My friend, Jana blogs over at The Summer House. It's called the Summer House because she loves the simplicity of living in a summer beach rental-type atmosphere where everything is clean, decluttered, and ready for fun.
She lives out her philosophy of simple living beautifully. And I'm always impressed and inspired by her.
Internets, meet Jana...
I, of course, am just the opposite. My house is messy and cluttery in an artistic-A.D.D.-hyper-collector sort of way.
In spite of those differences, we are great friends and we manage to carve out a couple of hours for coffee at least once a week throughout the year and a once-a-week beach day through the summer.
Meanwhile, back at the Summer House......
I started this post telling you about Jana, because we rent a beach house for a long, relaxing week every summer. Because of her inspiration, we have taken to calling it The Summer House. (Don't sue me, please, my friend. Thanks.)
The house itself is bright and airy, with a big kitchen and lots of couches for lounging and a big patio that's perfect for cookouts and surfboards or in our case drying beach towels.
Our Summer House is only about an hour's drive south from us, in San Diego county. A mere 238 steps to the beach. With the best sand imaginable for sand castle building.
Or expressing ourselves artistically. This is Art.... ;-)
Even though the house is pretty roomy, and we have space for lots of people to hang out, we don't have as many comfortable sleeping surfaces. So we invited friends to come and be with us and just scheduled their visits on different days.
It worked out quite nicely for the first few days, with friends popping in for a morning or afternoon.
And the sun cooperated on some days, but not on others.
Still it was relaxing and fun to just “be” with whoever was available for the day.
I loved the quiet moments in between visitors when I could just sit and read and watch my kids playing in the sand. (Much like I did when they were little. Go figure.)
The ocean was soothing and oh, so healing. And we all were so in need of a rest and the respite that comes from serious playing.
Or just doing nothing. We did a lot of nothing. As often as possible.
Some of our young friends came to celebrate Lucy's 18th birthday, which meant there were more mouths to feed.
And I appreciate that all of her and Jon's friends are fun and easy to be with.
And are always ready to cooperate with me when I have a camera in my hand, which is most of the time, but that's not important right now. ("Quick, put on these disguises!")
Our time spent in the Summer House also reminds me of my childhood summers in Cuba, which were spent in Varadero, always with a houseful of friends and family. We would get to the beach as early as possible and put off eating because of the 3-Hour Rule (that's me on the right with the mop of uber-curly hair standing behind my trusty Duck Life-saver).
I hope my kids have the same happy memories that I do of the Limited Communal Summer Living Experience (LCSLE?).
It pleases me to think that they will indeed.
P.S. Thanks, Jana, for the Summer House inspiration. =D