And then it was summer

A couple weeks ago we had our first hummingbird visit - and no feeder. I bought a feeder at the hardware store, the one that closes for lunch and isn't open Sunday. Life in a small town.

Last week Laurent and I hung the feeder and we now have these beauties visiting daily.

hummingbird feeder

Our weeks of chilly rain ended (hallelujah!) and we were treated to a full week of sun. The river called and we answered, day after day.

I meant to take my daily walks, I really did, but we got as far as the river and just parked it there.

backpack at river

Not that I didn't exercise last week. Last Tuesday we did a 13 mile (21 km) hike. We keep inching up the mileage but we know we won't ever be "ready" for that AT. The AT will train us to hike the AT.

Something about that change in schedule, hiking on a weekday instead of the weekend (to avoid the weekend rain), changed our spring groove to a summer one.

boy just finished swimming

Summer comes when it does, not according to a calendar or any scheduling on our part.

Laurent and Brienne's (ir)regular school lessons ended early this year with spring's arrival. Last week Celine and I had a mini-meeting. (Regular meetings with Damien and I are part of her independent project work, aka: high school.)

petite cascapedia river

"Do you want to take a break?" I asked. "Things are going to be a little loosey-goosey for the next week or so as we transition to a summer routine and then get ready for our trip."

river trees

"I think I'll take a break then" she said, "but I'll still probably do some school because I like this project."

And I felt a momentary rush of relief that this grand experiment called homeschooling is working.

The days are long and we don't eat supper till late. Late bedtimes, late risings, kid chores maybe done by noon, but maybe not.


I manage, barely, to cook the meals and supervise laundry but a summer laziness hangs in the air.

Whatever schedule I did have, it's all up for negotiation now.

It's ironic that I get up at 6:30 in the winter and 7:30 in the summer, even though the 4 am light wakes me up. It must be the late nights; reading stories that I can't put down.


We visited the farm where we have a summer basket, as they call it here. We came home with a bundle of spinach. The first local greens we've eaten this year. The regular basket delivery starts next week.

A virus paid an early summer visit. Kids are recovered after listening to stories (audio books are a constant companion in our home), and watching YouTube drawing videos.

cat sleeping in the sun

On my mother's advice, armed with little brown vials she left on her last visit, I administered essential oils.

Brienne set up camp in the studio. She finds her bed mattress uncomfortable (I don't blame her, it is) so she's moved to the guest futon. With late nights, long hikes, and a virus, there have been afternoon naps, like a cat, on this bed.

futon in studio

Damien installed a clothesline for me. We've been here for one year and used our two wooden racks exclusively. We don't have a dryer. They do the job well, with surprising space efficiency (we can dry a whole load on one rack!), but there is nothing like line dried laundry.

And just like that, summer came.

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  • Sarah

    Sarah on June 21, 2013, 11:48 a.m.

    Love this, Renee! Thank you for this summer beauty!

    (I found the tech post very interesting but have been trying to take a tech break (!!) for the summer, so I sisn't respond, as I knew if I did I would be glued to the comments. But, quickly--"to be creators rather than consumers"--LOVE this idea to guide tech use!!)


  • Kika

    Kika on June 21, 2013, 2:17 p.m.

    I get the sleeping later thing - in the evenings b/c it is still light I end up going for walks, staying up reading later, etc. which is fine some of the time but NOT a good happy-lady-strategy on a regular basis:) I'm still waiting for our summer to really begin after all this rain.


  • Alison

    Alison on June 21, 2013, 5:09 p.m.

    Been enjoying these great posts all week - thanks. The technology one will be very useful to re-read - primary school Junior Reader goes to has asked us to chat to them about technology and education (Dan and I are both involved in web work). I was able to say I'd just read a couple of great posts on this (yours and Lori's), so timing has been great! Enjoy the sunshine.


  • Alaina

    Alaina on June 21, 2013, 5:55 p.m.

    where did you get the big clothes racks?  I have two racks but they will barely hold one load between the two of them.


    • renee

      renee on June 22, 2013, 1:53 a.m.

      In Maine (smile). They are heavy duty large wooden racks. One was gifted to us and the other we bought. You can see a couple pictures of our indoor drying system here. 


      • Alaina

        Alaina on June 23, 2013, 12:15 a.m.

        Well I can't go to Maine :) but those are really neat.  The ones I have are much smaller, and look cheaper, but they are all I could find here.  I have the problem though of having central heating in the winter time it doesn't work well to dry too much inside as it makes too much moisture indoors (and potential mold issues).  Have you ever handled that?  I try to line dry diapers to make them last longer but that takes a full 24 hours in the winter.


        • renee

          renee on June 24, 2013, 12:32 a.m.

          Haven't dealt with central heating since living in AB, 13 years ago and I didn't hang laundry then (smile).


  • Sarah M

    Sarah M on June 21, 2013, 10:21 p.m.

    The pictures in this post are very peaceful. It's always the cat's doing, right? :)

    You've got a really great hummingbird shot up there. My husband's grandparents who live in the Oakanagan region have so many hummingbirds at their feeder, but the minute you try to step outside they're gone, and you can't even see where they've whizzed to. Amazing little things.

    Sarah M



    • renee

      renee on June 22, 2013, 1:47 a.m.

      We have to wait outside a few minutes for the hummingbirds to come. And if you wear red that helps too!


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