bed with your big brother when you were little. i love concerts at blossom music center. and dancing with dad at them without a care in the world. i love festivals and fairs and all the food at them. i just love summer.
but this year ... it just hasn't been the same. much like every other major change in my life over the past 10 months - this summer was different. i don't eat dinner outside every night + i barely have a tan. i have eaten ice cream exactly two times. there are no pool days and no spontaneous picnics. and i haven't had one sleepless night because i feel like i'm riding a roller coaster. HA! also: alaska doesn't have lightning bugs. or lightning - or thunder.
this weekend i was with my friends who have adopted me. [don't worry - mama t + rt approve of the adoption. everyone has met and everyone loves each other.] but saturday was probably the most beautiful alaskan day i've experienced. we went to garage sales + berry picking + hiked and walked and we were just together.
together is my love language.
i was driving in the car with amanda + her kids + i thought "what does today feel like? why does this seem familiar?"
and then it suddenly hit me
TODAY FEELS LIKE SUMMER IN OHIO.
because when i was little we went garage sale shopping with grandpa herman all summer long when he'd come visit. because i picked fruit and veggies from grandma + grandpa taylor's garden whenever we went there. and then grandma taylor showed me how to can them. because i go on walks with my friends. and no ohio people - you can't call cuyahoga valley national park hiking. if you think it's hiking - come to alaska - then you'll understand. it is a walk. because the sun was shining + i wasn't cold + we walked around a farmers market + it just. i don't know... i guess
it just felt like ohio.
last week one of my precious doctors died. he was my geneticist. i met him when i was 9 years old. his name was dr. haynes robinson. and that man was a gentle giant. dr. robinson brought joy and hope to work with him. and i am so sad i didn't get to say goodbye. when i saw the press release from akron children's hospital my eyes welled up with tears. it is a strange feeling when someone who helped you stay well dies. i remember my days with him well. he walked with us in the thick of heartache.
he helped diagnosis my genetic disorder - noonan syndrome. he was there when i had to get test after test. he would joke "i think you shrunk." when i would see him after weeks of growth hormone shots. i remember the way he spoke to mama + dad. exceptionally brilliant + yet extremely tender hearted. pediatric doctors are special that way.
he was with us in the days leading up to my brain surgery - and the days after. i remember having an appointment a few days before my brain surgery with him. he had to check my entire body for freckles and moles and more to make sure i wasn't going to start growing tumors all over. apparently that can happen with noonan syndrome. and i remember feeling relieved to see him. because he was a familiar face. i knew no one else in this scary world of pediatric neurosurgery i had just been thrown into. but i knew him. and i remember hugging him as i left his office that day - sad that i had to walk out of the familiar + into the unknown + totally terrifying world of brain tumors again.
seeing him that afternoon was like a summer day in ohio when you've been drowing in alaska rain.
i will forever be grateful for that day with him. i hope to never forget it.
i will forever be grateful for this weekend too. i hope to never forget it.
this weekend was like a summer day in ohio ... this weekend God gave me a hint of home.
oh my heart. i long for the day when every day will feel like summer in Glory. do you think heaven will have a type of season like we've never experienced? like maybe God is holding out on us. summer - fall - winter - spring won't exist. but a 5th season of absolute bliss will instead? i sure hope so. but man i hope there is a beach. because if i'm being real with you - i'd like to go for a walk with Jesus on the beach. hold His hand and walk to the pier like i used to do with daddy. cause boy do i have a lot of things to talk to Jesus about.
[ these are the things that keep me up at night people. wondering if there is a 5th season in heaven. and coming up with questions to ask JC on the beach. ]
Jesus loves me this i know ... for the Bible tells me so.
He loves me like i love summer.